Places of interest
New Works Historic Walk
Around the site of the construction of the Entrance, known locally as the 'New Works', are scattered many interesting artefacts amid the remaining infrastructure of the project. The Society has incorporated some of these features into a signposted, interpretive walk which allows visitors to gain an insight into the scale of this engineering achievement of 100 years ago.
The New Works Historic Precinct is listed on the Victorian Heritage Database and it is illegal to remove or deface any of the artefacts in this area as they are protected underthe Victorian Heritage Act 1995.
To follow the walk, you will need to leave the boardwalk (erected at a later date) and get some sand in your shoes.
The Lady Harriet’s Barge
The 'Lady Harriet' was one of the early steamers on the Gippsland Lakes. She towed barges carrying an assortment of goods up the Tambo River. Her principal barge fell into disuse and lay rotting in the mud off Bullock Island until 1995 the owners of the barge donated her to the Society. The barge has now been partially restored and is on permanent display at the New Works Historic Precinct.
The New Works cottages are surviving links with the construction of the Entrance. Built to house the construction workers and fishermen, this little township in the dunes was for a short time named after the first contractor, John Carpenter. On licence from the Crown, the cottages have for many years been restricted to same family ownership, and have been passed down through the generations. This remarkable social history is documented in the Society's publication Carpentertown: A history of the New Works cottages at Lakes Entrance. A series of interpretative signs with a brief history of each cottage/site now in place on the New Works Village Walk along the lake shore.
WW1 Memorial Sculptures
In 1924-25 an avenue of 26 Monterey Cypress trees was planted along the Esplanade in Lakes Entrance, in memory of the 26 men from this district who gave their lives in World War 1.
Over the years the significance of the trees was almost forgotten; some had died and been removed. When all the remaining trees were threatened with complete removal in 1997, the Society campaigned for the preservation of the remainder.
We were only partly successful, as just five of the trees remain and the butts of a further five have been sculpted by John Brady into figures depicting aspects of World War 1.
A plaque honouring the 26 soldiers has been erected by the Society and although 16 of the original trees have gone, the significance of the trees has been preserved. These wonderful sculptures are now a major tourist attraction in Lakes Entrance.
Building moved to site 1999 And became LERHS new HQ
Johnsonville School No. 2761 was built in 1900 at a cost of £278 to accommodate 60 children. It was officially opened on 12th February 1901.
Enrolments dwindled over the years and in the late 1990s the decision was made to close the school.
In 1999 the Society purchased the building from Education Victoria and transported it in two sections to Lakes Entrance. After substantial refurbishment, the building was reopened on 30th June 2000 as the Lakes Entrance History Centre & Museum.