On 10 October 1866, Dandenong Market first opened for trade, selling livestock via auction. Over the next 150 years, Dandenong Market has grown and developed along with the community surrounding it.
The hard-cover book documents significant moments in the Market’s history using original photographs as well as historical records. This includes pre-market Dandenong (1830-1865), early years (1866 – 1890), the move to a bigger site (1927), the new market’s development (1927 – 1939), World War II and the post-war boom (1939 – 1959), the introduction of the iconic Dandy Pig neon sign (1960), and how the market adapted to become the millennium market it is today.
Author Michael Shmith said it was a privilege to document Dandenong Market’s fascinating tale. Additionally, he was able to bring to life the story of one of Victoria’s most treasured market institutions. “Until I started writing this book, I wasn’t aware of just how significant, rich, and durable Dandenong Market’s history was. The Market maintained a strong presence throughout major social, economic and political events, not to mention two world wars. It was because of this determination and unwavering community support that means the market still thrives today.
Jennifer Hibbs, General Manager of Dandenong Market, speaks of how exciting it is to launch Dandenong Market’s 150th birthday celebrations with the book. “Dandenong has had such a vibrant history and we wanted to capture the story of our tiny town, originally of 48, that grew into a major cultural hub in Melbourne, with the Market at its epicenter. Like the Dandenong area itself, the Market has changed and evolved to suit the requirements and expectations of customers, starting its life in livestock trade and evolving to become one of the most authentic international food experiences in Victoria. It’s certainly something that is worth celebrating,” said Hibbs.
The Dandenong Market: Celebrating 150 Years book is available to purchase at the Dandenong Market Management office.