Emerald Hill, Melbourne
Emerald Hill (now known as South Melbourne) is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 2 km south from Melbourne's Central Business District. Its Local Government Area is the City of Port Phillip. At the 2011 Census, South Melbourne had a population of 9,317.
Historically known as Emerald Hill, it was one of the first of Melbourne's suburbs to adopt full municipal status and is one of Melbourne's oldest suburban areas, notable for its well preserved Victorian era streetscapes.
Before European settlement, the area now called South Melbourne featured a single hill (where the Town Hall now stands) surrounded by swamps. The Hill was a traditional social and ceremonial meeting place for Aboriginal tribes.
The area was first settled by Europeans in the 1840s and became known as Emerald Hill.
During the Victorian Gold Rush of 1851 a tent city, known as Canvas Town was established. The area soon became a massive slum, home to tens of thousands of migrants from around the world.
Land sales at Emerald Hill began in 1852 and independence from Melbourne was granted, when Emerald Hill was proclaimed a borough on 26 May 1855. Many of the residents of Canvas Town moved to prefabricated cottages in suburbs like Collingwood and South Melbourne and some of these early homes remain in South Melbourne's Coventry Street.
The new municipality developed rapidly and by 1872 Emerald Hill was proclaimed a town.