Black and white negative showing an aerial view of the Barwon Heads township and beachfront in Victoria, circa 1935.

The view shows a row of boathouses along the beach. The first Barwon Heads boathouses were constructed in the 1880s and were used as dressing sheds.The boathouses were built on land that was located directly on the beach. This land was leased to holidaymakers from 1905, when the Geelong Harbor Trust was established. Originally conceived as recreational buildings, the boathouses were subsequently used as dwellings by holidaymakers. However, the boathouses had no sanitation or plumbing and by the 1920s locals were complaining about their beach becoming a health risk and being used exclusively by non-rate payers instead of being available to locals. By the 1930s there were 61 boathouses on the beach, accommodating several hundred people, and a controversial battle ensued to remove them. By 30 June 1936 all of the boathouses had been removed, most to nearby Ocean Grove, some to other beach resort towns such as Queenscliff and Torquay, and a few to other sites in Barwon Heads.

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Aerial view of Barwon Heads. This image shows a view out to sea, featuring a long pier at left with a short jetty to its right, and boats in the water close to shore between the pier and jetty, and boathouses sited along the beach. In the foreground are cars and houses in the township and a rocky bluff at far right.

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