The Bacchus Marsh Public Hall was built in 1883 as a Mechanics Institute to replace an earlier Mechanics Institute in Young Street.
Land for the building was donated by Richard Manning, the proprietor at the time of the Royal Hotel.
The foundation stone, laid in July 1883, can be viewed in the sheltered area at the front of the building. The building was officially opened in November that same year.
The President of the local branch of the Mechanics Institute, Mr Voysey, said at the opening that "...the building is to be devoted to the purposes of a Public Hall, Mechanics Institute, Free Library and Shire Offices for the accommodation of the inhabitants of Bacchus Marsh and district."
Bacchus Marsh Public Hall (Mechanics Institute) under construction 1883
The building was extensively renovated in 1971 and the Mechanics Institute Library and rooms at the front of the Hall were removed. The entrance foyer and verandah were added and the external facade bagged and painted.
The space between the Public Hall and the Soldiers Memorial Hall (1921) on the west side of the Hall was originally occupied by a Shire Hall built in 1896. That building was demolished and replaced, as part of the 1971 renovations, by a new Library building. In turn that Library building was demolished and the Library moved to the front of the "new" 1968 Shire Offices that stood where the green space now exists to the west of the Soldiers Memorial Hall.
In 2012 those Shire Offices were demolished after the Lerderderg Library was completed earlier that year.
The Bacchus Marsh Public Hall has for more than 120 years been a community meeting place in Bacchus Marsh. Balls, dances, concerts, theatre, movies, Council meetings and public meetings have all used the Hall as a venue.
Information about the Bacchus Marsh Public Hall was sourced from publications of the Bacchus Marsh & District Historical Society Inc. Our grateful thanks to that organisation.