How Geocaching Works
Use of geocaching.com services is subject to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer
This cache is part of our ‘Kingston Racing Remembered’ series.
This cache is based around the memory of the Aspendale Park Racecourse. It was established by James Robert Crooke and opened in April 1891. He named the course for his most prized mare, Aspen.
Crooke was a successful trainer, he had trained Saladin winner of the 1872 Australia Cup run at Flemington. He dreamed of establishing a racing course and at great financial risk he began to develop 130 acres of land purchased by his father. He implemented drainage and deposited large amounts of earth fill to reclaim the land from swamp. There were only 2 other houses in the area at the time.
Aspendale Park was situated east of the present railway station. There was no railway station at the time so James Crooke paid to have a platform put in. Initially it was only used to offload horses and visitors from Melbourne on race days but it eventually it became a flag station. Passengers could announce their intentions to alight at Aspendale to the conductor or to catch the train to the city a passenger could flag down the train driver.
The course itself had enviable gardens designed by William Guilfoyle who was the director of the Melbourne Botanical Gardens at the time. The gardens themselves made the park a summer picnic locality where the cityfolk made it a day trip out to the country. James Crooke was also a car enthusiast which saw him introduce motor racing to his racecourse. Aspendale Park was the venue for the RACV's first car rally in 1904. This kicked off many motor vehicle and motorcycle rallies as well as racing at the course.
The course remained in use as a horse racing venue for 40 years, the last meeting held there was in 1931 but it remained in use as a motor racing facility until the late 1940’s. Sadly there is no remnant of the park apart from the name, today. The cache is a small container with no room for swaps. Please bring your own pen.
(No hints available.)