Hughesdale is a residential suburb 14 km south-east of Melbourne, positioned on the border (Poath Road) between the former Caulfield and Oakleigh cities and now Glen Eira and Monash cities. Hughesdale was the site of the diversion of the Outer Circle Railway line (1890) from the Gippsland Line, but the area had no railway station until 1924. Coincidentally, an ill-fated line known as the Rosstown Railway diverged from the Gippsland line just east of Hughesdale, ending at Elsternwick, in 1891. The beginnings of the lines are now a linear park and the Galbally Reserve respectively.
The name came from Oakleigh's Mayor James Hughes, who, with the Poath Road Railway Station League, succeeded in having a railway station provided. The Victorian Railways named the station Hughesdale. A primary school was also opened in 1924. Named Oakleigh South, it was renamed Hughesdale in 1938 (512 pupils, 2014).
The residential development of the area was pre and early postwar. Good examples of the late 1920s houses can be seen in Wilbur Crescent and Euston Road west of the Crescent. A strip shopping centre was active, but the proximity of the Chadstone shopping centre (1960) took business away from drapers, electrical goods and non-food shops, leaving mainly convenience goods as viable retail activities. Several shops have become cafes or non-retail service outlets.
On the other, eastern, side of Hughesdale the Catholic Church built the Sacred Heart Girls’ College on Warrigal Road, opposite the imposing church (c1925). The College was designed by Frederick Romberg and completed in 1957. There is also a Greek Orthodox church and school.
The alignment of the Rosstown railway is visible as the Galbally Reserve. On a scrap of the railway land the Hughesdale community built a public hall in the early postwar years, a notable example of self help in a time of austerity.
Hughesdale’s census populations have been:
H.G. Gobbi, A history of Hughesdale primary school No. 4176 (formerly Oakleigh South State School) 1924-2004, Hughesdale, 2004