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Apex Park and Traction Engine

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Cnr North Western Road and Brisbane Street, St Arnaud VIC 3478


  • Playground
  • Picnic table
  • Historic traction Engine
  • Educational signs
The Apex Park in St Arnaud features a playground with a fort and slide, a swing set, a springer and a steel climbing frame. Alongside the playground lies a picnic table and the Tom Esmore Memorial Shelter, which contains a historic traction engine. 

An information sign on the traction engine displays the following text:

James Langdon
8HP Marshall Traction Engine

James Langdon, a local farmer, attended Centennial International Exhibition of 1888 in the Royal Exhibition Buildings Melbourne.

He bought this traction engine at the exhibition and over several months drove it home to St. Arnaud doing road works and ploughing along the way.

Langdon's worked the engine in the district for 60 years.

1960 saw the Langdon family donate the engine to the Rotary Club of St. Arnaud.

Rotarians painted it in bright colours for playground use.

In 1999 the Rotary Club painted the engine in the original colours and erected this shelter in memory of the late TP Esmore, Paul Harris Fellow, Charter member of the St. Arnaud Rotary Club, who was responsible for much of the original restoration project.

The Victorian Heritage Database offers the following information on the traction engine:

The traction engine in Apex Park, North Western Road (Cnr Brisbane Street), St. Arnaud, was the first Marshall steam engine sold in Australia in June 1888. It operated until 1943 and in 1959 it was donated to the Rotary Club and later installed in Apex Park. 

The traction engine is historically and scientifically significant at a STATE level. It is associated with the first purchase of a Marshall steam engine in Australia in 1888. It is has significance as an outstanding example of Report generated 12/05/18 19th technology advancement that was used to power farm machinery.

The Traction Engine under the Tom Esmore Memorial Shelter in Apex Park, North Western Road (Cnr Brisbane Street), St. Arnaud, is a four wheeled steam engine constructed of rivetted iron components and has a boiler, flue, steam engine, pulley wheel, and numerous other components. 


  • There are so many excellent playgrounds tucked away in little-known places. Take a look through this great list of playgrounds throughout the Victorian Goldfields.


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