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Alfred Nicholas purchased this land in 1929 to build his home and then proceeded to buy up surrounding land to add to his estate. The property was named 'Burnham Beeches'.
Alfred Nicholas and his brother George developed the 'Aspro' painkiller. Originally a German discovery, supply was halted during World War I. George, a chemist, re-discovered the formula and the Australian Government awarded him the patent. The Nicholas fortune grew.
Alfred Nicholas searched outer Melbourne for established trees to purchase for his property. Unfortunately he passed away before the garden was complete, and the property soon began to decline. His wife stayed on the property until the outbreak of the World War II.
After the war, the house was handed to their company and was used as a research laboratory. In 1965 the Nicholas Company donated the gardens to the people of Victoria by way of the local shire council. In 1972, the council handed the garden over to the Victorian State Government.