George Plant (1834-1895) arrived in Northcote in 1856, having arrived in Melbourne on the Oliver Lang, the previous year. He purchased the Peacock Inn Hotel from the Horace Bastings in that year and was to run it for the rest of his life. In 1861 he married Catherine Hayes.
Plant entered local politics in the 1870s, representing Northcote on the Epping Road Board, Shire of Jika Jika and the Borough of Northcote. As a Councillor for Northcote he served two terms as Mayor. Amongst his other achievements were the building of Rucker’s Hill embankment, working on the Ballarat to Melbourne Railway as a subcontractor and also helping build the Flemington Cattle yards.
Ironically his election as a Councillor for the ward of Gowerville in 1882 triggered a ratepayer revolt which resulted in the formation of the Borough of Northcote. Plant represented the pro butchery interests in Northcote and a strong anti-pollution lobby rebelled against what they saw as the "noxious" industries.
After Plants death in 1895 Catherine took over the Peacock Inn Hotel after his death and ran it for several years. Both John and Fred Plant followed their father, George, into local politics. Fred, in particular, had a successful career, serving as Mayor of Northcote five times.
Lemon, Andrew (1983). The Northcote Side of the River. North Melbourne: Hargreen.
Swift, William George (1928). The history of Northcote: From its first settlement to a city. Northcote, Vic: Leader Publishing.