The McIntosh Ruin, 687-777 Gisborne Melton Road, Toolern Vale, is significant as a now scarce relic of the first farming period in the Shire, of the Scottish enclave in Toolern Vale in this period, and as the site of the first Presbyterian services in Toolern Vale. The ruin of the dwelling, built by the early 1860s, is a contributory part of an early and attractive cultural landscape of high significance in both the pastoral and farming histories of the Shire.
The McIntosh Ruin, 687-777 Gisborne Melton Road, Toolern Vale, is historically significant at the Local level (AHC A4, B2, D2). It is situated on the site of an important early 1840s outstation of the Green Hills pastoral station, at that time the largest and most developed sheep run in the Shire. The hills of this area, stretching to Gisborne and towards Sunbury, are also of wider significance in the history of Victoria's settlement, as the meeting place of the two streams of Port Phillip's European settlers, the 'overstraiters' from Tasmanian and the 'overlanders' from New South Wales. This upper Toolern Creek valley, between Bensons Road and Toolern Vale, subsequently became a rich part of the farming history of the Shire. The place is a contributory part of a cultural landscape that contains a concentration of early farm dwellings and structures (including dry stone walls), now mainly ruinous due to bushfires and the passage of time, and views from Gisborne-Melton Road over the rich farmlands and attractive valley to the ranges and plains beyond. The ruin is also a now-scarce relic of the 'first farming' period of the Shire: on farms purchased from the Crown in the 1850s, rather than the later the Selection Acts, or created in the break-up of the large pastoral estates in the early twentieth century. It also testifies to the prominence of Scottish settlers in the farming history of the Shire, particularly in early Toolern Vale.
The McIntosh cottage was a centre of this community, being the site of the first Presbyterian services in Toolern Vale, prior to the building of a church. The place is also significant for its association with the McIntoshs, a very old and large Melton family which still farms in the Shire. The abandoned dwelling, finally destroyed in the major 1952 Toolern bushfire, is also expressive of the major role of bushfires in the Shire of Melton. The domed underground tank, stripped of its concrete render to reveal the bricklaying construction technique, contributes to the significance of the place as an expression of an early method of water storage no longer practised.
The McIntosh Ruin, 687-777 Gisborne Melton Road, Toolern Vale, is scientifically significant at the Local level (AHC C2). The ruin is rare, perhaps unique, in the Shire for its primitive construction with the flat sedimentary rubble stone of its immediate locality. It is a quite finely crafted vernacular structure with the potential to provide further information about early construction techniques and lifestyles in the Shire of Melton.
Overall, the McIntosh Ruin, 687-777 Gisborne Melton Road, Toolern Vale, is of LOCAL significance.