Dunkeld & District Historical Museum

Timeline - a scroll through history

Scroll below to see a history of notable events, people and places in Dunkeld and District

  • 1836
    Mount Sturgeon and Mount Abrupt named

    Mount Sturgeon and Mount Abrupt were named by New South Wales Surveyor-General, Thomas Mitchell, when returning from his Australia Felix expedition in 1836.

  • 1838
    Mount Sturgeon Plains Run

    Donald Cameron was the first European recorded as taking up the Mount Sturgeon Plains Run (no 82) of 28,000 acres in 1838.

  • 1839
    Robert Martin

    Robert Martin took up the Mount Sturgeon Run. He was originally a Scottish doctor who became an overlander, squatter and land developer in Heidelberg

  • James Unett

    James Robertson Unett was listed as taking up the "Victoria Valley Run". He sailed to Van Dieman's Land in 1838, and took up the "Victoria Valley Run" the following year, holding it until 1841.

  • 1841
    Henry Dwyer

    Henry Dwyer acquired the "Victoria Valley Run". By 1852 the run was recorded as running 9,000 sheep, 500 cattle and 20 horses.

  • 1845
    The Woolpack Inn

    The Woolpack Inn, Dunkeld, built by Mr Robertson was opened in 1845, at the future site of Dunkeld.

  • 1849
    First white child born

    The first white child said to be born at Dunkeld was Robert Templeton, born on 8th February 1849.

  • 1850
    Thomas Robertson

    Thomas Robertson & Sons occupied the "Moora Moora Run", and in 1855 was also in occupation of the "Victoria Valley Run".

  • 1852
    First blocks sold

    The first blocks of land in Dunkeld were sold.

  • Post Office opened

    Dunkeld Post Office opened.

  • 1854
    Dunkeld named

    The settlement, known as Mount Sturgeon, was renamed Dunkeld

  • 1855
    First tombstone erected

    The first tombstone to be erected in the old Dunkeld cemetery was cut by William Bebe in April 1855 for Mr George Ross' child Barbara.

  • Royal Mail hotel built

    Royal Mail hotel was built in 1855. It was reported by William Mereweather, one of the early settlers, that when he arrived in 1855, the walls of the Royal Mail Hotel were just about 3 feet high.

  • Dunkeld School opened

    Dunkeld School opened its doors as a National School for students to attend in October 1855

  • Diarist - Joseph Mereweather

    Arrived at Dunkeld (then known as Mt Sturgeon) in 1855. Joseph kept a detailed diary of what he saw and what he knew, giving a great insight into the early days at Dunkeld. 

  • 1856
    First Dunkeld race meeting

    The first known Dunkeld Race Meeting was run on the 17th March 1856.

  • 1860
    Stephen Henty

    Stephen George Henty took up Mount Sturgeon Plains North and in 1863 Mount Sturgeon Plains South. He changed the property name to Warrayure to save confusion.

  • John Duckmanton death

    A very highly respected early settler of Dunkeld. He was born at Warsop, Nottinghamshire, England in 1839 and came immediately to Dunkeld, where he resided until his death. He followed the trade of carpenter and wheelright and built the first State School in Dunkeld. He took a keen interest in...

  • Police lock-up building constructed

    The two celled bluestone police lock-up building was constructed c1860's.The building forms part of an early police complex.

  • Writer and teacher - Marmaduke Fisher

    Marmaduke Fisher left a marvellous record of Dunkeld and the district in the 1860's in the fortnightly articles he wrote for the Hamilton Spectator under the pseudonym, "Mount Sturgeon". He had an excellent scientific training and loved teaching and passing on his knowledge. He taught at Dunkeld...

  • Wealthiest man - Hugh Glass

    Hugh Glass makes a fascinating study as he started behind a shop counter. He was known as the wealthiest man in the colony in the 1860's and faced disaster with the depression of the late 60's, with charges of bribery and corruption and finally death, possibly suicide.

  • 1861
    Population 1861

    Census records indicate that Dunkeld now has 152 residents

  • 1862
    Western Hotel built

    The Western Hotel was built by William Mitchell and licensed in 1863.

  • Shamrock Hotel built

    Martin Hickey built the Shamrock Hotel at Dunkeld.

  • 1863
    Family Inn opened

    Family Inn, the grand 2 story building that sat where the present day Dunkeld Information Centre stands, was opened with a grand ball and supper on 11th September 1863. Mr James Gwyther was the first owner.

  • Blacksmith shops in operation

    Blacksmith shops were operated in Dunkeld by the Womersley and Woodhead families.

  • 1865
    Presbyterian Church erected

    The bluestone Presbyterian Church was erected

  • Armytage family

    The Mount Sturgeon run was subdivided and one of the portions was acquired by the Armytage family.

  • Mount Sturgeon Homestead

    Construction started on the Mount Sturgeon Homestead.

  • Flour mill and sawmill in operation

    Samuel Woodhead opened a flour mill and a sawmill in Dunkeld in the 1860's, on land west of Fairburn Street, on the north side of Salt Creek.

  • 1868
    MUIOOF Lodge formed

    The MUIOOF (Manchester Unity) Lodge was formed in Dunkeld on 23rd January 1868. It was still going in 1989. First members being William & John Templeton, Joseph Mereweather, George Docherty, Henry Cotton, James Gwyther, Wm Jones, James Harding and Angus McPhee.

  • 1873
    Lodge of the Good Templar formed

    The Lodge of the Good Templar was opened in 1873 by Rev. Merriman.

  • 1876
    Gums Homestead built

    The Gums Homestead was built for William Ross, who owned the property from 1864 until his death in 1900. Architect was Joseph Reed of Reed & Barnes, Melbourne.

  • 1877
    Railway completed

    Railway completed Ararat to Dunkeld, opened on 12th April 1877

  • Train collision

    Head on collision between 2 work trains between Dunkeld & Hamilton, 12th June 1877

  • Railway Hotel built

    The Railway Hotel, Dunkeld was built by Edwin Collins in 1877 opposite the railway station. It was delicensed between 1920 - 1923.

  • 1878
    Colonial Bank opened

    The Colonial Bank, built on the corner of Parker and Sterling Streets was opened.

  • 1880
    Catholic Church erected

    The first Dunkeld Catholic Church was erected.

  • Eucalyptus factory closed

    The Eucalyptus factory situated near the Victoria Point road, that was opened in the early 1880s, closed about 1888 and the owner Mr Frost moved to Dunkeld.

  • 1881
    Dunkeld Anglican Church erected

    The first Anglican Church, Dunkeld was built from locally made bricks.

  • Population 1881

    Census records indicate that Dunkeld now has 279 residents

  • 1886
    Football Club formed

    The first record found of the Dunkeld Football Club was 1886, when Dunkeld and Hamilton met at Moutajup.

  • 1890
    Rail line opened

    The Dunkeld-Penshurst rail line opened March, then closed 7 months after opening.

  • 1891
    Post Office built

    The present Post Office was built by H.Kohn. The contract was signed on 12th February 1891 for a sum of 775 pounds.

  • Fellmongery opened

    Henry O'Beirne and Dick Kennedy operated a fellmongery at Dunkeld on the Wannon River at the foot of Mount Sturgeon. The business was known as the Wannon Wool Scouring Works, being buyers of wool, hides, tallow, kangaroo, rabbit, possum and sheep skins

  • 1892
    Dunkeld Hall opened

    Dunkeld Hall Opening, with the foundation stone being laid by Harold Armytage on 27th September 1892. The hall was opened as a library and Mechanics Institute.

  • 1893
    Hall extensions made

    Extensions were made to the Dunkeld Hall.

  • 1894
    Mervyn Napier Waller

    Mervyn Napier Waller CMG OBE was born at Penshurst. He was a noted Australian muralist, mosaicist and painter in stained glass and other media. He is perhaps best known for the mosaics and stained glass for the Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, completed in 1958.

  • 1897
    Racing death

    Clarence O'Connor, jockey, lost his life in a horrendous accident while riding in a horse race at the Dunkeld racetrack.