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 .

  • 1900
    Apiarist - Bert Arkell

    Bert was born in 1885. He was one of a number of apiarists in the early 1900s. Was popular with young people. He was a general carrier, transporting wool and other produce, and a wood cutter.

  • 1901
    Population 1901

    Census records indicate that Dunkeld now has 357 residents

  • 1904
    Masonic Lodge consecrated

    The Mount Sturgeon Masonic Lodge No 196 was consecrated in 1904 when the Foundation Master was Wor. Bro. A.E. Lineker. They held their meetings in the second storey of the bluestone Family Inn.

  • 1905
    Cemetery closed

    Old Dunkeld cemetery was closed to burials.

  • Teacher and musician - Emma Peterson

    Emma came to Victoria Valley soon after the turn of the century to teach at the Victoria Point School, at the edge of the Bryan's swamp at Panyabbyr. She lived in the school room until she married John Napier, and then on his property "Bluff Eden". She was best remembered for her musical abilities.

  • 1910
    Motor garage built

    Mr Manly built a Motor Garage In Parker St Dunkeld. Operators on this site over the years were-Hugh & Bert Dixon, Sam & Mervyn Napier, Les Clark, R.I.King, Bert Koopman.

  • Scotland connections

    Close ties with Dunkeld in Scotland were made when our school exchanged flags with our Scottish friends, forming many penfriendships that remain today. On May 24 1910, Dunkeld held a Patriotic Concert in the Mechanics Hall on Empire night. The proceeds were used to exchange the flags.

  • 1911
    Population 1911

    Census records indicate that Dunkeld now has 512 residents

  • 1912
    New Catholic Church built

    Present day Catholic Church was built about 1912 in Martin St, Dunkeld.

  • 1913
    Methodist Church built

    Dunkeld Methodist Church foundation stone laid on 16th August 1913 at 3.30 pm.

  • 1918
    Bank merger

    The Colonial Bank, Dunkeld merged with the National Bank of Australia, which took over the receiving office at Dunkeld.

  • Lamplighter - John Downes

    John Downes arrived in Dunkeld in 1918 and from the early 1920s until 1939, he held the contract with Mount Rouse Shire to serve as the lamplighter for the township of Dunkeld

  • 1919
    WW1 Honor roll

    Unveiling of the WW1 Honor Roll in the Mechanic's Hall, 5th April 1919.

  • 1920
    First airmail arrives

    First Air Letter arrives at Dunkeld.

  • 1923
    PWMU formed

    The Dunkeld Branch of the PWMU (Presbyterian Women’s Missionary Union) was formed at Dunkeld on 23rd October 1923 with Mrs Gillan as President.

  • 1926
    Elise Fitzpatrick

    Birth of Elise, daughter of Dr Sam and Moree Fitzpatrick of Hamilton. Elise married Jim Robertson. Her husband died when their children were young. She married secondly Garth Clabburn. Elise was the founding member of the Dunkeld and District Historical Museum. She died on 19th May 1989.

  • 1928
    First swimming pool

    Opening of the first swimming pool (near the sawmill).

  • 1929
    Dunkeld War memorial unveiled

    The Dunkeld War Memorial was unveiled on 4th August 1929.

  • 1932
    Dunkeld Fire Brigade formed

    Dunkeld fire brigade was formed in February 1932. The first President was Rev. George Fisher and the Secretary was Claude Taylor.

  • 1933
    Population 1933

    Census records indicate that Dunkeld now has 585 residents

  • 1935
    Mountain Climb Carnival

    The Dunkeld Mountain Climb Carnival was held on Monday October 14th, 1935. Bernie Burke of Essendon was the winner of the event.

  • CWA branch formed

    The Dunkeld branch of the Country Womens Association was formed in 1935. Mrs A.A.Young was the first President, Miss O.A.Stimson, Secretary and Mrs T.S.Woodburn was Treasurer.

  • Runner - Buster Middleton

    "Buster", at 13 years of age on the day of the Mount Abrupt Run in 1935. He completed the full course from the Dunkeld racecourse to the summit of Mount Abrupt to the racecourse and back, in bare feet and was rewarded with a suit from Millers & Co store in Hamilton for his tremendous effort.

  • 1937
    First Dunkeld Cup

    The first Dunkeld Cup was run at the Dunkeld Race Course, in memory of well known identity William Thomson, of "Corea", Dunkeld.

  • 1938
    Mount Sturgeon Lodge Temple built

    Mount Sturgeon Lodge Temple was built on land donated by the Armytage Partnership and the first meeting was held there on 12th January 1938.

  • 1939
    Electricity turned on

    Electricity turned on at Dunkeld by Mrs W. Collins of Dunkeld.

  • Avenue of flowering gums planted

    An Avenue of flowering gums was planted by CWA members on 14th September 1939, stretching west from the town boundary along the Hamilton Road.

  • 1940
    Transportation - Lance Golding

    Lance Golding was involved with transport all his life, and in particular, the timber industry. In the 1940s he carted to the Dunkeld sawmill and in the 1950s for soldier settlers.

  • 1943
    Sawmill built

    Mr A T Fitzpatrick received permission to erect a sawmill at Dunkeld.

  • Life Governor - Wor Bro G S Gibbons PM

    Wor Bro G.S. Gibbons, P.M. of the Mt Sturgeon Lodge No 196 was enrolled a Life Governor of the Freemason's Homes of Victoria.

  • Chairman - Hugh Beggs

    Chairman of the Australian Wool Corporation. He was a brother in law to Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser.

  • 1944
    Bushfire devastation

    A bushfire started on 14th February went on to destroy about 37 houses and buildings in Dunkeld. There was severe district devastation.

  • Agnes Godfrey

    The death of 39 year old Agnes Ethel Godfrey occurred at Hamilton on 21st January 1944. Agnes and her husband Bill had been defending their home in the bushfire on 14th January 1944 when she collapsed.

  • 1945
    9th Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps

    Disbandment of 9th Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps.

  • Olive Stimpson

    Olive Stimpson, Dunkeld Post Office employee receives thanks from Australian Comforts Fund in 1945.

  • 1947
    Population 1947

    Census records indicate that Dunkeld now has 393 residents

  • 1948
    Victoria Valley school closed

    The Victoria Valley school closed on 4th August 1948.

  • Karabeal Golf Club formed

    Karabeal Golf Club was formed at the 2nd Karabeal School on 7th August 1948.

  • 1950
    Diggers' Ball

    Dunkeld Sub-Branch of the RSSAILA (Returned Sailor's Soldier's Airmen's Imperial League, now the Returned Services League) held a "Diggers' Ball" on Friday March 3rd 1950 to raise funds for the Dunkeld RSL building fund.

  • Councillor - Claude Dark

    Claude Dark of Mirranatwa became a Dundas Shire Councillor in August 1950. He represented the East Riding

  • Constable - George McKenzie

    Constable George McKenzie was in charge of the Dunkeld Police Station from 1936 until 1950. George was the last Mounted Constable at Dunkeld. He was a colourful character who helped keep many of the district young from slipping into bad habits.

  • 1952
    Consolidated School opened

    The Dunkeld Consolidated School opened as a Group School

  • 1953
    First school buildings

    First school buildings on Victoria Valley road site opened.

  • New Dunkeld Lodge

    On 17th August, 1953, the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes No 235 opened their Dunkeld Lodge. 26 new members were initiated, and over a period of nine years, 102 people joined.

  • 1954
    Memorial Park opened

    Opening of the Dunkeld & District Memorial Park at 11am on Sat April 17th, 1954.

  • Back to Dunkeld

    Back to Dunkeld and opening of the Dunkeld Soldiers memorial Park

  • Population 1954

    Census records indicate that Dunkeld now has 551 residents

  • 1955
    Joy Clarke recognised

    Joy Clarke received recognition of her valuable contribution to the Australia Remembers Program during 1995, the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.

  • 1956
    Consolidated School

    School at Dunkeld proclaimed a Consolidated School

  • 1957
    Pathologist - Sir Roy Cameron

    Roy Cameron, achieved fame in a different sphere. He was schooled here at Dunkeld, was Knighted for his work as a pathologist in Britain during the Second World War. He was responsible for plans to protect civilians against germ warfare.

  • Telephonist - Ollie Stimson

    Ollie Stimson controlled the township from the post office. She could use the telephone plugs to great effect in times of fire or accidents and was a moving force in community activities. She retired in 1957 after serving in the Postal Department for over fifty two years.

  • 1958
    Septic Tank Sewerage System

    Plans prepared for mass installation of Septic Tank Sewerage System

  • 1959
    Dunkeld water supply

    Dunkeld water supply was commissioned in 1959

  • New tennis courts

    New tennis courts built

  • 1960
    Bowling Green opened

    Bowling Green opened

  • Infant Welfare Centre opened

    Infant Welfare Centre at Dunkeld opened.

  • Flying Corps - Leigh Simpson

    Leigh Simpson was a retiring hero (A D.F.C from the Royal Flying Corps) who helped the district through his work with the hospital, the schools, the fire brigade, a radio link up, and many other ways. He was also a Shire Councillor (Dundas Riding).

  • 1961
    New St Mary's Anglican Church built

    The laying of the foundation stone of the new St Mary's Anglican Church, Dunkeld took place on 25th March 1961

  • St Andrews Church opened

    Opening & Dedication of St Andrews Church, Mirranatwa on 17th September 1961

  • Mirranatwa school closed

    Mirranatwa school closed on 17th July 1961

  • Councillor - Les Cordy

    Les Cordy of Cavendish became a Dundas Shire Councillor in August 1961. He represented the East Riding.

  • 1962
    State Savings Bank opened

    The State Savings Bank opened in Dunkeld in a new building on 28th June 1962.

  • Caravan park site

    Committee formed to develop caravan park site.

  • John Gale awarded

    John Gale, of Dunkeld became a Queen's Scout at a presentation Ceremony at Government House, Melbourne on Saturday 27th October 1962.

  • 1963
    Dunkeld Hall remodelled

    Dunkeld Hall officially opened after remodelling

  • 1964
    Grampians Golf Club formed

    Grampians Golf Club was formed on 14th May 1964

  • 1965
    Dunkeld Library opened

    Dunkeld Regional Branch Library opened

  • Grampians Golf Course opened

    Grampians Golf Course opened with12 holes completed, then in 1967 another 6 were finished. The course was officially opened on 29th October 1967 by His Excellency the Govenor of Victoria, Sir Rohan Delacombe. The course, 7km from Dunkeld on the Victoria Valley Road, was opened with 190 foundation...

  • 1966
    Swimming Pool opened

    Opening of the Dunkeld Memorial Park Swimming Pool 24th November 1966.

  • Population 1966

    Census records indicate that Dunkeld now has 459 residents

  • 1967
    Tourist road to Halls Gap established

    Tourist road through to Halls Gap was established in 1966-1967, cost $ 250,000. Partially built with drought funding of $ 50,000

  • Power turned on in Victoria Valley

    Amy Crawford, wife of William Crawford of Victoria Valley cut the ribbon to turn on the power at Victoria Valley on 20th December 1967.

  • Grampians Golf Course ribbon cut

    Grampians Golf Course was completed and officially opened by the Governor of Victoria Sir Rohan Delacombe cutting the ribbon.

  • 1968
    Power turned on in Mirranatwa

    SEC Power comes to Mirranatwa. Mrs M G McArthur cut the ribbon to turn the power on at a dance in the local Mirranatwa hall.

  • 1970
    Dunkeld Kindergarten opened

    The Dunkeld Kindergarten was opened in 1970 with Mary Jones as President, Pat Cullinane, Secretary and Lois Collins Treasurer.

  • Collector - Harold Myers

    Harold Myers was a quiet observer who loved the district and encouraged the setting up of the Dunkeld and District Historical Museum by donating many unique early Australian items and documents.

  • 1971
    Consolidated School Hall opened

    Dunkeld Consolidated School Hall opening was held on 25th March 1971.

  • Tauto wins the Cox Plate

    Local racehorse Tauto, won the W S Cox Plate in 1971, carrying nine stone four pounds.

  • Population 1971

    Census records indicate that Dunkeld now has 397 residents

  • Teacher - Jim McCaskell

    School teacher Jim McCaskell spent his early career at the Victoria Valley School. He married Catherine Rutter, a teacher at the nearby Victoria Point School. Living at Dunkeld, Jim rode his bicycle to the valley with daughter Julie on the handlebars. Jim was very respected by all who knew him.

  • 1972
    Wool Advancement Group formed

    Victoria Valley Wool Advancement Group was formed at a meeting at the home of Mrs Len Sutherland of Moutajup. 

  • 1975
    Telephone exchange automated

    Dunkeld's manual telephone exchange, became automated in 1975. It was operated Ann Dickie, Mary Collins, Kerri Jones and Joan Waldron.

  • Lions Club Charter Dinner

    Dunkeld & District Lions Club Charter Dinner 28th June 1975 in the Dunkeld Hall

  • Lions Ladies Auxiliary formed

    A Lions Ladies Auxiliary was formed at Dunkeld on 26th August 1975 with President Elsie White, Secretary Marion Wallis and Treasurer Mary Jones.

  • Girl Guides registered

    The Girl Guides Association registered the 1st Dunkeld Company on 29th May 1975, and the 1st Dunkeld Brownie Pack was registered on 28th July 1975.

  • 1977
    Development League - Reuben Schache

    Reuben Schache (1897-1977) devoted his life to the township of Dunkeld, and was actively and creatively involved in almost every sphere of township life. The Dunkeld Development League was his creation and it was responsible for the great progress of the town in the late 1940s, 50s and 60s.

  • 1978
    A centenarian passes - Harriet Napier

    Harriet Napier (1875-1978). Wife of William Napier of Mirranatwa.

  • 1979
    Lions Ladies Auxiliary name change

    On 20th November 1979 the Lions Ladies Auxiliary changed their name to the Lioness Club.

  • 1980
    Friends group for the elderly formed

    The "Friends" group, working for the elderly was formed on 9th September 1980 with Rev. David Manks as the foundation President.

  • Lioness Club charter meeting

    The Dunkeld Lioness Club held their charter meeting on 6th June 1980.

  • Community - Edna Collins

    Edna Collins was an indomitable soul through the 1910-1980 period of time. She was a great horsewoman, winning many novelty events, a hard worker, a positive community helper and an independent thinker.

  • 1981
    Unchartered Apex Club formed

    A foundation meeting was held at the Dunkeld Hotel on 22nd July 1981, where the Unchartered Apex Club of Dunkeld was formed.

  • 1983
    Dunkeld Apex Club chartered

    Dunkeld Apex Club was chartered, It was by sponsor by Hamilton Apex Club on 18th February 1983 with President Andy Gordon, Secretary Dale Collins and Treasurer Gary Sommerville

  • Senior Citizens Club formed

    The Dunkeld Senior Citizens Club was formed on 4th February 1983, with first President W Morse, Vice Presidents Des Hogan and Ivy Picken, Secretary Lois Collins and Treasurer Brian Joyce.

  • Presbyterian Church becomes our Museum

    In March 1983, Elise Clabburn called a meeting, held at the Dunkeld Consolidated School, to purchase the former Presbyterian Church, built in 1865, to become the Dunkeld & District Historical Museum. 

  • Racing Club - Jack Baxter

    Jack Baxter (1898-1983) was a stalwart community man. He gave his time freely to many causes and was involved with the Dunkeld Racing Club, acting from time to time as their Treasurer, Assistant Secretary and Secretary. He acted as Secretary in the inaugural Mt. Abrupt Mountain Run in 1935.

  • 1984
    Quilting Group formed

    Grampians Piecemakers Quilting Group was formed on 22nd March 1984, meeting at the Dunkeld school library. Since then the meetings have been held in members homes.

  • National Park proclaimed

    The Grampians National Park was proclaimed on 1st October 1984.

  • Old Fashioned Picnic held

    Old Fashioned Picnic at the Mount Sturgeon Ford was the first Dunkeld Museum function.

  • 1985
    150th Anniversary Talent Night

    Dunkeld's 150th Anniversary Committee Talent Night Oct 12th 1985.

  • Dunkeld Museum opened

    Dunkeld Museum official opened on 12th October 1985 by Paul de Serville.

  • 1986
    Population 1986

    Census records indicate that Dunkeld now has 412 residents

  • Elderly Citizens Units completed

    The Elderly Citizens Units in Templeton St were completed and the first residents moved in.

  • Major Mitchell plaque unveiled

    Major Mitchell plaque was unveiled in Victoria Park, Dunkeld on 14th September 1986 by Professor Manning Clark, in honor of Major Mitchell, who passed through the district in 1836

  • Pony Club formed

    The Dunkeld Pony Club was formed

  • Elise Clabburn awarded

    Telecom-Jaycees Advance Australia Award for her contribution to her community

  • 1987
    Holiday House opened

    Opening of the Dunkeld Holiday House for handicapped people on Sunday 5th April 1987.

  • 1989
    Back to Dunkeld Celebrations held

    Dunkeld back to Celebrations 10-13th March 1989

  • A centenarian passes - Andrew Riddle

    Andrew Riddle (1889-1989). Husband of Alice, nee Field of Victoria Valley.

  • 1991
    A centenarian passes - Amy Crawford

    Amy Adelaide Crawford (1887- 1991). Wife of William Crawford, Sierra Park, Victoria Valley.

  • 1992
    A centenarian passes - Daphne Lewis

    Daphne Lewis (1891-1992). Wife of George Lewis, she lived her later years at Victoria Valley with her sister Effie McArthur.

  • 1993
    Neighbourhood Watch Programme formed

    Victoria Police Force held a Public Meeting at the Dunkeld hall on 10th March 1993 to establish a Neighbourhood Watch Programme for the district.

  • Community - Claude Taylor

    Claude Taylor (1906-1993), served Dunkeld well. He drove the school bus, served as a Councillor (Dunkeld Riding), operated movie shows in the local hall.

  • A centenarian passes - Millicent Young

    Millicent Young of Dunkeld, wife of Arthur Young. Millie didn't consider herself a local as she wasn't born in Dunkeld. She was alert and interested in local affairs, even at the grand age of 105. An excellent communicator, we believe she qualified as a living treasure. She died at 107 years of age.

  • 1994
    Visitor Information Centre opened

    The Visitor Information Centre opened on Sept 2 1994, just prior to Shire amalgamation from Dundas Shire to the Southern Grampians Shire. The Right Hon Patrick McNamara, Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism officially opened the Centre in the presence of Cr Eda Ritchie, Mt Rouse Shire President.

  • Dunkeld Historical Museum extension

    Elise Clabburn. Extension of the Dunkeld Historical Museum was opened on Friday 4th February 1994 by the Governor of Victoria, His Excellency the Hon. Richard E. McGarvie.

  • 1996
    Population 1996

    Census records indicate that Dunkeld now has 444 residents

  • 1999
    First Australia Day award recognition ceremony

    Australia Day event - first Australia Day award recognition ceremony.