Exploring Victoria: Yackandandah

Yackandandah Hotel, Yackandandah, Victoria, Australia

Yackandandah Hotel, Yackandandah, Victoria, Australia

Before I left Albury after my Murray River DFAS lecture, Sally and John took me to Yackandandah for lunch.

It’s a former gold-mining town that now seems to use tourists as a gold-mine.

Though there were settlers here from the 1840s, the discovery of gold in 1852 brought prospectors who based themselves in tiny camps with such names as Staghorn Flat, Allan’s Flat, Osborne’s Flat, Rowdy Flat, Whisky Flat, Bell’s Flat and Hillsborough.

The trading centre, which took the name Yackandandah from the creek that ran down the valley, was laid out in 1856-7 and by the 1860s had a population of 3,000.

The very first pupil on the roll of the state school in 1864 was Isaac Isaacs (1855-1948), who became the first Australian-born Governor General (1931-1936).  He was born in Melbourne:  his father was a tailor who brought his family to Yackandandah in 1859.

We had just enough time to visit the Yackandandah Historical Society & Museum [http://yackandandahmuseum.wordpress.com] which is housed in the Bank of Victoria building (1860) and the adjacent Manager’s House (1856), and to glance at Sam Cunningham’s store and carriage showroom (1850), the Post Office (1863), the Athenaeum (1878), the Yackandandah Hotel and the Yackandandah Motor Garage.

I didn’t have time to follow the Indigo Gold Trail [http://www.indigogoldtrail.com/Gold_Site_Detail_Pages/Yackandandah], or to take Greg Porter’s Karrs Reef Gold Mine Tour [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yHrNOWgJVc], or to seek out the Cemetery (1859) [http://www.uniqueyackandandah.com.au/index.php?page_id=34].

There’s so much history to be explored, not least in a boom-town that started up in the mid-nineteenth century, and lost its original raison d’être decades ago.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *