Major Thomas Mitchell passed through Clunes in 1836 and pronounced it "good".
Donald Cameron, a 21 year old Scot from Loch Lochie in Scotland, brought his flock 600 miles from Sydney in 1839, heading from the Portland Bay District, but he and his Uncle Dugald decided that this area was a good place to settle. Donald Cameron named this valley "Clunes" after his home in Scotland, the name meaning in Gaelic "A Pleasant Place".
The site of the Cameron homestead can be seen along the creek, downstream from the ford about half a mile, where a large group of trees are still to be seen at a bend in the creek.
Dugald Cameron set up his station at Mount Cameron, which was named after him. The Clunes Station of Donald Cameron in 1847 covered 32,000 acres and carried 15,000 sheep and 50 cattle.
During the 1840s there were many rumours of gold being found in the area by shepherds, but the squatters suppressed the evidence to keep the district as a quiet pastoral district. A young man named Chapman took the first sample of gold to a Melbourne jeweller in 1849. It was known by many that the quartz reefs on the Cameron station contained gold, and that many other deposits would be found around this area of the Port Philip Settlement, which was still part of the Colony of New South Wales. When Victoria became a Colony and was separated from New South Wales, a reward for the discovery of gold, to start the exodus of people from the new colony was made by a group of Melbourne business men, who offered the sum of £210 ($420)
In July 1851, James Esmond, who had been to the goldfields of California, came to Clunes and mined some samples from the quartz, then journeyed to Geelong to report the discovery. He reached Geelong on Saturday, 5th July 1851 where the report of his discovery was received with great enthusiasm. The news was published in the Geelong Advertiser on Monday, 7th July 1851. On Wednesday, 9th July 1851, the Melbourne Daily News reported a find at Andersons Creek (Warrandyte) so the gold rush started in Victoria. James Esmond then returned to Clunes with his partner, James Pugh and commenced mining in Clunes.
In many cases, as people rushed to the gold areas, gold was extracted by very primitive and laborious means. One man was reported to be breaking quartz with a hammer, and extracting the gold with his knife.
For the first six years, mining was still on a very small scale, and people lived and worked in very difficult conditions.
In 1855 Donald Cameron sold his station property and returned to Scotland where he purchased a property near Inverness and named it "Clunes".
In 1857, the Port Philip Company became interested in the Clunes reefs, when Mr. Rivett Henry Bland heard of their possibilities. In February of that year, a lease was drawn up with the owners of the land, to give the Company the right to mine on the land for 21 years, the owners to receive 10% of all gold mined. This proved very profitable, at first 160 acres then later 50 acres, the royalty amounting to £135,000 ($270,000) in the first twenty-four years.
The Clunes Quartz Gold Mining Company was responsible for the underground work, but eventually the two Companies became The Co-Operative Company and the shareholders were receiving good dividends by this time.
Clunes began to prosper from 1857 and from a small cluster of huts and tents, soon grew to a sizeable town. By the end of 1858, there was plenty of work and the mines were paying well and everyone was prosperous. In 1859 Fraser Street was described as being a "mass of mud" and ladies were losing their footwear. By this time the population had reached 1,000 and by 1861 had grown to 1083 and there were 470 dwellings.
By this time Clunes had its own council and 292 children attended five schools. The population progressed in 1866 to 3526, 8 schools, 850 dwellings, 5 churches, and 7 quartz mines. By 1862 Clunes possessed Freemasons Lodge, Manchester United Order, Oddfellows, Forresters, St.Andrews Society, Hiberian Society, Rechabites, Orange Lodge, Protestant Alliance, Good Templars.
There were many private schools, and by 1875 the North Clunes State School was built, and in 1880 the South Clunes State School. The Police Company was established on Camp Hill, in Camp Parade. There were 15 hotels, 12 grocers, 1 baker, 6 butchers, 4 fruit and confectionary shops, 2 restaurants, 4 boarding houses, 2 tailors, 3 drapers, 4 bookshops, 2 painters and paperhangers, 2 ironmongers, 4 blacksmiths, 2 wheelwrights, 2 stationers, 5 churches, 2 doctors, 3 foundries, 1 gas works and several brickmaking yards.
Up to 1860, the only crossing over the creeks were fords or small bridges, but in 1861 the Victorian Government made £10,000 available to build the stone bridge at the end of Bailey Street, near Creswick Road, which is still known as Government Bridge. The first construction was a laminated wooden arch, which was very handsome, but was rebuilt, in 1896 of stone and steel girders. About 1864, a substantial bridge was built at the end of Service Street and by this time there were many other small bridges, built by the mines or private people.
By the 1860s and early 70s there were 63 businesses and 23 hotels in the length of Fraser Street. The maximum number of licensed hotels in the borough was in 1870, when 50 licences of £25 ($50) were paid to the Council.
CLUNES IN 1863 AND 1879 by J. M. SINCLAIR Supplied by Mac Jenkins firstname.lastname@example.org
(Published in "Clunes Guardian" January 1881)
Recently, after an absence of several years, I paid Clunes a visit, and strolling about the town could not help observing the various changes it has undergone during the past eighteen years.
To any person residing on Clunes for that period of time, and never being away from it, these various alterations and changes in the town may have been hardly noticeable, being so gradual, but to me, who spent my schoolboy days on Clunes at that time, and having the whole town in my mind's eye as it appeared then, every change in it on passing through, is at once noted.
Even the surrounding country has altogether a different appearance, having been totally denuded of timber. At that time, from McDonald's paddock, on the station pre-emptive right, all the way to Mt. Glasgow was a thick forest, composed of ironbark and stringy bark on the ranges, and box and red gum on the flats nearer Clunes.
The cemetery was embowered in the woods, the bush extending to the banks of what was then called the Back Creek, now known as Kilkenny Creek. Now all that remains to be seen of this forest are a few scattered stumps, and these split and chipped down to half their former dimensions in helping to provide fuel for the town.
The few trees that are left in McDonald's paddock have a stunted appearace, but yet are a relief to the eye, on viewing the surrounding waste. Mt. Beckworth in the background, once presenting a beautiful dark green appearance through being clothed with forest to the summit,now has a very bare look, and hardly recognisable as the old Mount, to which numbers of us as schoolboys used to make for on receiving a holiday, or in taking one on our own account, and two or three of us stealing off to enjoy the pleasures of a bush ramble on the quiet.
What an immense distance through the bush did the four or five miles to its summit seem in those days, and how fagged and weary have we returned from some of those excursions, with a hard lump in our stomachs, caused by the large quantity of indigestible wattle gum we had eaten.
On crossing McDonald's paddock, by the old track I used to take in going to school I approach near the lower end of the town On the hill above is the fine residence and grounds of Mr. Bland, and my memory instantly recalled schoolboy fights, fought in the midst of a circle of friends of my opponents and my own, just on the very site on which the house now stands.
My antagonist - a farm labourer- at length getting the worst of it, what a hero I was for the time being. I recollect meeting him two or three years ago, in a far up-country township, carrying his swag; a powerful, square built, red whiskered chap, and wondered how ever I was successful in thrashing him in our battle years ago.
On the other side of the creek I notice that the old Port Phillip Battery has been pulled down, and the side of the hill has undergone a great change to what it used to be. Entering the lower end of Fraser Street, I find that since the olden time the street has been altered; formerly it was a narrow road without metal, following close along the creek, opposite the old Port Phillip, coming out behind Mr. Bayliss' and Dr Richmond's houses.
Where the lower end of Fraser Street now comes out towards the station was then gardens.
Coming up a little further I miss several well known places. The Criterion Hotel, then kept by Elder, and the Victoria hotel by Jorgenson, the latter at the foot of Camp Hill - both have been swept away by fire; also the livery stables on the opposite side, on the bank of the creek.
Glancing up Camp Hill I see another alteration. What formerly was a steep hill of black soil, with deep water channels down it, is now a metalled, well formed street, with good footpaths. Across the creek th Clunes United and Criterion claims have disappeared.
Martin's store is still on its old site on the corner near the bridge, but Mr. Martin, so well known to all old Clunes residents, is now in one of the up-country districts. On the opposite corner I miss the hay and corn store, once kept by Mr. Whittleson, afterwards by Mr. Winchester, it having been removed.
The Commercial Hotel is still kept by Mr. Luckcraft, whom I see standing at the door, apparently unchanged or unaltered by the swiftly passing years. Across the s treet from him is yet standing the blue painted shop built by Mr Borland, and occupied by him seventeen or eighteen years ago as a boot and shoe mart.
This gentleman is, I believe, in Maryborough now and in the same line of business. After he left Clunes this place was occupied by Mr Robert Mather, as a grocers shop, and after him if my memory serves me right, by Mr Rankine, bootmaker.
I now come to a blank space, once occupied by Hansen's tinsmith shop, and the two storey wooden building, once Connell's store and afterwards opened by Mr. Wingate as the Albion Hotel, and also Symons' butcher's shop. All these places have been removed. I now stand and gaze bewildered at the great change I see has taken place in this lower end of the town. Formerly this was the busiest part of Clunes, in which were all the principal business places.
It now wears such a deserted foresaken aspect - seemingly tenented only by the "Yellow Agony" instead of the thrifty European tradesmen - that a saddened feeling comes over me.
Who would ever have dreamt, eighteen years ago, such a retrograde movement would have taken place instead of progression. On a Saturday night , in those bygone days, what a throng used to parade this portion of the street, now so silent and forsaken.
Next comes the fine brick stores of Patterson Mark, then doing such a large trade, but are now closed. Mr. Mark died many years ago, and I recollect a portion of this building was afterwards occupied by Mr. Barry Case, draper, now I learn located in one of the New Zealand towns.
The old Kent Hotel is still standing. In a portion of this was the Lyceum Theatre, the great hall for entertainment at one time. It was being used.as an orderly room for volunteers when I left, whom I learn now have a fine new drill hall erected at the head of Fraser Street.
On the other side of the street a quartz battery is erected on the site where Shields had his bootmaker's shop, and where Mr. Sloan's boot shop used to be, and formerly occupied by the Union Bank. Next to this is where Mr. McMurchy, better known as 'Sandy the baker' had his bakery; above this was Schraffnorht's toy shop.
The latter gentleman has also gone to join the great majority, having died about four months ago up near Lake Boort, where he had a farm. Next to him was Mr.Smith, watchmaker, who I learn left Clunes a few years ago for the metropolis. Next to Mr. Smith was Mr. Jones, grocer, and then further on the well known Bull and Mouth Hotel, kept first by Mr. Luckcraft, and afterwards by Mr. Condon.
It is altered a good deal, having now a fine large verandah in front of it. This was formerly the starting place for Cobb & Co.'s Coaches and was a place of no little importance in those days.
Across the street from it is the Washington Hotel kept by Mr.George, and afterwards by Mr. Wiles.,
On the other side of the street I miss the wooden building kept by Mr. Richardson as a restaurant, on the site of which is now a brick building called the Bellevue Hotel. Next to it was the Fire Brigade Station. There is a narrow right of way, through which I many a time went, going from the street up over the Alliance hill to Kempson's school.
One one side of this passage is the stone building erected by Mr. Morgan (also deceased many years ago), on the site of the old Wesleyan Church and School. Next to it is the stone building once occupied by by Mr. Hyman, bookseller, after he shifted up from the lower end of the town. Adjoining it is a two storey brick building erected by Mr. Rose, on the site of a small wooden building.
Further on Mr.Shrigley's Medical Hall has undergone a great alteration in front. Above this there were several small wooden shops, One of which was occupied by Mr. Phillips, saddler, and one by Mr. Bell, tailor, after he shifted down from North Clunes.
Opposite this the street has undergone a complete alteration The Stag's Head in former days was a wooden building far back from the street and kept by Mr. Cullis; now it is a fine brick hotel. Across the right of way leading to North Clunes was a wooden building, kept by Mr.Morrison as a booksellers shop.
From here all the way up to Mr. Weickhardt's bakery all the original buildings have been swept away by fire ten years ago, yet I can recollect the different places that were here, although forgetting the names of their various occupants.
Near Mr. Weickhardt's I miss the carpenter's shop of Messers Gass & Fraser, and the store and wine shop kept at one time by an Italian named Antonio who, poor fellow, got drowned whilst drawing a bucket of water on board a vessel, on his way to Camden Harbour, many years ago, when the Ballarat and Clunes people were endeavouring to form a settlement there.
Afterwards this store was kept by another Italian named Battilana. It was built back from the street on the site of where a good brick building now stands. Mr. Weickhardt's shop is also altered, having been raised considerably and brought forward. Next to it is the old brick building, once the Clunes Gazette printing office, conducted by Chatwin and Tarrant.
Looking before me I behold with astonishment the wonderful change that has taken place in the street. What was formerly in 1863 and 1864 only a straggling street, with houses only at intervals, and the roadway unmetalled, is now a fine broad street, as wide as Bourke Street in Melbourne; thoroughly formed, and water channels flagged, closely built upon, with splendid shops of every description, and several banks, the buildings of which are very handsome and well finished.
The general bustle and traffic, and prosperous appearance of the upper part of Fraser Street, fully accounts for the desertion of the lower part of the town, and I can readily observe the great progression Clunes has made during the years I have been absent from it. Proceeding further up I all at once miss the Church of England building on the right hand side. This has disappeared to make way for a handsome stone church, built up at the head of Templeton St. I soon notice Wiles Cub Hotel, a splendid two-storey building, which would do credit to Ballarat or Melbourne.
From what I can remember this must be erected on the site of the wooden building with verandah on front, once occupied by Mr. Ethersay as a private school. Just on the other side of the street from this, I recollect in 1863 seeing a bullock team laden with potatos, stuck fast in the black soil, and can remember stopping for a couple of hours watching the excited oxen conductor running up and down the team and indulging in dreadful fits of profanity, whipping the poor cattle in great style, trying them on the near lock and the off lock all to no receiving advice from the Cornish miners who had collected on the spot, and probably had never seen a bullock team stuck fast before.
After receiving all sorts of advice from these clever novices, he had to at length set to work and to unload to the last tier of bags before he could extricate the waggon. I can hardly realise this as the same green grassy street or roadway where this happened, but I beleive if the bullock driver is alive yet, and been absent from Clunes ever since, and arriving now, he could point out the precise spot where he had been anchored in the black glue pot.
I can remember the place now occupied by Mr. Brooke, draper, being built by Messrs. Nichol and Wallace, and opened by them as an ironmonger's shop. After the building was finished, the Presbyterians held a grand bazaar in it, which I recall attending. From this to the shop lately occupied by Mr.Kelly, fruiterer, there were several small cottages and gardens.
Mr.Kelly's place was occupied by Mr.Moser, Photographer and watchmaker. Mr. Moser I saw some time ago, I think it was in Deniliquin, N.S.W. where he had then a photographic studio.
Where the old Royal Hotel used to stand is now to be seen Mr.J Sloan's boot and shoe shop, and Mr.J.Preston's ironmonger's establishment, but from there to the corner of Fraser Street is unrecognisable by me.
I remember a large wooden shop being at the corner of Service and Fraser Streets, kept if I remember correctly, by a Mr. Free as a butchery. Looking across the street I endeavour in vain to locate the various sites of the former buildings. I fancy I know the position of where Nobles store and Zornigs dweIling house, and Mr . Walton, chemist was; also the high roofed place occupied by the Rev. Mr. Downes Presbyterian minister, before the stone manse was built up near the church, but the remainder of the old buildings I cannot place at all.
The longer I gaze, the more I get confused, and I have at last to turn away. On the corner, where Mr.Mc.Coll's white painted cottage stood, is now a fine brick building occupied by Mr. Jobson as a grocery establishment. Looking towards the creek I observe a substantial bridge has been constructed across it, connecting Service Street with Angus Street. On the creek further up in the olden time Mr.Fell had his rough bridge of logs, being kept in supply of these by the bullock drivers if a heavier flood than usual damaged the structure.
Proceeding up Service Street I find the Mechanic's Institute has disappeared, a fine brick building having been erected in Templeton Street instead. From here to the corner of Bailey Street is all altered, having been rebuilt upon.
Across the street Dr. Robinson's neat little residence remains the same as ever, but the worthy doctor went home to Ireland many years ago.
I cannot recognise in the substantial built, handsome Post Office, the low tumble down looking structure which did duty in the early days, but Mr. Collier still remains Postmaster here as in former years. Turning to the right I traverse Bailly Street, with it's row of handsome gum trees, now well metalled, formerly in summer a dusty roadway, and in winter a quagmire of mud. The little wooden Council Chambers, in which the wise men of the city used to assemble in solemn conclave, has been replaced by a fine Town Hall.
Further on, the Catholic Church, then an unpainted weather-beaten wooden building, has a splendid stone edifice erected on it's site. On the other side of the street was a wooden building, painted red, occupied then by Duncan & Johnston, carpenters, and also used by the youth of Clunes as a gymnasium. I can recollect this as the first time I saw boxing gloves, the mittens being kept for those members who preferred the scientific game.
Coming on towards the head of Templeton Street I at once miss Lamble's school, a long unpainted wooden building, which was situated at the corner of Bailey and Templeton Streets. A chaff cutting and grocery establishment are now built on the site of it, and Mr. Longstaff's timber yard which was the next place lower down from the school.
Across the head of Templeton Street from this is the Fire Station and tower, and the Mechanic's Institute, both good buildings. I enter the Mechanic's Institute, now a Free Library, to view the interior, and cannot help comparing it with the dingy old place in Service Street. The building reminds me greatly of the Free Library in Echuca, being of much the same design and size.
The Echuca one, if anything, is superior, being fitted around the walls with show cases containing curiosities of various descriptions, and a fine collection of native weapons. Digressing a little, and hoping the worthy inhabitants of Clunes will not accuse me of presumption in making the suggestion, I think if they were to adopt the same plan, and by obtaining from the various mining claims specimens of the different gold bearing quartz obtained in the mines, and so gradually getting a quantity of mineral specimans together, in time a very interesting collection, at a trifling cost, in the matter of a few show cases, would be the result.
There is nothing so interesting and instructive to the visitor to any town than on entering an institution of this kind to be able to view all the natural curiosities of the district in this manner. On leaving the library I proceed up towards Kempson's school, anxious to see the place once again, where the only eventful portions of my boyhood days were spent.
Where the cutting is now, below the Church of England, was formally a steep unmetalled hill. On arriving at the head of the cutting I look down to the right and notice that a dam has been constructed in the gully below the old Alliance battery. This is the gully to which we used to proceed to have all our fights out when attending school. We went down in this glen to have it out quietly, where Mr. Kempson would not be able to see us. Many a plucky combat took place. In addition to the general run of fights here settled, there would be sometimes a big boy fighting two smaller ones at one time; or it now and then occurred that one able bodied young pugilist would be standing his ground against his opponent one handed, having the other arm strapped with a belt so that he could not use it, by some of the other boys who were there to see fair play. This steep-sided gully was just as celebrated to some of the boys, who attended the school seventeen years ago, as any of the ancient Roman amphitheatres where the gladiatorial contests took place in bygone ages, are to the inhabitants of Rome now. But notwithstanding all the disputes and battles we would be as good friends as ever the day after they had taken place.
On the site of the new Church Of England I can recollect several fierce stone fights taking place between our school and Lamble's. There were on several occasions forty or fifty of the oldest boys of each school engaged in these affrays, and some very severe cuts were often inflicted by the missies. We generally got the best of them, driving them back over the hill to the very threshold of their own school before leaving them. Stone throwing in those days was much more indulged in than now; there being hardly such a thing as a shanghai about then, boys got to be singularly proficient in throwing stones. I have now, and will have as long as I live, a lump on the side of my head, caused by a stone thrown at me in those days, as I was one of the most accurate throwers in the school, I have no doubt that more than one boy who went to Lamble's school then can attest to my accuracy of aim in a like manner.
Strolling along quietly, and looking on either side of me, I recall many a school day incident which took place then.
Away to the right are the workings of the old Alliance Company, whose old drives and deep deserted shafts, with rotten ladders, I and some other adventurous boys have fully explored.
Fetching candles with us from home, when we were set free at the dinner hour, three or four of us would start off, and soon with candle in hand, would be descending some of the shafts after swallows nests, down the brittle rotten ladders, not thinking or caring in the slightest about the great risk we ran in breaking our necks. Or perhaps descending some of the shafts on the face of the hill, we would get into the drives and explore their, to us, dark and mysterious chambers, many a time returning too late for school in the afternoon in consequence thereof. I soon arrive near where the old schoolhouse was, as on looking before me I can see that the old wooden place has gone, and a large brick building has been erected on the other side of Mr. Kempson's dwelling house, and now used as a State School.
Between the road and where our school stood a dwelling house has been built. Well, this is not what I was prepared to see; throughout the many years elapsed since I left the school I have always retained in my memory the exact representation of the place as I left it.
It was an old wooden building, with low walls, and the door facing the east. The walls were well propped up on the outside with stout round props to keep them from falling outwards. How well I can recollect the interior of the place the stove in the centre, lit occasionally in winter, and the desks ranged lengthwise in the building, and Mr. Kempson's desk or table on the northern side of the school. with a chalk half-circle drawn on the floor, extending around one side of it, for the various classes to stand up to while hearing their lessons. I can remember the position of every map on the walls as they were hung then. Once I was sentenced to stop in after school hours in the afternoon until five o'clock, and write a good number of lines out of a book, as punishment for some mischief I had been into.
Well, it so happened that I was the only one detained in school that evening and Mr.Kempson, having seen me fairly started on my task went out, locking the door, and taking the key with him. He went round to the north side to the garden, having a fine collection of flowers, which he took a pride in attending to. I watched him out the window take his spade and commence work. Now, the silence and loneliness of that schoolroom was something awful, and as I had not yet put more than ten minutes of my time in, how was I to get over the next hour? I did not take long to deliberate; getting my hat, I had another look through the window at Mr.Kempson. I saw he was delving away quietly, so going to the south side of the schoolroom I opened a window, and was soon out in the open air again, a free man or boy once more.
Carefully keeping the building between Mr.Kempson and me, I struck out on the plain for a good distance, and then taking a circuit, crossed where Suburban Street now is and was soon on the Talbot road. I had another look in the direction of the garden and saw Mr.Kempson stop work, and sticking the spade in the ground, proceeded round the schoolhouse. I then started off again and soon after joined some of my comrades, loitering on the homeward track, who were not a little astonished to see me
Of course I got "goss" next day from the master, but that did not matter much as long as I did not get solitary confinement again. Those were happy days, nevertheless, and what Pleasant gatherings there were in the old school-house at the distribution of the prizes at the annual tea night, the afternoon previous being passed at sports of all sorts.
Generally at the distribution of prizes the Rev.Mr .Downes presided, he always taking a great interest in the school, and was greatly respected by all the boys. He used to know them all, and wherever he met them had always a kind word for them. Many of the old school boys now grown up to manhood, and scattered all over the colonies, remember with pleasure the genial kind hearted Mr.Downes.
He too has passed to the bourne from whence no traveller ever returns, having died on Clunes in 1866. Gazing on the spot where the old school-house stood, I wonder what has become of my school chums of those days, how far scattered now and how varied their vocations. Several I know are in New Zealand and Queensland, others in New South Wales, some in South Australia, in Tasmania, and others scattered over Victoria.
Some of them are dead also. I can recollect the names of a number who went in 1863, and if Mr.Kempson had a muster of all his old school boys who went then, I doubt if he would recognise many of them. In naming some of the who went then I hope any who have risen above the old school names by which we were known to one another then, and are now Members of Parliament or Governors of Colonies, etc. or have got towards any of the topmost rungs of the social ladder, will pardon me for the sake of old times, naming them thus familiarly.
There was Edward Gillespie, David and Alex. Chalmers, Thornton Smith, Allan McDonald,- now a six foot six giant, Roderick McInnes, Samuel and Paul Jones, John Wallis, John Ferguson, John Lukey, Gustave and Robert Wolfe, Peter, Charles and Richard Kempson, William Taylor, Joseph and William Broad, George Kruse, James and Fred Bayliss, Richard Minnet, John Uren, John McAllister, Frank Cox, Charles Milne, James Pleasant, Richard Bone, John Wingate, Charles Symons, Donald and Alex Grant, Alex and James Sinclair, Andrew Nicholls, William Smith, Martin Bennet, Phillip Willoughby, William Coxhill, William and John Jessup,, James Hines, James and Edward Wiles, E.Rankin, Charles Hugo, Waiter Harding, John Stewart, Robert Ewings and L Thomas.
These are the names of some of those going to school at the time, and there are many more that I remember well enough, but have forgotten their names at present. Mr. Kempson has the school built by the State close to where the old private school stood, and has done his share of tutoring the youths of Clunes, he having been teaching there for now for twenty two or twenty three years.
Taking a tour about the town another day I observe the great extension Clunes has made out on the Ballarat and Creswick roads, and the extensive township of North Clunes. I miss many old landmarks during my walk about, but on the whole must say that Clunes has made wonderful progression in every way, from the insignificant village it was in 1863. Like all towns dependant on mining it has its season of depression as well as prosperity. If Mr.Cameron, the original settler of this part of the country, and who gave Clunes its name after the estate of his father in Scotland were to see it now, I'msure it would surprise him greatly.
Once tenanted by blacks, kangaroos and emus, then sheep and a few shepherds, now by a busy thrifty European population. With pleasant recollections of my visit to Clunes, I depart from it again, wishing its inhabitants health, wealth and prosperity
"Retrospect by James McInnes Sinclair in 1930"
Supplied by Mac Jenkins email@example.com