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IN THE BEGINNING:

The small town of Darlingford (named after Sir Charles Darling, Governor of Victoria), near the junction of the Big and Goulburn Rivers came into being in the 1860's after gold was discovered in the area. It had seven hotels, five policemen, a log gaol, shops, post office and a small slab hut used as a school. Eildon station, a run of 25,500 hectares was first started in 1846 by Mr and Mrs Archibald Thom. The name Eildon was chosen by the couple because the area from Darlingford to Thornton reminded them of Mrs Thom's birthplace, the Eildon Hills near Abbotsford in Scotland.

SUGARLOAF RESERVOIR:

The township of Darlingford was flooded by the building of the Sugarloaf Reservoir. To house the men working on the reservoir, the new shanty town of Eildon began to arise. The State Rivers and Water Supply Commission built houses for their staff, a large mess room and single men's accommodation. However, some of the workers were still housed in tents. Those who brought their families provided their own accommodation by building bag houses made from jute cement bags, split open and stitched together and then painted with a mixture of tallow and whiting as waterproofing. A state school was built and staffed and this building was also used as a community hall and church.

EILDON DAM CONSTRUCTION:

During the construction of the Eildon Dam, approximately 4000 people were housed in the new township of Eildon. Construction of the town commenced in 1950 and was completed in 1952. Originally the town comprised 300 permanent houses, pre-cut and fabricated in England but assembled on site. Fourteen different plans were used to eliminate the sameness of appearance. There were 190 temporary houses and hostel buildings with accommodation for 1,275 workers.All services were installed, including roads, water supply, drainage, sewerage, and electricity. Great attention was paid to all details, including the provision to convert the workshop and stores buildings to factories for light industries after the completion of the dam. There were very few old buildings moved into the town from the Darlingford area. The original shops were in High Street, now Moore Park and were of a temporary design. The first block of eight permanent shops were built and occupied in 1954, followed by the bakery and the block facing east several years later.During the construction days, movies were shown every night and a talented revue company was formed from the local population. Variety shows and plays were performed frequently.

AFTER THE CONSTRUCTION:

On completion of the dam, the works area was purchased by the Masonite company for the manufacture of wallboard, but closed a few years later. These buildings are now occupied by various light industries. The authorities at the time recognised the fact that Lake Eildon had great potential as a recreational area and made provisions for boating, fishing and picnicking facilities around the shores of the lake.

TODAY:

Tourism is now the major industry as Lake Eildon is a great place for a relaxing holiday, away from the pressures of city living and is within easy driving distance from Melbourne and other centres in Victoria for a day trip. It is also a popular place for retirement.There is now a wide range of accommodation available which caters for every holiday makers need. There is easy access to three national parks and fishing is popular all year round. Lake Eildon is a great place to visit at any time of the year. Each season has its own attractions and contrary to expectations has a very temperate climate.


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Latest Discussion Forum Updates

RIVER HEIGHT~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ( mt )Statistics: Posted by mazman1 — Today, 09:51
GOULBURN RIVER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~AT EILDON D/SStatistics: Posted by mazman1 — Today, 09:50
GOULBURN WEIRStatistics: Posted by mazman1 — Today, 09:48

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