Alexandra - Culture and History

Pleasant service town located near picturesque Lake Eildon

This area of Victoria was explored by Hume and Hovell in 1824 as they made their way from the Murray River to Corio Bay. At the time it was inhabited by members of the Taungurong Aboriginal group. There was some settlement in the 1830s and 1840s but the area grew overnight when gold was discovered by Alexander McGregor, Alexander Don and Alexander Luckie (could their common first names have had something to do with the town's eventual name?) in 1866. Development was typically rapid. The town was surveyed in 1867, the shire was formed in 1869, the gold diggings had spread over nearly 90 square kilometres by the mid-1870s and by 1884 the whole area was deserted. But the town did survive. The railway arrived in 1909 and, in spite of the collapse of the gold industry, the agriculture sustained the town as important service centre for timber and mixed farming.

Today the town is a pretty service centre surrounded by hills. It has also become a fashionable rural retreat for craftspeople and the local weekend market displays and sells their wares