The Corangamite Shire area is rich in pastoral, indigenous and maritime history. Today, there are many reminders of our heritage – dry stone walls, homesteads, avenues, buildings and shipwreck relics.
Pre-1800’s - It is believed Koorie settlement of the area dates back some 50,000 years
1839 - Manifold brothers first discover Lake Purrumbete and Mount Leura Country – and move their stock to Purrumbete.
1841 - The population of the Western District is 1,260.
1849 - Opening of the first official post office at Old Timboon (located three kilometres north of the present site of Camperdown)
1857 - Hampden and Heytesbury Road District is proclaimed on 25 April.
1862 - The Parishes of Terang and Glenormiston are annexed to the Road District
1863 - Shire of Hampden is established.
1886 - The ‘Italian Style’ Shire Hall is built in Manifold Street and is still used as Council offices to this day
1895 - County of Heytesbury is formed
1895 - Thomas Manifold dies and leaves 1,000 pounds to build a clocktower in Camperdown
1952 - Camperdown becomes a separate municipality
1994 - Amalgamation sees the Shires of Hampden, Heytesbury and the Town of Camperdown combine to form the Corangamite Shire
“The scene was so different from anything I had even before witnessed, either in new South Wales or elsewhere. A land so inviting, and still without inhabitants! As I stood, the first European intruder on the sublime solitude of these verdant plains, as yet untouched by flocks or herds; I felt conscious of being the harbinger of mighty changes; and that our steps would soon be followed by the men and animals for which it seemed to have been prepared.”
Sir Thomas L. Mitchell on first sighting the Western District of Victoria.
Extract from T.L. Livingstone, Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia, Vol 2, London, 1839, p. 159.
Historical References for Corangamite Shire
Anderson, B. - On Western Lands – A History of the Shire of Hampden (1964-1994) 1996, Corangamite Shire Council.
Corangamite Arts - Tales of Corangamite… A collection of stories, poems and memories from district residents. 2001, Corangamite Arts.
McAlpine, R. - The Shire of Hampden 1963-1963. 1963. Shire of Hampden.
Willingham, A. Camperdown – A Heritage Study. 1995