Elaine is a rural village on the Midland Highway 30 km south-east of Ballarat and 8 km from Meredith, which is also on the highway. The Melbourne to Ballarat railway line crosses the highway at Elaine.

When the railway line was opened in 1862 the two main communities were Catholics and Free Presbyterians. The latter opened a school in 1864 at the nearby Stony Rises. A Catholic school was also opened, but upon its temporary closure in 1874 a government school was opened (1875). The Elaine township had quartz-mining gold production, three hotels, four stores, two butchers and a draper. It continued in much the same vein after the close of the century, as outlined in the Australian handbook in 1903:

The Catholic community maintained a school attendance at its school equal to or higher than the government school’s, although by the 1940s its local school was closed and pupils went to Meredith. The State primary school had an enrolment of 12 in 1998 and closed the following year. Pupils now go to Lal Lal school. Soon after the football and tennis clubs closed.

Elaine has two churches, a hotel, a public hall and a recreation reserve. In 2013, after community fund-raising and government assistance, new tennis courts were opened. Its census populations have been:

area Census date Population
Elaine 1881 427
  1911 434
  1947 184
  1961 219
Elaine and environs 2011 325

Further Reading

Peter M. Griffiths, Three times blest: a history of Buninyong and district 1837-1901, Buninyong, 1988

The Age, 16 June 2013