Pine Lodge is a rural district in north central Victoria, 12 km east of Shepparton.
In 1839 the Arcadia pastoral run, enclosing all of the Shepparton district, was occupied, and in 1858 it was divided into two. The second part was named Pine Lodge, possibly because of the prevalence of the Callitris tree, known as Murray Pine. The timber is resistant to white ant infestation and was found in the original homestead when it was replaced in 1913.
In the 1870s the Pine Lodge property was subdivided for farm selections. Between 1878 and 1882 four schools were opened in the Pine Lodge district, indicating the extent of the place name, particularly eastwards to what is now Cosgrove. Pine Lodge’s school (1878) was opened in a Methodist Free Church, and the Methodist denomination continued to be the main one, building a new and substantial brick building in 1924. The original Pine Lodge village was westwards, near today’s Orrvale.
In 1883 the Pine Lodge weir was constructed on the Broken River which runs along the district’s southern boundary. It was the beginning of farm irrigation which was augmented by the Goulburn weir (1891) and the Eildon storage (1927). In 1925 the East Goulburn channel from the Goulburn/Waranga storages advanced to Pine Lodge.
Almost immediately upon the construction of the first weir dairying was taken up. Two creameries were opened in 1891, one at the railway station that had been opened in 1888 for the Shepparton to Dookie line. Both were acquired by the Shepparton butter factory in 1901. Dairying continued strongly until a run of bad seasons and increasing costs in the 1970s. Mixed grazing and cereals became the main farm outputs.
Further afield, beyond the reach of irrigation, sheep and cereals were raised. A silo was built at Pine Lodge railway station in 1942. The Orrvale district, where the Pine Lodge general store was sited (1875-1905) and the Pine Lodge Hotel is situated, came under dairying and orcharding. The various outlying schools with the name Pine Lodge North, etc, closed before World War II and Pine Lodge’s school closed in 1994. The village is at the intersection of Pine Lodge Road and the East Goulburn main irrigation channel. It has a recreation reserve, a hall and a Uniting Church.
Pine Lodge’s census populations have been:
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At the 2011 census, dairy farming accounted for 11.9% of employment and other farming 21.5%. Religious affiliations probably reflect Pine Lodge’s early Methodist settlers: at the 2011 census 28.7% of residents stated adherence to the Uniting Church, compared with 5% for Australia.
Pine Lodge district centenary 1877-1977, Research Committee, Pine Lodge Centenary Celebrations, c1978