Rosebery is a rural locality on the Henty Highway and the railway line to Hopetoun, north-west Victoria. It is about midway between Hopetoun and Beulah, Beulah being 11 km away. It was named after the Earl of Rosebery, who toured eastern Australia in 1883-84 and was Britain’s Prime Minister in 1894.

There was minor closer settlement in the Rosebery district during the 1870s, and a hotel dated from that period. A school was opened in 1887 and the railway was extended through Rosebery in 1894. Rosebery’s wheat lands thus gained improved access to markets. The village developed with a general store, blacksmith, Presbyterian church, public hall and a hotel. Rosebery was described in the 1903 Australian handbook:

During the 1940s-60s Rosebery’s activity probably peaked, with the creation of a recreation reserve and an unusually active Presbyterian youth club which was known throughout the Mallee for giving local concerts. In ten years, however, the village virtually disappeared, with the closures of the hotel (1968), the school (1970), the football club (1894-1970), the Country Party branch (1970), the youth group (1971) and the store (mid-1970s). The silos are the chief remaining feature.

Rosebery’s census populations were:

census date population
1901 66
1911 333
1947 127
1961 175

Further Reading

North of the netting: a history of Beulah, Roseberry and districts, Back-to-Beulah Committee, 1988

Phil Taylor, Karkarooc: a Mallee Shire history, 1896-1995, Yarriambiack Shire Council, 1996