Smiths Gully is a rural locality in the southern foothills of the Kinglake Ranges, 34 km north-east of central Melbourne. It is in the area that was the Caledonia gold diggings, stretching from St Andrews to Warrandyte.
In late 1854 gold was discovered in Smiths Gully (then known as Bostons Gully after an American miner), and a village named Market Square formed where Smiths Gully turns north into Old Caledonian Gully. The Queenstown cemetery approximates the location of Market Square. (Queenstown was the original name of St Andrews, 2 km north of Smiths Gully).
A settler, Samuel Smith, was a butcher at Queenstown. He operated a slaughter house near a stream since named Smiths Gully Creek which is joined to Old Caledonian Gully Creek which once again becomes Smiths Gully further south. Smith's descendants operated butchering businesses into the 1900s and several are buried in the Queenstown cemetery. An alternative explanation for the name is that two brothers, Smythe, discovered gold in the Old Caledonian Gully a little before Boston came on the scene.
Primary schools operated in Smiths Gully during 1867-84 and in 1886. A post office opened in 1902 and continues at the general store in the Kangaroo Ground – St Andrews Road. The cemetery is 1 km east of the store, and there is a heritage trail along Old Caledonian Gully Creek from the cemetery to St Andrews. Along the trail there is evidence of a State gold battery (c1919) in the Peter Franke reserve near the cemetery.
Census populations have been:
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