Sunnyside was a mining town in eastern Victoria, 32 km north of Omeo. It was situated on the Mount Wills mining field, facing north and hence exposed to the sun. Its situation contrasted with Glen Wills on Mount Wills’ southern slope.
In 1890 the discovery of tin at Mount Wills raised high hopes of a mining revival that would rival Broken Hill. Over-estimation of the ore deposit and problems with accessibility dampened prospects, but gold emerged as a more profitable venture within a few years. A settlement estimated to number 500 people was formed at Sunnyside.
A school opened in 1897, and a long term resident recalled in later years that the township included a hotel, a Methodist church, a post office, a bakery, a blacksmith, a bootmaker and about four other stores. There were also a public hall and a football club.
The main mine was the United Brothers (1893) which operated continuously until 1902 and intermittently for another 11 years. The closure of the school in 1919 signified the end of mining at Sunnyside.
In the 1903 Australian handbook, Sunnyside was described as an offshoot township of Glen Wills:
During the 1930s many of the abandoned buildings were removed for farm sheds. The Methodist church was burnt down in 1939 and the hotel was lost to fire in 1959. Apart from a bluestoned bridle track, no visible trace of Sunnyside remains.
Sunnyside’s census populations were:
Keith McD. Fairweather, Brajerack: mining at Omeo and Glen Wills, 1983
Jim Ross and Debra Squires, When I was a boy at Sunnyside, Bairnsdale, 1988
Luke Steenhuis, Secrets of ghost towns of the high country, Vermont, 1998