Bolwarrah is a rural locality 85 km north-west of Melbourne and 15 km from Ballan. The name is thought to be derived from an Aboriginal word which described a shrub, Eupomatia laurina, with glossy laurel-like leaves. The shrub is known as rosebush or bolwarra.
A post office and a school were opened in Bolwarrah in 1875 and 1886 respectively. There was a substantial village at the turn of the century, and it was described in the Australian handbook, 1903:
In 1915 the Moorabool Reservoir was constructed, inundating the village and much adjacent farmland. The school was moved, and a church and the post office survived. During the 1960s the school was closed.
Bolwarrah’s census populations were: