Daylesford and Glenlyon Shire

Daylesford and Glenlyon Shire (1966-95) was formed on 31 May 1966, by the union of Glenlyon Shire and Daylesford borough. Glenlyon Shire included the former Mount Franklin Shire which it absorbed on 1 October 1915. The original Glenlyon Shire was formed on 12 December 1865.

Daylesford and Glenlyon Shire thus originally comprised Mount Franklin Shire in its north, Glenlyon Shire in its south and the Daylesford borough (16 sq km) in its middle. The shire was immediately west of the railway line and the Calder Highway from Melbourne to Bendigo. A branch line from Carlsruhe, near Woodend, ran westwards through the Wombat Forest to Daylesford from 1880 to 1978, and from Daylesford to Creswick (1887-1953).

The railway passed through timber and agricultural towns such as Lyonville and Bullarto. At Daylesford the main economic base was gold mining (until 1928) and tourism from the many mineral springs. Tourism and spa water recovered popularity during the 1980s at both Daylesford and Hepburn about 5 km to the north. They are enclosed by the Hepburn regional park which has numerous walking tracks and visual attractions. Mount Franklin, about 15 km north of Daylesford, is an impressive volcanic cone. To the north-west there is the former gold town of Yandoit.

Daylesford and Glenlyon Shire had an area of 604 sq km. In 1995 the shire had ten hotels and motels with 387 bed spaces, supported by numerous bed-and-breakfast establishments. In 1994 farmland took up 27% of the shire's area, and carried 6800 cattle and 41,000 sheep and lambs. 4500 tonnes of potatoes were also grown.

On 19 January 1995, the shire was united with Creswick Shire and parts of Kyneton and Talbot and Clunes shires to form Hepburn Shire. The census populations were as follows:

Area 1881 1911 1961 1966 1976 1986 1991
Glenlyon Shire 2361 1714 1869 - - - -
Mt Franklin Shire 3400 2404 - - - - -
Daylesford borough 3892 3928 2776 - - - -
Daylesford and Glenlyon Shire - - - 4398 4090 5270 5910

Further Reading

W. Jacobs et al, Daylesford and Glenlyon conservation study, part 2, Hepburn Shire, 2000

Bullarto, Daylesford, Drummond, Eganstown, Glenlyon, Hepburn, Leonards Hill, Lyonville, Mount Franklin Shire and Yandoit entries