Ellinbank is a farming district in the foothills of the Strzelecki Ranges, about 11 km south of Warragul and about 113 km east of Melbourne.
Settlers traversed the densely forested hills from 1874, reaching their blocks via a bridle track from Drouin to the north. Originally called Warragul South, the district became known as Ellinbank because the first post office was at a property named Ellen Bank after the settler’s first wife.
From the 1880s to the early 1900s several sawmills worked in the area, sending timber by tramline to Darnum railway station. As the country was cleared and the flat land drained, the settlers began dairying. A butter factory and a creamery operated in the area in the late 1880s, and then farmers sent cream and later whole milk to factories at Warragul.
A school started in 1879 and a non-denominational church was constructed in 1881. An Anglican church opened in 1915. The growing community formed cricket, football and tennis clubs in the 1920s, and in 1930 a public hall was built. In 1968, the Anglican church was destroyed by fire and a new brick church was constructed on the site in 1971. Although this church burned down only months later, it was quickly rebuilt.
In 1950 about 350 acres of land at Ellinbank was purchased by the State Government. Originally intended as a dairy college, a dairy research station was established with three dairies, a laboratory and administrative block, workshops and staff residences. A new research complex was built in 2005. In addition to dairying, there are some bulb and flower farms, the first of which located to the area in 1946. The community retains the facilities of a school (22 pupils, 2014), church, hall and recreation reserve. There are Ellinbank and District football and netball leagues (1937, 1954). Ellinbank football club has won the most premierships.
Census populations for Ellinbank have been:
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