Lilliput is a rural locality in north-east Victoria, 7 km south of Rutherglen. It was named after the pastoral run taken up by three partners, one of whom was James Gullifer, in 1845. The run was relatively small in area, and the association of smallness and the kingdom of Lilliput in the novel Gulliver’s travels by Swift, apparently brought about the name.

Lilliput has always been an agricultural area. Gullifer’s farm homestead, c1848, was considered to be still liveable in 1983 and to be the oldest surviving building in north-east Victoria.

The agricultural economy was briefly overtaken by gold mining in about 1900 when the Great Southern mines came into production, about 2 km north-east. As Lilliput was on the railway line to Rutherglen (1879) it appears that some of the mining population chose to live near there. Lilliput was recorded in 1912 as having a railway station, a school (1869) and a hotel. Farming activity included dairying, and the Lilliput district was considered to extend westwards to include Norong.

By 1917 the last of the Great Southern mines had closed and agriculture remained as the mainstay. Lilliput’s school was closed in 1969 and the train service was suspended in 1995.

Lilliput’s census populations have been:

census date population
1911 579
1921 210
1933 152
1954 106
1961 81

Further Reading

Muriel McGivern, Big Camp Wahgunyah: history of the Rutherglen district, Spectrum Publications 1983