Selby is a semi-rural township 37 km south-east of Melbourne. It is 2 km east of Belgrave, and was the first station on the narrow gauge railway (1900) to Gembrook (now the ‘Puffing Billy’ scenic railway).

The settlement of Selby occurred in conjunction with Menzies Creek, a short distance eastwards. The provision of a station on the narrow gauge railway in 1901 required the giving of a name. Selby was chosen, as a compliment to a local landowner and councillor, George Selby.

The land around Selby is particularly hilly, as evidenced by the curves in both the road and the railway. The eastern side of the township is dominated by the steep Black Hill, on which there is a reserve. Whilst the topography put restraints on farming it attracted tourists and weekenders. In the 1920s Selby's weekend population rivalled Belgrave's, but scarcity of subdivided land drew holiday makers and others away from Selby. Some notable Melburnians built homes in Selby, and the Carlotta Tye Memorial Anglican church (1938) commemorates the wife of George Tye, owner of a Melbourne furniture emporium.

Selby's proximity to Belgrave ultimately attracted residential subdivisions, and a primary school was built in 1951. The township has several reserves and the post office and a few shops continue to serve local needs. Selby primary school had 231 pupils in 2014.

Selby's census populations have been:

Area Census date Population
Selby 1933 159
  1947 258
  1954 383
  2001 1421
Selby and environs 2006 2010
  2011 1660*

* census area in 2011 smaller than in 2006

Further Reading

Helen Coulson, Story of the Dandenongs, 1838-1958, Melbourne, 1968