Casterton, Victoria

Last updated

Casterton
Victoria
Casterton Henty Street 003.JPG
Henty Street (Glenelg Highway), the main street of Casterton. Note the Fleur-de-Lis and the name of the town carved into the hill in the background.
Australia Victoria Glenelg Shire location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Casterton
Coordinates 37°35′0″S141°24′0″E / 37.58333°S 141.40000°E / -37.58333; 141.40000 Coordinates: 37°35′0″S141°24′0″E / 37.58333°S 141.40000°E / -37.58333; 141.40000
Population1,673 (2021 census)
Established1846
Postcode(s) 3311
Elevation73 m (240 ft)
Location
LGA(s) Shire of Glenelg
State electorate(s) Lowan
Federal division(s) Division of Wannon
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
19.9 °C
68 °F
8.3 °C
47 °F
660.4 mm
26 in

Casterton /ˈkɑːstətən,ˈkæs-/ [1] is a town in Victoria, Australia, located on the Glenelg Highway, 42 kilometres east of the South Australian border, in the Shire of Glenelg. The Glenelg River passes through the town. Casterton is named after the village of Casterton in south-east Cumbria in England. [2]

Contents

History

Prior to white settlement, Aboriginal people of the Konongwootong Gundidj clan lived in the local area. The first white explorers to pass through the area were the expedition led by Major Thomas Mitchell in 1836 who spoke enthusiastically of the landscape's green hills, soft soils and flowery plains, describing it as ideal for farming and settlement, naming it Australia Felix. [3] The first white settlers in the area were the Henty brothers who had landed in Portland, Victoria in 1834 and who claimed 28,000 hectares between what are now the towns of Casterton and Coleraine. 'Warrock' Station, a sheep farming settlement, was established in 1841, 26 km north of what would be Casterton. [4]

The township of Casterton began on the crossing site of the Glenelg River, the location having been surveyed in 1840, and the first pub, the Glenelg Inn, was established in 1846 with a post-office opening the following year. [3] The early history of the region was marred by violent clashes between settlers and Indigenous people, including multiple murders of Aboriginals that took place near Casterton in the late 1830s and early 1840s. [5]

In 1891, a large number of Casterton women signed the Women's Suffrage Petition to be tabled in the Victorian Parliament to grant women the right to vote (which was not allowed until 1908). [6] By the 1890s, increasing soil erosion saw wheat-farming around Casterton begin to decline and it was largely replaced by meat, wool and dairy farming. Casterton's population expanded in the early 20th century, especially in the 1920s with the arrival of large numbers of soldier-settler farmers and during the post-war era in the 1950s.

The Rail line to Casterton was closed 12 September 1977. [7]

The town's population began to decline in the 1990s which was consistent with the statewide trend of decreasing populations in many rural areas and the ageing of the local population. As of the 2021 census, the town had a population of 1,673 with the average age being 58. [8]

Traditional ownership

The formally recognised traditional owners for the area in which Casterton sits are the Gunditjmara People [9] who are represented by the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation. [10]

Timeline

The kelpie

Casterton Kelpie Monument Casterton Kelpie Monument 001.JPG
Casterton Kelpie Monument

Casterton lays claim to be the birthplace of the breed of working dog known as the kelpie, a Scottish term meaning 'Water Sprite' and a name given to a black and tan bitch British working collie owned by Scotsman George Patterson, a farmer who lived north of Casterton in the 1870s. Patterson exchanged 'Kelpie' for a horse and the dog's new owner, a drover named Jack Gleeson, took her to Ardlethan, NSW where she mated with a black male Rutherford Sheepdog named 'Moss', producing several litters. Kelpie later mated with another male named 'Caesar', producing a female pup named 'King's Kelpie' which grew to become a champion sheepdog.

The breed was further developed and refined during the next few decades. Ardlethan also lays claim to be the birthplace of the breed. [18]

In 1997, a working dog auction was held in Casterton, an annual event which grew to become the Casterton Kelpie Festival in 2001. The auction and festival event is now held each June in Casterton. [19]

To mark Casterton's 150th anniversary celebrations in 1996, a bronze sculpture of a kelpie by artist Peter Corlett was unveiled in front of Casterton's Town Hall. [20]

The Fleur de Lys

A large version of the Fleur de Lys, used as the emblem of the Scouts, is carved into Toorak Hill, a steep hill overlooking the eastern end of Casterton's main thoroughfare. The design has a circumference of 91 metres. [21] In 1935, the Boy-Scouts and Cubs, in honour of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of King George V, carved a large-scale version of the words 'The King' into the hill, each letter some six metres long. Encouraged by the success of this, the Scouts, to celebrate the 1941 opening of the town's new Scout-hall, carved the Fleur de Lys emblem into the hill and lit it up at night with the aid of a series of tins filled with oil-soaked rags which were set alight. Years later, the design was lit by electric strip lighting and is illuminated on most evenings throughout the year. [22]

Community

The town has a Community Centre, a weekly local newspaper and hosts many activities throughout the year.

The town has an Australian Rules football team competing in the Western Border Football League. Casterton Football Club, originally formed in 1875, won the Western District League Premiership 12 times between 1892 and 1963 and has won the Western Border League Premiership twice, in 1969 and 1990. [12]

The Casterton Racing Club schedules around four horse race meetings a year including the Casterton Cup meeting in May or June. [23]

Golfers play at the Casterton Golf Club on Penola Road. [24]

The town has a public outdoor swimming pool, a hospital, a secondary college and State and Catholic primary schools.

Notable residents

Notable residents of Casterton include:

Related Research Articles

Shire of Glenelg Local government area in Victoria, Australia

The Shire of Glenelg is a local government area in the Barwon South West region of Victoria, Australia, located in the south-western part of the state. It covers an area of 6,219 square kilometres (2,401 sq mi) and in June 2018 had a population of 19,665. It includes the towns of Casterton, Heywood, Merino and Portland. Although a shire of the same name existed before the amalgamations of the mid-1990s, the current Shire was formed in 1994 from the amalgamation of the former Shire of Glenelg with the Shire of Heywood and City of Portland.

Heywood, Victoria Town in Victoria, Australia

Heywood is a town on the Fitzroy River in the Australian state of Victoria. It is situated at an elevation of 27 metres amidst rolling green hills in an agricultural, pastoral and timbercutting district. Heywood is 357 kilometres (222 mi) west of Melbourne at the intersection of the Princes and Henty Highways and 27 kilometres (17 mi) north of Portland. It is on the railway line to Portland, at the junction of the presently-unused branch to Mount Gambier, South Australia. The winner of several past "Tidy Town" awards, it is often referred to as the "Jewel of the Southwest".

Allestree, Victoria Town in Victoria, Australia

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Nelson, Victoria Town in Victoria, Australia

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Dartmoor, Victoria Town in Victoria, Australia

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Yambuk Town in Victoria, Australia

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Merino, Victoria Town in Victoria, Australia

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Tyrendarra Town in Victoria, Australia

Tyrendarra is a locality in south west Victoria, Australia. The locality is split between the Shire of Glenelg and the Shire of Moyne local government areas, with most being in the former. It is on the Princes Highway, 338 kilometres (210 mi) south west of the state capital, Melbourne. The Tyrendarra township lies within a bend of Darlot Creek, before it enters the Fitzroy River—which also flows through the locality.

Henty, Victoria Town in Victoria, Australia

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Macarthur, Victoria Town in Victoria, Australia

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Digby, Victoria Town in Victoria, Australia

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Sandford is a bounded rural locality of the Shire of Glenelg local government area, Victoria, Australia south of Casterton. At the 2021 census, Sandford had a population of 130.

Tahara, Victoria Town in Victoria, Australia

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References

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  2. "Place Details". VICNAMES. State Government of Victoria. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
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  10. "Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal". Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
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  17. Australian Railway Routes, ARHS, p31
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  21. "404". The Sydney Morning Herald.{{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
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  26. "Beckett, Clarice Marjoribanks (1887–1935)". Biography - Clarice Marjoribanks Beckett - Australian Dictionary of Biography. anu.edu.au. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  27. Tom Cue Biography by Thomas Foster
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  29. "Gilmore, Dame Mary Jean (1865–1962)". Biography - Dame Mary Jean Gilmore - Australian Dictionary of Biography. anu.edu.au. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
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