In 1824, Hume and Hovell became the first Europeans to pass through the Bonnie Doon area. Until then there had been only a few wandering Koori clans who seldom stayed long, catching kangaroo, possum, fish, yams and white grubs. By the 1850s, a few station owners had taken up large tracts of land from Government leasehold. The owners had to employ shepherds to mind their sheep as there were no fences or roads. The sheep were yarded at night as the wild dogs were numerous. As more settlers arrived the land was further sub-divided into sizeable properties under the close Settlement Act.

In early 1860s a township arose beside the Brankeet Creek. The town was a centre for surrounding farms and the post-offfice opened on 1st October 1866. The region continued as a pastoral area until 1869, when six Chinese workers purchased a mining claim for 45 pound in the Dry Creek area. The men netted 19 ounces of gold in one week. Gold was soon found in the California and Growlers' Gullies. Several hundred men arrived to mine the surrounding hills and creeks. A canvas town sprang up with hotels and stores. They called the township Doon.

The farming community, whose main industries were dairying and oats, prospered with the town. Doon boasted a butter factory, two general stores, two bakers, two blacksmiths, two butcheries, a saddlery, boot maker, harness shop, Mechanics Institute, Public Hall, and a billiard saloon. The first school was officially established on the 24th September 1878; the first church built in the area a small weatherboard chapel, was blessed by Archbishop Goold on Sunday, 15th March 1885; Bonnie Doon newspaper, The Goldern Era, was first published in the 1890; and in early 1891, many locals turned up to watch the first steam train deliver a load of sleepers, rails and livestock. Later that year, the town changed it name to Bonnie Doon.

Throughout the early twentieth century, Bonnie Doon continued to grow. A racecourse was developed where the bridge now stands; a soldiers' memorial was erected in 1921; the Bonnie Doon Bush Fire Brigade was founded in 1928; and the Public Library was opened on 27 February 1931. However, the most historical event of this era occurred on 31 January 1941, when a gala ball was held in the Public Hall to celebrate the "switching on" ceremony, as Bonnie Doon was now connected to the SEC network.

As northern Victoria expanded as a farming area, demand for irrigation soared. Immediately after the Second World War the Bonnie Doon branch of the Victorian Country Party proposed to either raise the current weir a hundred feet or to have a chain of smaller storages. Raising the weir meant the town of Bonnie Doon would be submerged.

At the largest ever public meeting ever held in the area, 400 residents of the district formed a common voice in favour of subsidiary weirs, but the cost of this alternative worked against the residents. The town was then divided into those who felt they had to relocate and rehabilitate, and those who wished to stay and rebuild, despite the suburban sized allotments proposed by the Water Commision.

By November 1953, Bonnie Doon appeared under siege. The State Rivers' workers, railway gangs and C.R.B crews were shifting the town further up the hill, while the railway line deviation, new bridges and a new highway were also under construction. Some buildings had to be demolished while others were moved to the new township.

In the winter of 1955 steady rains soaked the Eildon Weir catchments and thousands of acres of prime pasture land disappeared under the rising waters. Numerous displaced persons, some from families that had given many years to the development of the Bonnie Doon district and township, were forced to rehabilitate themselves in unfamiliar surroundings. Many old landmarks from the pioneering days were covered by the swiftly advancing waters.

However, with the new town and lake came tourism opportunities - boating, fishing, skiing and other water recreational activities. A caravan park was built, then boat ramps, picnic areas, stores, hotels, motels, garages, cafes, and holiday houses.

Bonnie Doon, with its surrounding rivers and mountains, has remained a tourist destination, particularly in summer after the spring rains refill Lake Eildon and water-skiers pass under the bridge where the old racetrack lies below.

1824 Explorers Hume and Hovell travel through the area while searching for a new grazing land south of the colony (Sydney)

1839 Scottish pastoral company 'Watson & Hunter' takes up large areas of grazing land with the head station being 'Wappan Run' near the Devil's River (Late Delatite), named after the Aboriginal word for the river (Wappang)

1848 Governor grants leases on Crown land to Jon Bon (Wappan Run - 30,000 acres), Roger Kelsall and George Thomas (Borodomanan Run - 80,000 acres)

1851 Gold is discovered in Hell's Hole (Tallangallook) and Glen creeks

1868 Thomas Nixon names the village, consisting of one public house, one blacksmith's shop and a few huts, ' Doon'

1871 Doon Post Office opens. Population: 26

1878 Erection of State school and quarters

1885-1899 Village continues to grow - churches and public buildings appear and sporting clubs are formed

The name Changes from 'Doon' to Bonnie Doon

1901 Population: 133

1915 Goulburn and Delatite rivers are dammed to construct Sugarloaf Reservoir, the forerunner of Lake Eildon

1923 Disastrous bushfire sweeps the area

1941 Work begins on expansion of Sugarloaf Reservoir to present day capacity

1953 New railway line and bridges are under construction, Township relocation to higher ground begins

1954 Population: 354

1955 Sugarloaf Reservoir is renamed 'Eildon Weir'

Bonnie Doon town removal to current location concludes

First train crosses the bridge.

1966 Population: 102

1979 Last train at Bonnie Doon

1982 Drought uncovers old township

1997 Cult movie "The Castle" is made

1998 Drought conditions are beginning to dry up Lake Eildon

1999 School Closes

2001 Population: 115

2004 The old school is opened as a Community Centre.

2006 Population: 755

2008 Football ground at recreation reserve is realigned and enlarged

2011 Drought breaks and weir fills almost to capacity within six months

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