Homebush, Victoria

Coordinates: 37°03′S 143°31′E / 37.050°S 143.517°E / -37.050; 143.517
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Lower Homebush Primary School
Homebush is located in Pyrenees Shire
Coordinates37°03′S 143°31′E / 37.050°S 143.517°E / -37.050; 143.517
Population31 (SAL 2021)[1]
LGA(s)Pyrenees Shire
State electorate(s)Ripon
Federal division(s)Mallee

Homebush is a locality 10 kilometres (6 mi) from Avoca in central Victoria, Australia. It is located within the Pyrenees Shire.


1850 - 1880[edit]

First settled in 1853 after a rush to a rich claim nearby, the town reached the height of its prosperity in the 1880s. But Homebush owed its existence entirely to the mines: when the gold ran out and the mines closed the town rapidly declined and died. All that remains of a once-flourishing community is a school building and some mullock heaps.

Planned development began in June 1860 when, following a second rush to the diggings, Homebush was surveyed and its streets laid out. Homebush Post Office opened on 1 October 1863 (closing in 1944).[2]

Some miners and their families maintained a degree of elegance despite the challenging conditions.[3]

An Office of Lands and Survey map shows the Township of Homebush ( Coordinates 37°03′21″S 143°31′46″E / 37.0559341°S 143.5293448°E / -37.0559341; 143.5293448 ) as it was in January 1863. The map shows, the land subdivisions, some buildings and the location of the Star Hotel and the Wesleyan Chapel.[4]

Three churches were built, and within little more than a decade. The town opened its railway station, homebush railway station. By 1884 Homebush was firmly established as a business centre, with two agents, a bootmaker, a butcher, two carpenters, two contractors, nine farmers, a gardener, a registrar, a station master, a storekeeper, and a teacher. Lower Homebush, three miles away, where the commercial life of the town had moved closer to some deep-lead mines, had a blacksmith, two bootmakers, a carpenter, a draper, an engineer, two farmers, three hotels, two mining managers, and twelve stores.[5]

The 1872, Methodist Church / Wesleyan Chapel, Upper Homebush

The Methodist Church / Wesleyan Chapel was built in 1872.[6] As the town declined, in 1928 the church was dismantled and moved 6 km to Rathscar West.[7]

1880 - 1930[edit]

In 1883 Vale's Reef mine, one of the district's largest, closed for lack of capital, and over the next decade many other companies also ceased operations. In 1889 hopes revived when the Madame Hopkins Company was formed with a large investment of capital to work an untried deep-lead to the east of Homebush, but this new company was not successful.

Lower Homebush Main Street as it appeared in the 1890s

In 1909 the Excelsior Company opened in Homebush and reputedly yielded rich returns from relatively small quantities of quartz, but by 1920 all large-scale gold mining activity in Avoca shire had ended. The combined population of Homebush and Homebush Lower had fallen to only 150, a huge decline from its peak of 14,000 during the rushes. Businesses closed and buildings were dismantled.[5]


The rise and decline of Homebush and Lower Homebush can be seen in the history of its schools. In 1861 a Church of England school opened, with classes held in a rented building. Over the next two decades the number of students increased to more than two hundred and two more schools were built, one at Homebush, with another, even bigger, at Lower Homebush - the Lower Homebush Primary School. ( Coordinates 37°01′47″S 143°31′37″E / 37.0298153°S 143.5269012°E / -37.0298153; 143.5269012 ) But by 1903 the average attendance at the Lower Homebush school was only forty. Gold yields had dropped and mining companies had ceased operating. Homebush School closed permanently in 1908. Lower Homebush School had small enrolments from the 1930s, and by 1967 it too had closed. By then the Homebush School had long gone.[5]

The Pyrenees Shire Council has documented the history of the Lower Homebush Primary School, in the Avoca Heritage Study: 1864 - 1994 - Volume 3.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (28 June 2022). "Homebush (Vic.) (suburb and locality)". Australian Census 2021 QuickStats. Retrieved 28 June 2022. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Phoenix Auctions History, Post Office List, retrieved 29 March 2021
  3. ^ "Afternoon Tea: contrast the clothes with the accommodation". Avoca and District Historical Society. 3 May 2003. Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Special lands, Township of Homebush, Parish of Glenmona / lithographed at the Office of Lands and Survey, Melbourne, January 20 1863". Office of Lands and Survey, Melbourne. 20 January 1863. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Wegener, Douglas. "A history of Homebush". Avoca and District Historical Society Inc. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Homebush Methodist Church - Former". Churches Australia. 30 July 2018. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Avoca Heritage Study: 1864 - 1994, Volume 3". Pyrenees Shire Council. February 1995. p. 15. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Avoca Heritage Study: 1864 - 1994, Volume 3". Pyrenees Shire Council. February 1995. p. 151. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 22 June 2017.

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