Jamieson's golden past
The Victorian high country is most famous for its beautiful nature with rugged mountain ranges as far as the eye can see. Apart from its stunning landscapes it also has a rich history filled with stories about the gold rush that saw the area flourish in the 1800s. Small villages tucked away in valleys still tell the tale of the golden days.
Jamieson in its golden age
One of those little villages in the high country is Jamieson. Jamieson was established around 1860 when gold was found in the surroundings. It’s said to be named after George Jamieson, a shepherd who lived in the area in the 1850s.
Jamieson was used as a supply town. Supplies for the miners on the goldfields around Woods Point and Gaffneys Creek were transported by horse and mule through the mountains and the bush, along treacherous trails. The town grew fast and it didn’t take long before there were banks, insurance offices, hotels and stores. There were even two breweries and three restaurants! The town’s population grew to between 3000 and 4000 people.
The decline and newfound popularity
Jamieson peaked in the 1870s. Business was booming and the town flourished. However, mining operations slowed down and then ceased around the turn of the century and the town went into a steep decline. Living was tough in the remote High Country and the once bustling town turned quiet.
It was only by the 1990s that Jamieson had become popular again. This time it was because of tourism. The town became a popular holiday destination thanks to the many rivers and Lake Eildon. Fishing, four wheel driving and relaxing in the outdoors are now its main attractions. But in the little town of Jamieson you can still find remnants of its golden history.
Jamieson’s Heritage Walk
To get a glimpse of what Jamieson was like in the 1800s, grab yourself a ‘Self Guided Heritage Walk’ leaflet in the reception of Jamieson Caravan Park (or download here) and start exploring the town. You will find a sign at each historic site with interesting information, stories and old photos. It’s a great way to learn something more about the history of Jamieson, the buildings and the people who lived there. Through these stories you can really imagine what life was like in the early days of settlement and get an even greater appreciation for this pretty little town.
To find out more about the families first settled in Jamieson head out to the cemetery on the Jamieson-Licola Road not the first burial ground in Jamieson, but the only remaining. You can download the guide here.
Museum in the old Courthouse
Your historic tour around Jamieson won’t be complete without a visit to the Jamieson & District Historical Society Museum. With interesting stories, photographs and artefacts, this volunteer run museum shows the history of Jamieson and the Upper Goulburn Region in great detail. For more information and opening hours, visit their website.