Aberfeldy

Aberfeldy, located on Mount Lookout, north east of Lake Thomson, 125 kilometres east of Melbourne, was settled in 1871 following the discovery of gold, a Post Office opening on 1 January 1872 (closed 1967).

The town was surveyed and proclaimed in 1885. It was initially known as Mount Lookout, but was eventually renamed after the Scottish town of Aberfeldy. At its peak, the township has a population of around 500. After the gold rush, the town produced potatoes and other crops, and sheep and cattle were grazed.

The town was home to Kitty Cane, aka Catherine Lowe, the defacto wife of Jonas Sly. She was a former dancer who was believed to have weighed 120 kilograms. It is said that, at the time of her death (10th April 1863), she had to be buried beside the road, because her body could not be lifted to the cemetery. Jonas and Kitty Sly, Frederick Sly and Sarah Matthews ran a grog shanty at Aberfeldy Crossing. The flat ground at the top of the ridge where she was buried - about 100 metres north of her grog shanty - was prime real estate with the Thompson River in the valley to the West and the Aberfeldy river in the valley to the East. Kitty was described as a sober woman aged about 42.





Following the First World War the population diminished, though the town managed to survive. The hotel was burnt down in 1938 and the Black Friday bushfires of 1939 destroyed many of the town's buildings. A road was constructed to Matlock by 1950, but it remains in poor condition to this day. Today there are only a few permanent residents, though land was released for public sale in 1999. Remains of former buildings are still visible.



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