Blakeville and Korweinguboora

Blakeville is a former timbercutting township immediately south of the Wombat State Forest. It is reached by road, 12 km north of Ballan.

The Wombat State Forest was a major source of timber for building, mines and fuel for Ballarat and the goldfields area. In 1864 Edward Blake opened a sawmill near the source of the Korweinguboora Creek and within a decade had two more mills operating in the area. A settlement for mill workers, Blakeville, was named after the proprietor. A school was opened in 1873, and the township had a hotel, store and mechanics' institute. There was also the Stinton's Tunnel gold mine and quartz crushing plant.

Blakeville was described in the 1903 Australian handbook:

Blake's mills closed around 1900 and the population maintained itself with timber splitting and mining. Several houses and buildings were removed to Ballan. The school celebrated its centenary in 1973, when it had 11 pupils. It apparently closed soon afterwards. The public hall has been kept at Blakeville.

About ten kilometres north-west of Blakeville, on the road between Daylesford and Ballan, there are the towns of Korweinguboora and Spargo Creek. Both have been timber towns, with mills at Korweinguboora operating until 1988. They also have substantial land cleared for pastoral purposes. Korweinguboora had a Catholic church (1871) and a school (closed 1993), and has a recreation reserve and a store. It is the main settlement in the district.

Spargo Creek was a place for excursionists with the Mineral Springs hotel and a reserve which was the venue for motorbike mud scrambles in the 1930s-50s.

Blakeville and Korweinguboora's census populations were:

Blakeville 1881 197
  1891 226
  1921 60
  1954 50
Korweinguboora 2006* 577
  2011 232

*and environs

Further Reading

Norm Houghton, Timber and gold: a history of the sawmills and tramways of the Wombat Forest, 1855-1940, Light Railway Research Society of Australia, 1980