Ecklin is a rural locality about 12 km south of Terang in western Victoria. It is situated in an area formerly prone to swampiness, and drains carry water to Lake Elingamite near Cobden. It is thought that the name Ecklin was derived from an Aboriginal word describing or associated with the swamp.

When first settled the area was well timbered, and a sawmill operated there in the 1860s. A school was opened in 1868. Settlement slowly moved southwards, resulting in a second school at South Ecklin in 1885. By then the northern part had a racecourse, a mechanics’ institute and a butter factory (1891-c1911) for the numerous dairy farms. In 1907 Ecklin was renamed Dixie after the property owned by a local councillor and property owner. Closer settlement farms brought additional families into the area. By this time there was a public hall at Dixie, a Wesleyan/Presbyterian mission hall at South Ecklin, and a third in the form of a mechanics’ institute at South Ecklin (1910).

The over-supply of halls was finally resolved with the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983, and a new community centre building was opened in 1985 next to the recreation reserve. The schools have closed, Ecklin’s in 1992.

Ecklin’s census populations have been:

area census date population
Ecklin 1911 270
  1947 294
  1961 282
Ecklin South and environs 2011 265

At the 2011 census dairy farming accounted for 52.4% of employment.

Further Reading

J. Fletcher, The infiltrators: a history of the Heytesbury 1840-1920, volume 1, Shire of Heytesbury, 1985

J. Fletcher, And we who followed: a history of the Heytesbury Shire 1971-1987, Shire of Heytesbury, 1987

Souvenir of Back to Ecklin and district 1976, Ecklin, 1976