Homebush is a rural locality between Maryborough and Avoca in central-west Victoria.
The settling of Homebush came about from the finding of gold. An early rush was short-lived but a second rush in 1860-61 provided impetus for a township to be surveyed. The township’s name derived from the Homebush Inn on the Maryborough to Ararat road.
By the mid-1860s deep lead mines replaced alluvial mining and in 1877 the large Workers Miners Company mine was started to the north of Homebush. It ultimately created the township of Lower Homebush. Large mullock heaps and old gold workings are frequently met with.
An Anglican school was opened in Homebush in 1861 and replaced with a government building in 1875. There was also a Wesleyan chapel and a store. The shift of population to Lower Homebush resulted in a school being opened there in 1880, which upon opening was immediately overcrowded: a Union Church hall was used as an adjunct. In 1887 a handsome brick school building, capable of accommodating 200 pupils, was constructed. It stands as a monument to a once bustling gold town, having been closed in 1967 and later used as an education resource centre.
Upper and Lower Homebush were described in the 1903 Australian handbook:
By 1915 Homebush had only a railway station, hotel and post office/store; Homebush Lower had the school instead of a railway station, along with three stores and two hotels. The hotels and stores closed before or during World War II. During the 1930s mining was restarted but the failure of water supply flumes caused the project to be abandoned.
Homebush’s census populations have been:
W. Jacobs and K. Twigg, The Pyrenees Shire: Avoca shire heritage study 1864-1994, 1995