Coalville was a small settlement in the valley of the Narracan Creek, Gippsland, about 7 km south of Moe and about 142 km east of Melbourne.
Land was selected in the area from 1876. The existence of black coal had been reported, and in the 1880s prospectors and government drillers found good quality deposits. Several mining companies were formed, the main ones being Moe Coal Mining Company and Narracan Valley Coal Mining Company. Progress was slow until the completion of a railway line along the valley in 1888, linking the main Gippsland line at Moe and terminating at Thorpdale at the head of the valley. A station at Coalville had sidings for loading the coal.
A township grew rapidly, with a hotel, several stores and boarding houses. A school opened in 1887 and a hall was privately built. Wesleyan and Anglican churches were constructed in 1890s and a Protestant Hall served as mechanics’ institute and library. Sporting teams were formed and friendly societies flourished.
However, the coal mining companies experienced many difficulties and made little profit. The coal seams were narrow, there were labour strikes and changes of ownership. Then the Railways Department, the main purchaser of the coal, reduced quotas, finally taking no Coalville coal. By 1898, all the mines were closed. Miners left the township and many buildings were removed. Coalville was described in the 1903 Australian handbook:
A couple of mines operated for a few years in the early twentieth century, but the area gained a new lease of life through the establishment of dairy farms. The township was surveyed again in 1904, stimulating a rush for blocks. A road was constructed linking Coalville to Narracan to the south, and later to Moe to the north. A store served the small farming community, but the hotel surrendered its licence in 1932. One church closed in the 1920s, the other in 1971, and the school in the 1980s. The coffee palace is now a private residence and a reserve and tennis court mark the township site.
Census populations for Coalville have been: