Gladysdale is a rural locality 60 km east of Melbourne and 6 km south-east of Yarra Glen. It is situated in hilly country watered by tributaries of the Yarra River. Early industries included timber cutting and farm selections.

Originally known as Slaty Creek, the name was changed in 1915 because of confusion with the Slaty Creek post office near St Arnaud; Gladys Pettit was the daughter of Slaty Creek’s postmaster.

Timber continued to be cut around Gladysdale for several decades and was carried along one of the numerous tramways to the Powelltown timber mill. In 1918 a school was opened in the Gladysdale hall and seven years later a proper building was constructed. Gatherings at the hall were lit by kerosene lanterns or power generators until 1956 when the village was connected to the State electricity grid.

Gladysdale has run an annual apple and wine festival since the 1980s, hosted in the primary school grounds. There are also a picnic reserve, a CFA station, a church and a hall. In 2014 the school’s enrolment was 66.

Gladysdale’s census populations have been:

area census date population
Gladysdale 1921 51
  1933 130
  1947 158
  1954 150
  1961 195
Gladysdale and environs 2006* 548
  2011 416

*larger census area

At the 2011 census, technicians, trades workers and labourers comprised 36% of the workforce compared with 22.9% for Victoria.