Lascelles is a rural village on the Sunraysia Highway and the railway to Mildura in north-west Victoria. It is midway between Birchip and Ouyen.
Lascelles was named after Edward Lascelles (1847-1917), who promoted closer settlement and water management in the area. Lascelles, a partner in the wool broking firm of Dennys Lascelles, subdivided Mallee pastoral land into agricultural farm blocks around Hopetoun, Lake Coorong, where he built a large homestead. He was an ardent believer in the possibilities of the Mallee for grain growing and grazing, on land cleared with the heavy Mallee rollers.
Lascelles surveyed Hopetoun township in 1891 and the Minapre township (renamed Lascelles in about 1909) shortly afterwards. The street layout is formal, centred on an oval reserve flanked by Sweetapple Crescent. Development of the town was delayed by the railway not reaching there until 1903. A hotel and mechanics’ institute were thereupon built in 1905 and a school was opened in the institute’s hall in 1906. A Presbyterian church was also opened in 1906.
A progress association was formed in 1911, and its most enduring work occurred during the 1950s and 1960s, when the recreation reserve was improved and a caravan park was opened. Lascelles has lacked enough population for many civic amenities. There are a hotel, tennis courts and grain storage facilities at the railway siding. Lake Lascelles was refilled by the Grampians Wimmera Mallee Pipeline in 2009.
Lascelles census populations have been:
Nancy Schumann, Land worth saving: a history of Woomelang, Lascelles and Watchupga, Sunnyland Press, c1988
Phil Taylor, Karkarooc: a Mallee Shire history, 1896-1995, Yarriambiack Shire Council, 1996