Leonards Hill

Leonards Hill is a rural village 8 km south of Daylesford and 85 km north-west of Melbourne. The hill is 740 metres above sea level and is on a ridge of the Dividing Range: the headwaters of the Moorabool River leave its southern slope and Sailors Creek begins near its northern slope, to become part of the Loddon River system. Leonards Hill was named after a land selector.

The Wombat Forest and the rich volcanic soil brought settlers and timber cutters to the district, and a school was opened in 1867. A railway line through Leonards Hill, from Daylesford to Creswick, was opened in 1880. Within a decade there was also a Methodist church (1875), a mechanics' institute (1884) and a hotel (1871). Leonards Hill was described in the 1903 Australian handbook:

Two kilometres northwards the village of Sailors Falls had gold mining activity. The timber industry continued until the 1930s, and a sawmill operates midway between Leonards Hill and Sailors Falls.

Leonards Hill has farming, timber milling and a public hall. The school closed in 1971. In 2010 a two-turbine wind farm at Leonards Hill was constructed. Leonards Hill's census populations have been:

census date population
1891 211
1911 136
1961 72

Further Reading

Back to Leonards Hill celebrations and primary school 931, 1974

Norm Houghton, Timber and gold: a history of the sawmills and tramways of the Wombat Forest, 1855-1940, Light Railway Research Society of Australia, 1980