Mount Franklin Shire

Mount Franklin is a rural locality 15 km north of Daylesford and 100 km north-west of Melbourne. The mount is a volcanic cone breached on the south-east side, and has substantial scoria deposits. It commands a broad view of the countryside and was climbed by Sir John Franklin, at the end of his term of office as Lieutenant-Governor of Van Dieman's Land, in 1843, after whom it was named. The mount is a State reserve with plantings of exotic trees, through which a road passes to the summit's lookout.

The villages of Mount Franklin and Franklinford were south and north respectively of the mount. Franklinford's first school (1851) was in the home of Edward Stone Parker, superintendent of an Aboriginal station at the foot of Mount Franklin. (The Parker Memorial Methodist church at Franklinford has been a private home since the 1970s.) The school (1860) is on the Register of the National Estate and is used as a community centre.

Mount Franklin Shire (1871-1915) was proclaimed on 27 January 1871. Its area of 277 sq km included Hepburn (the administrative centre), Eganstown and Yandoit. Most townships had mining activities, with a few being mainly agricultural or forestry. The shire was absorbed by Glenlyon Shire on 1 October 1915. Its census populations were:

census date population
1871 5077
1881 3400
1891 2921
1911 2404

The census populations for Mount Franklin and environs have been:

census date population
2011 325

Further Reading

Janet MacDonald and Garry Powell, Double gold: 1870s mining and farming diaries of Mount Franklin and district, Windsor, 2008