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(3138, 32 km E, Yarra Ranges Shire)

In 1836 John Gardiner, one of the first to bring cattle down from the Murrumbidgee to the Port Phillip District, was looking for some strayed cattle east of Melbourne. His search took him via the Eltham and Yarra Glen areas to where Mooroolbark (Aboriginal for 'red earth') now is, and he found his cattle near the Olinda Creek. News of this new grazing land travelled back to Melbourne, and graziers soon brought their stock up the Yarra Valley. The first farmers in Mooroolbark were John Lithgow in 1845 and Robert Blair in 1847. The Parish of Mooroolbark was surveyed in 1855, with the township originally called Brushy Creek standing where North Croydon is today. Once partly in the Lillydale Shire and partly in the City of Croydon, Mooroolbark is a residential district of some 18 000 people, many of whom commute daily to Melbourne or work in the industrial plants and retail centres located along the Maroondah Highway.

Peter Baddeley

James, G.F., Border Country: Episodes and recollections of Mooroolbark & Wonga Park, Shire of Lilydale, Melbourne, 1984. Details