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(3074, 15 km N, Whittlesea City)

Situated between Merri Creek in the west and Darebin Creek in the east, and traversed by Edgars Creek, Thomastown was first settled by tenant farmers, one of whom, Patrick Mahoney, gave his name to the road that marks its southern boundary. The suburb was named for John and Mary Thomas, who started a market garden south of Main Street in 1848. Others followed to found a predominantly Wesleyan (Methodist) settlement.

In 1850 William Westgarth purchased 640 acres (256 ha) north of the Thomas property for settlement by sixteen German families. Land titles were transferred to the settlers after they became naturalised British subjects in June 1851. This settlement was first known as Dry Creek and later Westgarthtown. By the 1854 census, there were 178 German-born residents in the Plenty division, most living at Westgarthtown.

The Lutheran church was dedicated on 17 November 1856, becoming the second oldest Lutheran church building in Australia and the oldest still operating as a church. The first burial in what is now the oldest Lutheran cemetery in Victoria was in 1850. A Lutheran school operated from 1855 to 1876. Several of the farmhouses remain; the Ziebell farmhouse (c. 1851) is the oldest German building in Victoria. Dairying was the main farming activity until the 1970s.

The Central Roads Board was forced to improve the main road from Melbourne during the gold rush. A private school started in Spring Street, used for worship on Sundays. The railway line to Whittlesea through Thomastown opened in December 1889 but did little for the area. In 1925 the State Electricity Commission purchased land close to Mahoneys Road for a terminal to serve electricity generation from Yallourn. Following this, the Fowler Pottery opened in 1928, providing the first factory employment in the area. In 1929 the rail line from Reservoir to Thomastown was electrified, providing residents with fast transport to the city for work. The area, however, remained rural.

Development followed World War II, with the opening of B.B. Chemicals Pty Ltd (now Bostick Australia Pty Ltd) in 1958. Telephone services were first provided in 1959. Industrialisation continued with consequent residential expansion enveloping Westgarthtown. Australian-born children were outnumbered by the children of immigrants in the first intake at Thomastown High School in 1970, and by the 1990s there had been significant immigration of Italians, Macedonians, Greeks and people from the countries of the former Yugoslavia.

Gwynedd Hunter-Payne