|The old grain
silos and new Grain Container
Small and attractive rural town on the Avoca
Charlton is a small and attractive rural town of
tree-lined streets, situated on both banks of
the Avoca River. Enormous grain silos denote the
main local industry, although the Charlton
feedlot is the largest beef lot producer in
Victoria. Wool and fat lambs also contribute to
the local economy. Charlton has a population of
around 1300 people and is located 245 km
north-west of Melbourne via the Calder Highway
and 118 m above sea-level.
Prior to white settlement the Jaara
Aborigines are thought to have inhabited the
land. The first European settlers were Robert
Cay and William Kaye who established the
'Charlton' station in 1848, naming it after a
town in Greenwich in England. As the Avoca River
represented the boundary between two districts,
the eastern and western banks were subject to
different commissioners of crown lands. For
these reasons, the run was technically divided
into East Charlton and West Charlton.
Consequently, when a town developed on the
eastern side of the river, adjacent a river
crossing, it was known as East Charlton.
An inn was erected in 1863 and a bridge was
added in 1867, facilitating the spread of the
settlement to both sides of the riverbank. Thus
the title 'East Charlton' became redundant but a
name change to 'Charlton' was impossible until
1879 when another town named Charlton changed
its name to Chute .
In the 1870s the large holdings were broken
up and opened to selectors who established
grain-growing. Two flour mills were consequently
built in the 1870s.
An art show is held each year in October. The
golf course, established in the early 20th
century, features a clover-leaf design with
three arms of six holes radiating out from the
Things to see:
The local source of tourist information is the
shire offices at 1 High St, tel: (03) 5491 1755.
Charlton Golden Grain Museum
The Charlton Golden Grain Museum contains a
collection of items relating to local history.
It is located in the former mechanics' institute
(1882), next door to the shire offices, and is
open by appointment, tel: (03) 5491 1755.
Opposite the museum is St Andrew's Presbyterian
Parks and Gardens
Also near the shire offices, on High St, are
Elliott Gardens with its band rotunda and Rotary
Park which has picnic-barbecue facilities.
A walking track (2 km one way) starts in High St
and leads to Charlton Weir which offers
opportunities for fishing and canoeing.
Swimming, fishing and boating can be enjoyed at
Wooroonook Lakes, 14 km west of town adjacent
the road to Donald. There are camping and picnic
facilities and the lake is stocked with redfin