Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Darraweit Guim VIC

Darraweit Guim

Postcode: 3756

Darraweit Guim (pronounced /ˈda.ɹə.wiːt gwɪm/) is a Victorian town situated on Deep Creek, which rises in the hills beyond Romsey on the edge of the Macedon Ranges Shire near the shire’s boundary with the Mitchell Shire. In 1992 the town had an approximate population of 300 with approximately 120 homes and a local school overseeing 51 students.

Next to the school is the local two tennis courts which are regularly used. Up the hill is the Town Hall and the Country Fire Authority which protects the area from bushfires.

Local legend has it that Darraweit Guim means “the meeting of the waters” in the traditional local Aboriginal language. Another story is that “Darraweit’ means the meeting and “Guim” means the turn which the course of the water makes in the township. Which legend is correct no one is sure, but according to the Postal Department records, the first survey of the district was made in 1851 by Surveyor Foot, who gave it the name of Darraweit Guim, which was approved by the authorities in Sydney.

It would appear that when early settlement was started it was at the Toll Bar Corner which is the junction of the now Old Broadmeadows road and the Darraweit Guim road. In the early 1860s Mr and Mrs Francis conducted a general store there and also collected the toll at the Toll gates.

This toll was a charge made on those using the road and went to the maintenance of the road. There was also an hotel or wine shanty conducted by the Cummins family, descendants of whom are still in the district. One of the “Toll Gates” from Toll Bar corner later hung for many years below Mr Geo. Wilson’s house where his property opens on to the road to Darraweit Guim (Stennings Lane).

What other places of interest existed at the Toll Bar Hill is difficult to ascertain, but we have heard of a blacksmith, and possibly there would be others who lived there. It has been said that surplus butter from those living on the Deep Creek towards Darraweit Guim was carted to meet the transport wagons (either bullock or horse wagons) at the Toll Bar Corner for transport either to Melbourne or to the Goldfields in Bendigo.

The early potatoes grown here where taken to the goldfields, north, rather than to Melbourne as today. In those days it was on the goldfields that the heavy concentration of population was to be found. The Stockdale family who settled at “Oakdale” in the 1850s and are still there, tell of produce going to the goldfields. Mrs Stockdale, snr was a Cummins of the Toll Bar, and the first of the family at “Oakdale” was born in 1858.