History & Heritage

Myrtleford, History & Heritage

Aboriginal people inhabited the High Country for thousands of years, and knew its flora, fauna, geography and seasonal changes intimately. Groups visited the Alps in summer to hold ceremonies and gather the nutritious Bogong moths that shelter there.


The 1939 bushfires in the forests around Melbourne and the boom in building houses after World War II led to a greatly increased demand for timber from the Alps. This resulted in the building of a network of roads that helped open the Alps to visitors and the infrastructure that lead to a sustainable tourism industry.

The Chinese were very adept at market gardening and their vegetables were highly sought after. Indian hawkers trundled their wares around the district and they were always a welcome sight to children who delighted in the mystery of such an array of goods. During the 1920's large numbers of Italian migrants arrived in the district and established themselves in the tobacco industry. Through sheer hard work, they were able to buy their own farms and the tobacco industry began to boom, especially following a second influx of Italians after World War II.


From 1837, the township of Myrtleford was a remote cattle run known as the Myrtle Creek Run. Forming the boundary of the runs, Myrtle Creek was given its name by the first Europeans in the area. When gold was discovered in the Buckland Valley, thousands of diggers had to cross Myrtle Creek on their way to the goldfields. A small township developed around the fording place, with the name of Myrtleford consequently adopted. The road through Myrtleford was then called the Buckland Road; today it is known as the Great Alpine Road. Most towns founded during the gold rush era were made up of a diverse mix of nations, and while the English and Irish accounted for a major proportion of the population, people from Scotland, France, Poland, India, the United States, China and Italy contributed to the development of Myrtleford and surrounding areas.

Myrtleford Museum

Former Myrtleford State School 1870 – 1938.
Displays include old school room, 1930's kitchen & living room, gold mining equipment, barber shop & tobacconist cabinets, newspaper printing machinery, horse-drawn agricultural machinery, farming equipment, bottle collection, military photographs & memorabilia, and sporting trophies. Genealogical research is also available with many photographs and records of historical significance including district scenery, local industries, people and events.

OPENING HOURS: Open Sundays 2pm-5pm September through to May. Other times available by appointment
ADMISSION: Adults $2 Children 50c
PHONE: 03 5727 1417 or 03 5752 1963
ADDRESS: 29 Elgin Street, Myrtleford