We acknowledge and respect the traditional owners of the Kulin Nation and their ongoing connection to it. We also acknowledge that history of the First Nations people spans millennia, while the history of white settlers on this land is comparatively brief.
The township of Thorpdale's history dates back to the 19th century.
The name Thorpdale was derived from a combination of the names of two early settlers, William THORpe and William DALE. The area was first explored in the 1860s, and the first land was purchased in the area in 1873. In the early days, the town was a timber town, with settlers clearing land for farming and to establish orchards.
In the late 1800s, coal was discovered in the region, and this led to an influx of people looking for work in the mines. The town of Thorpdale grew as a result of this, with shops, schools, and other infrastructure being built to support the growing community.
During World War II, Thorpdale played a significant role in supplying food to the war effort. The fertile land in the area made it an ideal location for farming, and many of the local farmers were able to produce large quantities of food that were sent to feed the troops overseas.
After the war, Thorpdale continued to grow, with new houses and businesses being built. Today, the town has a population of only around 400 people, but it remains an important agricultural center, with dairy and beef cattle farming, as well as fruit and vegetable growing, being the main industries.
In recent years, the town has become known for its annual Thorpdale Potato Festival, which celebrates the area's history of potato farming. The festival includes a parade, music, food, and other activities, and it draws visitors from all over the region.
From time to time we (at the TRH) are the beneficiary of old diaries, historical extracts and photos which is a truly remarkable experience. On this page below, we share some documents for those interested to read. These personal artifacts provide us with a window into the past, allowing us to see and understand the experiences, thoughts, and emotions of those who came before us. As we read the words the early settlers, or look at their photographs, we are transported to a different time and place, and we can gain a greater appreciation for the struggles, triumphs, and everyday life of those who lived before us.