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The Founding of Waanyarra

Posted by on February 23, 2012

Surveyor Phillip Chauncy surveyed the district between Tarnagulla and Dunolly in 1861 and officially named it Waanyarra.

Prior to survey, Beverly had been chosen by Lieutenant Governor of Victoria LaTrobe, as the name for the future township. This title was only used by the first discoverers of gold in the area.

Charles Jones was prospecting on a creek in the locality at a very early date, and this area in which he camped became known as Jones’ Creek. Even after the official name was adopted, many people referred to the”top end of the creek” as Jones’ Creek and the east end as Waanyarra.

Waanyarra is an Aboriginal name which has more than one interpretation, ‘Little Water’,’Running Water’and Les Blake’s book ‘Place Names of Victoria’ gives the meaning of Waanyarra as ‘Whan-crow, Yarra-moving, i.e. crow flying’.

During his time in the district, Phillip Chauncy had constant contact with the Aborigines. He was very familiar with their customs and language.

Text from “The Footsteps Echo” by Lynne Douthat

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