Charlton town centre - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT
Charlton buildings along the Calder Hwy
Charlton town centre - FURTHER INFORMATION
Charlton town centre - Charlton visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Charlton town centre' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Victoria.
Charlton is a small rural town on the Avoca River with tree-lined streets. Large grain silos denote the main local industry. 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.
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. 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 and trout.