Hurstbridge Heritage Trail
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Hurstbridge Heritage Trail

A Brief History of Hurstbridge Township

The Wurundjeri people were the traditional owners of the country that extended from where Melbourne now stands to Mt Macedon and Healesville. The Wurundjeri spoke the Woiworung language and, with other tribal groups, was part of the Kulin nation.

The Wurundjeri Willam clan lived around this local area for at least 40,000 years in small family groups.

Their descendants still live in the Melbourne area, with a strong community centred around Healesville, in the Yarra Valley.

The start of European settlement at Hurstbridge

In 1841 Cornelius Sharp Haley took up, from the Government, the 'Allwood' run. Haley ran cattle and horses and built a slab hut close to where the present Allwood House stands.

Henry Hurst, a surveyor, came to Victoria, from England in 1852.

In 1859 he moved to 'Allwood to manage 160 acres for Cornelius Haley. In about 1865 Henry's parents Frances and Robert Hurst and some of their seven children joined Henry at the Allwood run.

It was about this time that Henry built the first log bridge across the Diamond Creek. This was soon known as 'Hurst's Bridge'.

On the 4th of October 1866 Henry was fatally wounded by a bushranger, Robert Bourke. Bourke was captured and was tied to a wheel of a wagon under a tree (now known as Bourke's Tree) until Sargeant Fawcett and Trooper Hall from Queenstown arrived. Bourke was tried, found guilty of the murder of Henry Hurst and was later hanged.

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