High Street, Yea
|Elevation||172 m (564 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Murrindindi|
Yea (// YAY) is a town in Victoria, Australia. It is in the Shire of Murrindindi local government area 98 kilometres (61 mi) north-east of Melbourne at the junction of the Goulburn Valley Highway and the Melba Highway. At the 2011 Census, Yea had a population of 1,086.
The area was historically inhabited by the Taungurong people. The first Europeans in the area were a party of explorers led by William Hovell and Hamilton Hume, who crossed the Goulburn River at a point near the locality in 1824. Their favourable report of the grazing land they had observed contributed to the formation of a new settlement that is now known as the state of Victoria.[dubious ]
The town was surveyed and laid out in 1855 and named  after Colonel Lacy Walter Yea  — a British Army colonel killed that year in the Crimean War. Town lots went on sale at Kilmore the following year. Settlement followed and the Post Office opened on 15 January 1858.
The town site was initially known to pioneer settlers as the Muddy Creek settlement for the Yea River, called Muddy Creek until 1878.
When gold was discovered in the area in 1859 a number of smaller mining settlements came into existence, including Molesworth. Yea expanded into a township under the influx of hopeful prospectors, with the addition of several housing areas, an Anglican church (erected in 1869) and a population of 250 when it formally became a shire in 1873.
After the proceeds of the goldrush, the town of Yea survived on farming and timber getting (chiefly from the Murrindindi forests). The heyday of the Yea sawmilling industry was from 1907–1915, when the Great War saw many men enlist, and then another boom was between 1923 to 1930, after which the onset of the Great Depression saw production greatly reducing as demand fell. In these times of huge production, there was in excess of 2,500,000 board feet (5,900 m3) of timber sent out each year over the tramlines to Cheviot.
What later became the railway to Mansfield arrived in 1883, with an extension to Molesworth in 1889, chiefly for timber transport to Melbourne. Running steam trains, the train service cut through steep hills and undulating country to connect the shire with the main city. The line was closed on 18 November 1978, with the last passenger service running on 28 May 1977. Although much of the railway property has been appropriated by nearby farmland, the original tracks and crossings may be still be discerned across the countryside. The railway station, built in 1889, is now managed by a Committee of Management. The complete rail line from Tallarook to Mansfield has now been converted to a rail trail to become the Goulburn River High Country Rail Trail.
Yea was promoted as something of a tourist centre in the 1890s with trout being released into King Parrot Creek to attract recreational anglers. A post office was built in 1890, followed by a grandstand and a butter factory (now cheese factory) in 1891. There was a proposal in 1908 to submerge the town under the Trawool Water Scheme but it never went ahead.
By 1911 the town's population had increased to 1126 and has remained relatively stable, despite two severe floods in 1934 and 1973 and a major conflagration in 1969. The Limestone Road Baragwanathia fossil site has been registered in the National Estate due to the discovery of the most ancient leafy foliage so far found on earth.
The town's high school is Yea High School. The school also runs the Access Yea Community Education Program (AYCE), a state-wide educational program that is designed to help school leavers and other students who do not fit into the regular school system.
Yea has a horse racing club, the Yea Racing Club, which schedules three race meetings a year including the Yea Cup meeting in March. Yea St Patrick's Racing Club also hold one picnic race meeting each year at the Yea racecourse.
Golfers play at the course of the Yea Golf Club on Racecourse Road.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Yea, Victoria.|
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Yea (Locality)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2012-06-21.
- "Alexandra Monthly Temperatures". Commonwealth of Australia, Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
- "Yea Monthly Rainfall". Commonwealth of Australia, Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
- Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
- Visitor Information - Yea, retrieved 2011-02-12
- Lloyd, Ernest Marsh (1900). "Yea, Lacy Walter Giles". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 63. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 2008-04-11
- Sid Brown (March 1990), "Tracks Across the State", Newsrail (Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division)): pages 71–76.
- Chris Banger (March 1997), "Rail Passenger Service Withdrawals Since 1960", Newsrail (Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division)): pages 77–82.
- "Goulburn River High Country Rail Trail - Trail Description". www.railtrails.org.au. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "Welcome to Yea High School's AYCE Program", Access Yea Community Education Program, accessed 15 January 2008
- Country Racing Victoria, Yea Racing Club, retrieved 2009-05-07[dead link]
- Golf Select, Yea, retrieved 2009-05-11