Gaffneys Creek, Victoria
|LGA(s)||Shire of Mansfield|
Gaffneys Creek is a former mining locality situated between Jamieson and Woods Point in Victoria, Australia. It is located at the junction of Gaffney and Raspberry Creeks in a steep valley in mountainous terrain. It is situated in the Shire of Mansfield on the unsealed Mansfield - Woods Point Rd.
A prospector from the Big River area to the east, Terence "Red" Gaffney, was the first to actively search the area for gold, followed by two others who discovered alluvial gold at Raspberry Creek in 1859.
A string of small villages later appeared in the valley, and these were subsequently amalgamated and collectively named Lauraville by the Government Surveyor in honour of his wife, Laura. The Post Office (called Gaffneys Creek) opened on 1 January 1862 and closed in 1981. A Lauraville Office was open from 1902 until 1910.
The name "Lauraville" was changed to Gaffneys Creek in 1900.
In 1980 the area of the original valley settlements was placed on the Register of the National Estate as a Conservation Area including early miners' cottages, a hall, stone retaining walls and a hotel which succumbed to a fire in 1993.
In 1993, two escaped prisoners, Archie Butterley and Peter Gibb from the Melbourne Remand Centre, and a prison guard who assisted them to escape, drive to Gaffney's Creek to hide out. They stayed at the Gaffney's Creek Hotel and on the morning of March 12 a fire started in their room which resulted in the hotel being completely destroyed.
In 2006 Gaffneys Creek was threatened by bushfires. About half of the residents of Gaffneys Creek stayed to defend their homes. However, not much of the town remains anymore except a couple of houses which survived including two historic gold-era cottages. The town's community hall was destroyed and the whole area was burnt including A1 Mine Settlement and Ten Mile.
The population within the locality has steadily declined over the years:
- 1865: 1000
- 1871: 502
- 1911: 274
- 1954: 91
- "Gaffneys Creek, Victoria". Australian Places. Monash University. Archived from the original on May 11, 2004. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 2008-04-11
Media related to Gaffneys Creek, Victoria at Wikimedia Commons