50 towns in 50 days: Families and farms in Corindhap 

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Nanjing Night Net

BUILT on the success of the gold rush era, Corindhap is now a shadow of its former self.

Long time Corindhap resident Noelene Cahill. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

With a population once believed to be around the5000 mark, and home to a bustling main street, less than 100 people now call the town home.

One of these is Noelene Cahill, who has lived on a farm about four kilometres from the centre of town for the past 40 years.

It’s during this time she has witnessed Corindhap’s changing landscape – from a thriving gold mining centre to a peaceful little village.

Mrs Cahill said most of the town’s shops, its post office and primary school had now closed, with just the local Break-O-Day Hotel operating mostly on weekends.

Her husband and two sons have played for the Rokewood-Corindhap Football Club, which is based at Rokewood, just a few kilometres up the road.

Mrs Cahill said Corindhap’s hall, built in 1956, used to house cabaret balls, but is now used mainlyfor fortnightly card nights as a local get-together.

Another significant drawcard to the community is a number of striking wood carvings, which line the Avenue of Honour.

They includea plane, a soldier, a horse and rider and a woman with her children receiving a letter sent from the war office.

The basics

Municipality: Golden Plains

Population: The Australian Bureau of Statistics considers Corindhap part of the wider Rokewood area, with a population of 433. There is is expected to be about 50 people living in Corindhap itself.

First settled: 1840s-1850s

Main industries: Farming

Claim to fame: Publican of Corindhap’s Cosmopolitan Hotel George Searle and his sidekick Joseph Ballan were hanged in Ballarat for the murder of Thomas Ulick Burke in 1867. The pair shot and robbed the young Smythesdale bank managerof 1,200 pounds in cash, with the gun and money found in the hotel.

Five fast facts:

1. The town’s local football and netball club is known as Rokewood-Corindhap, which playsin the Central Highlands league.

2. Corindhap changed to be called Break-O-Day during the gold rush and reverted back to its original name when the gold petered out.

3. The town had a resurgence in the depression as people returned for the rabbits and the gold.

4. During its peak, Corindhap is believed to have had a population of about 5000 people, with five hotels and seven shanties.

5. Corindhap was the name by which the area was known to the Woadyalloack tribe of aboriginals.

Five things to do:

1. Check out the special wood carvings along the town’s Avenue of Honour, completed by Geelong woodcarver Viktor Cebergs.

2. Enjoy a drink at the Break-O-Day Hotel, open mainly on weekends.

3. Trip to the local cemetery, which is based on Cemetery Road in Corindhap.

4. Go prospecting for gold in the local waterways.

5. Visit Laidler Reserve, which is home to the Corindhap war memorial.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.