Devenish 3726

Devenish, a rural locality with a small township, is 27 km. north-north-west of Benalla on the route to Yarrawonga. The area was formerly known as Major Plains and St. James (both of which continue as localities), but an early settler bestowed the name Devenish, probably after an island in Lough Erne, Ireland. It is near the Broken Creek, in flat country with little tree cover.

Settlers began to occupy Devenish in the 1860s, and by the late 1870s most farm holdings were taken up. Their usual area was 80 - 120 ha. Schools were opened: Devenish West (1874-1943), Devenish East (1875-1931 in a Primitive Methodist chapel) and Devenish (1876). The railway line from Benalla to Yarrawonga was opened via Devenish in 1883.

The land was suited to more intensive uses than pastoral, and butter and bacon factories were in the township at the turn of the century.

Devenish has two churches, stores, a public hall, a school and a hotel. There is silo storage for both wheat and oats.

The census populations of Devenish have been 56 (1881), 469 (1911) and 119 (1966).


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