Eaglehawk 3556Eaglehawk was a compact borough from 1862 until 7 April 1994, when it was united with several municipalities to form the City of Greater Bendigo. By then the borough had become physically joined with suburban Bendigo. The origin of its name is uncertain, perhaps being named by a shepherd who killed an eaglehawk which attacked sheep or by an early goldminer who observed an eaglehawk or its nest.
Gold was discovered at Bendigo (Sandhurst) in October, 1851, and the gold-bearing land extended several kilometres north-west of Bendigo beyond Eaglehawk. In 1904, twelve years after Eaglehawk had been constituted as a borough.
Its population in 1871 was 6,590. Further growth occurred, as by 1903 the population was 8,130. By 1947 the population had fallen to 4,090, reflecting the decline in gold mining.
The model borough's role moved away from industrial land towards dormitory as Bendigo became more dominant as an employment centre. The population reached 8,381 in 1991. Much of Eaglehawk's historic built fabric has been retained. The primary school, former Methodist Church and the Town Hall are on the Victorian Heritage Register, and the Mechanics institute is used as a museum. There is an annual Dahlia Arts Festival in March/April.
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