Fernshaw 3778

Fernshaw was a rural township 63 km. north-east of Melbourne and 10 km. north-east of Healesville.

Situated on the Watts river, near where a log had fallen making a convenient crossing, Fernshaw was settled in the 1860s. It provided good country for orchards and berry growing. The location was at the foot of Blacks Spur, with Mounts Juliet and Mondah rising on either side, providing spectacular scenery. There were nearby fern gullies giving rise to the name - "shaw"is old English for thicket or wood. By 1875 Fernshaw had a post office and was famed for its beauty, attracting tourists.

In 1886 the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of works began work on the Watts River water catchment scheme - later to become Maroondah - and the Board obtained approval for the catchment country to be reserved and kept free of settlement. This required the removal of the Fernshaw township, consisting of stores, accommodation houses and two hotels, and removal was completed by about 1890. Fernshaw remains as a roadside place name and there is a Fernshaw reserve.


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