Hurstbridge 3099Hurstbridge, once an apple growing district, is now more a residential suburb 26 km north-east of Melbourne. It is on the Diamond Creek and is the terminus of a railway line from Melbourne.
Its name was formerly Hurst's Bridge, named after Henry Hurst who was an early settler murdered by a bushranger in 1866. Hurst had occupied a property called Allwood, and his descendants continued to do so. When the railway line was extended from Heidelberg in 1912 the railway station was named Allwood. At that time Hurstbridge had a public hall, a saw mill and a cool store for local orchardists. Hurstbridge is said to hold the Australian record for the most apples dispatched from a railway station in one season. A primary school was opened in 1916.
Hurstbridge was also a tourist resort, and a recreation reserve, croquet green and tennis courts were added by 1940. During the first decade after the war Hurstbridge's population nearly doubled. There was also population growth in localities further afield. In 1966 a high school was opened. By the 1980s when the postwar population had grown fourfold, Hurstbridge had a wide range of children's services, clubs, four churches and an active shopping centre. Hurstbridge has two extensive parklands along the Diamond Creek and two native flora reserves. Former orchards now graze horses and there is an active pony club. Hurstbridge's census populations have been 433 (1933), 824 (1954) and 2,990 (1991).
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