Panton Hill 3759

Panton Hill is a mainly rural locality 32 km. north-east of Central Melbourne. It was named after Joseph Anderson Panton, Commissioner for the Anderson's Creek and other goldfields and later magistrate at Heidelberg. During time off from his magisterial duties he mapped the Yarra Valley (approx. 1862). In so doing he named Panton Hill, which had previously been Kingstown, a name shared with other places and a cause of some confusion.

Panton Hill was established as a goldfield in 1859 in the area generally called the Caledonia Diggings (1855). Its northern neighbour, Queenstown, is now St. Andrews. By the end of the 1860s the goldfield became less profitable and miners turned to farming. Several introduced viticulture and orchards to Panton Hill. A primary school was opened in 1865, and by 1880 there were two hotels and a Church of England. A mechanics' institute was opened in 1901. The railway extension from Heidelberg to Hurstbridge in 1912 provided quicker access for fruit-growers to the Melbourne markets.

For most of the present century Panton Hill's population has been around 300, indicating a steady rural economy. The present township includes a general store, primary school and infant welfare centre, hotel, Church reserves and a fire station. The voluntary fire brigade is a significant community organisation.

Panton Hill's census populations have been 267 (1911), 337 (1947) and 309 (1991).



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