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Bruthen Local History

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Bruthen is a small town located in the East Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia. The town is situated on the Great Alpine Road and is approximately halfway between Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance. Bruthen is a picturesque town with a rich history and is well-known for its beautiful scenery, friendly locals, and charming country hospitality.

The town's name comes from the Aboriginal word "brutjen," which means "snakes." It is believed that the area around Bruthen was a major hunting ground for the local indigenous people, the Gunai-Kurnai nation, who lived in the region for thousands of years. The Gunai-Kurnai people used the area for hunting, fishing, and gathering, and the Bruthen area was home to several important Aboriginal tribes.

The first European settlers arrived in the Bruthen area in the early 1840s. The first settler to take up land in the area was a Scottish immigrant named John McNicol, who established a pastoral run near the Tambo River in 1840. McNicol named his property "Bruthen," after the nearby mountain range, and the name eventually became associated with the town that grew up in the area.

In the early days, Bruthen was a bustling frontier town, with several hotels, general stores, and other businesses catering to the needs of the early settlers. The town grew rapidly, and by the 1850s, it had become an important stopover for gold miners on their way to the goldfields of Gippsland and beyond.

The discovery of gold in the Omeo district in the early 1850s brought a flood of miners to the area, and many of them passed through Bruthen on their way to the goldfields. The town became a hub for the transport of goods, people, and livestock, and a number of businesses sprang up to cater to the needs of the miners and other travellers passing through the town. Bruthen became an important centre for the timber, cattle, and dairy industries, which helped to sustain the town's growth and prosperity.

By the late 1800s, Bruthen had become a thriving and prosperous town, with a range of businesses, schools, and community organisations. The town had a bank, several churches, a courthouse, a mechanics' institute, and a range of sporting clubs and community groups. Although Bruthen never became a major industrial town, it remained an important centre for agriculture and commerce, and continued to grow and prosper throughout the 20th century.

Today, Bruthen is a popular tourist destination, with many visitors coming to enjoy the town's beautiful scenery and relaxed country lifestyle. The town has a range of accommodation options, including hotels, motels, and guesthouses, and there are several cafes, restaurants, and pubs in the town centre. The town is also home to a range of galleries and artisan studios, where visitors can see and purchase locally-made arts and crafts.

Bruthen is surrounded by a range of natural attractions, including the Tambo River, which is popular for fishing, boating, and swimming. There are also several walking trails in the area, including the Bruthen to Nowa Nowa Rail Trail, which follows the route of an old railway line that once connected the towns of Bruthen and Nowa Nowa. The trail is popular with walkers and cyclists and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

In conclusion, Bruthen is a charming and historic town with a rich and diverse history. From its early days as a frontier settlement to its present-day status as a thriving tourist destination, Bruthen has a unique and fascinating story to tell. The town's natural beauty, friendly locals, and rich cultural heritage make it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of regional Australia.

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Bruthen the Great Alpine Road thanks to John o'Neill