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Visitors step back in time at Day's Mill

Heritage-listed Day's Mill, south of Murchison, was the scene of celebrations yesterday to mark its 150th anniversary.

KAITLIN THALS April 15, 2013 3:54am

Peter Evans from Alexandra Timber Tramway ran the boiler at the mill.


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A well-preserved heritage site was open to the public at the weekend, revealing secrets of a bygone era.

Family descendants and visitors attended Day’s Mill, south of Murchison, to mark 150 years since the pioneering Day family purchased land for the mill, residence and farm in 1863.

About 1000 people were expected to visit the Victorian Heritage Listed site, which is believed to be the most intact 19th century mill in Australia.

The open day was a rare opportunity for people to explore the longstanding mill, homestead and farm area.

There were storytellers and musicians to entertain, children’s heritage activities and about 40 market stalls offering produce and wares.

Music wafted across the grounds; the tunes were chosen from an original dance card retained from past dances held at the mill.

Great-grandson of the original owners, Eric Day, was there to celebrate the occasion.

He now lives in Pakenham with wife, Gillian.

Pioneers William and Ann Day were Eric’s great-grandparents and his grandfather, Henry ‘‘Harry’’ Day, was the first-born child on the property.

‘‘I think it’s great now that people in Victoria and Australia can enjoy the site, we’d love to see it brought back to tip-top condition, naturally, but it takes money,’’ Eric said.

‘‘I was born in Murchison and spent quite a lot of my childhood in Murchison, then we went back to our dairy farm in Stanhope.

‘‘Not until about 1995 was the first time I spent on the property — my dad (Rupert) always used to talk about it. It’s a great area.’’

The Historic Buildings Council purchased the property in 1986 and it has been managed by Parks Victoria since 1996.

Parks Victoria heritage planner Chris Smith said Day’s Mill played a significant role in the Goulburn Valley’s identity as the region’s food bowl.

Day’s Mill is open to the public only on advertised open days or by appointment. For more information, phone Parks Victoria on 131963.

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