In 1846 Peter McGinnis guided by a friendly aboriginal followed what is now known as the Yarriambiack Creek from Horsham to Lake Corrong looking for unoccupied land for sheep grazing. He was the first European pastoralist to settle in the Mallee. He was joined by his wife, family and partner George Bell and established the Lake Corrong Run. Corrong Homestead can still be seen on the original site surrounded by McGinnis Park and is a tribute to the early pioneers.
This successful property was subsequently purchased by Mr. Edward Lascelles and partners in 1878. He became known as “The Father of the Mallee” and his vision, courage and their collective enterprise was responsible for opening up The Mallee.
Hopetoun is named after Lord Hopetoun the Governor of Victoria and later Australia’s first Governor General who often visited Lake Corrong Homestead as a guest of Edward Lascelles.
The first sales of township blocks too place in 1891 and the construction of shops and houses soon followed. Water was diverted along natural watercourses from the Grampians in 1899 to service the new settlers and by 1907 the water was reticulated through open channels. Both the supply of water and the development of the railway were crucial to opening up the region for farmers.
Lake Lascelles is located on the edge of town and filled by the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline. This lake has been redeveloped and beautified over the past 3 decades and is now a popular venue for water sports and fishing. Accommodation, gas barbeques, playground, toilets, boat ramp and general picnic facilities on well-kept lawns are a feature of the lake.
This homestead was built by the Mallee’s first settler Peter McGinnis and now fully restored to its original pioneer state. Corrong Homestead is believed to be the oldest original house in the Mallee.
In wet years the Yarriambiack Creek empties into this lake east of Hopetoun. Sometimes dry, but when full provides a haven for a variety of water birds, and is a favourite fishing and yabbying spot.
Hopetoun House was built in 1891 for Edward Lascelles from local limestone quarried from just north of town. Classified by the National Trust, but privately owned, this magnificent home features a large underground room and storeroom, which provided a retreat from the heat and apparently hosted a number of dance parties during the 1920’s.
This mural was painted by local artists Shirley Decker & Trish Hogan as a backdrop to the Memorial Park in the main street. The 20m by 3.5m wall mural depicts many facets of Hopetoun’s unique heritage such as drovers, wool bales, aborigines and native fauna, flora and bird life.