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Published January 6th 2014
Walk at Lillydale Lake and take in some history
On the shoreline of Lillydale Lake stand two sandstone walls, which are the remains of a two story flour mill. The building stood before the area became know as Lilydale. There was a water wheel mounted on the west side, which was driven driven by the Olinda Creek. Photo courtesy of Lilydale & District Historical Society. For more local history click here.
The mill was built by Hugh Kneen of Fitzroy, in the 1850's, then established and run by James Cashin and his family. They milled grain, with production as high as 18,000 bushels (540 tonnes) per annum by 1857. This was a solution to the issue of shipping wheat and oats to Melbourne for milling, saving time and transport costs.
There was no bridge over the Yarra River at that stage, so wheat from the local Corranderk Aboriginal Station at Healesville was carried across a fallen tree over the Yarra River, then loaded on the Cashin's Bullock Dray to be shipped to the mill.
By the end of 1864, production had dropped to 5,000 bushels a year, due to insect attack, floods, drought and rust set in after a very wet season. The industry was drawing to a close because of these influences, and finally ceased in 1876.
Lillydale Lake is a great venue for a picnic or barbeque with the family. You may wish take take a stroll and enjoy this attractive lake, surrounding hills and wetlands. There are often people with kayaks doing laps, or small sail boats too. The mill is situated on corner of the north lake wall.
There is a fabulous play ground to keep the kids amused, picnic tables, barbeques, shelters and amenities. There is plenty of room for a ball game, or just take your dog for a walk. It is a great place to visit, for a hour, or a day out.