April A-Z Challenge: O for Omeo
I am back again for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge so have made the commitment to blog every day in April except the Sundays. Some bloggers choose a theme, and others do random posts. For me, a theme works better, so them I’ve chosen for 2016 is Towns in Victoria. I will be choosing towns with a relevance to my family history, where possible.
O is for Omeo, a small town on the Great Alpine Road, in a valley surrounded by the mountains of the Australian Alps. The name Omeo, came from the Aboriginal word for mountains or hills. At the 2011 census Omeo had a population of 487.
In 1845, gold was found in the creek that runs through Omeo, which caused the creation and boom of the town. By 1901, at it’s peak, Omeo’s population was 9400, with many cafes, and shops and many wealthy miners keen to spend their money. Businesses boomed and the banks arrived. Many of the historic bank buildings are still standing today.
Although many historic buildings still remain in the town, many have been damaged by natural disaster such as earthquakes in 1885 and 1892 and the Black Friday bushfires of 1939.
Omeo today, is once again a small town, although very vibrant, with many community activites and regular events to bring visitors to the town. There are the Picnic Races in March, the Easter Saturday Rodeo and town market, the Easter Sunday Polo Match at Cobungra Station, just outside Omeo, an annual Caravan and RV Muster, and the Annual Agricultural Show.