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Early History. The Coleraine "Albion" says:- With the pioneers slipping away, one is apt to forget something of the early history which surrounds this part of the district, and a move is on foot to perpetuate the memory of the first white man who-blazed the trail. In the following reading will be noticed names, familiar to us and gives the present rising generation the information as to how some of our streets were named. The early settlement of the West- ern District, as of the Port Phillip area, owed much to tho zeal and ad- venturous spirit of colonists from the island across the Strait, and fol- lowing the explorations of Hume and Hovell of 1824-25, the attention of the authorities of the colony in Sydney had steadily been drawn to- wards the vast district south of the Murray, where the explorers had penetrated ; and in the years which followed the arrival of the Hentys at Portland with the nucleus of their flocks and herds, there came a steady stream of settlers from Van Die- men's Land, as well as the "overlan- ders" from the east. Meantime an expedition was fitted out by the Go- vernment in Sydney, under Major Mitchell, Surveyor-General of the Colony, to explore the Port Phillip district. Arriving in Portland in 1836, Mitchell found a large whaling establishment there, the property of the Henty's, and reported so favor- ably on the settlement that Edward Henty formed sheep stations at Merino Downs, Muntham, and Sand- ford. The year after Major Mitchell's visit to Portland came the advent of the "overlanders," as well as many immigrants from Britain, and set- tlers moved in ever-increasing num- bers from the seaboard. The Wedge Bros. moved to the Grange, where the prosperous town of Hamil- ton now stands. McCulloch took up Retreat Station, on the Glenelg, J. G. Robertson settled at Satimer and Wando Vale, and the Whyte Bros. occupied Koonongwootong, in the district known as Coleraine. During the early forties the fame of the district spread far and wide, and rapid progress was made. The rev- enue from licenses in the Portland district int 1840 did not exceed £150. But - when it became known in Van Diemen's Land that the Hentys had opened up a road into the interior, many others followed. In October, 1840, the first Portland land sales were held, some blocks realising at the rate of £1600 per acre. Almost simultaneous with these early years of development in the lands around Portland and the sites of Coleraine and Hamilton, the Colac country was being occupied. It is now some 93 years since Major Mitchell first passed by the stream known as the Grange, which gave its name to'the early settle- ment in and around the present site of Hamilton. Following the flocks which the Hentys drove inland from Portland to Merino Downs came Messrs. J. Bryan, S. P. Winter, A. Pilleau, and others, who found the luxuriant pastures of kangaroo grass so high that frequently their horses were lost in it. The fame of such rich country attracted further late- comers from the drier districts of Beaufort and Ballarat, and stock- owners forsook their earlier hold- ings. Amongst these were the Wedge Bros, who settled close by the site whereon the Strathkellar home- stead was later erected. Upon their station lands the actual town was later built. In the '70's there were some 40 grazing properties in the surrounding area, amongst the leading graziers being such men as C. H. Armytage, J. Coldham, W. Learmonth, T. McKellar, R. Moffatt, C. Officer, G. and S. P. Winter. The town and district have enjoyed a continued era of expansion and devel- opment ever since, and concurrently with the pastoral and industrial pro- gress Hamilton'has become well known as an important educational centre, and the home of well estab- lished colleges and schools.