STEELS CREEK (district)

The Steels Creek flows from the southern slopes of the Great Dividing Range below Kinglake down to the Yarra River just east of Yarra Glen. The district known as Steels Creek follows the course of this stream down the valley which is only about two kilometres wide to the vicinity of Gulf Road, north of Yarra Glen. The district known as Steels Creek covers an area of approximately 20 square kilometres. The first European settler in the area was Dr John Dickson who held a pastoral lease which included both the Steels and Dixons Creeks drainage basins, from about 1843. One of his outstations was on Steels Creek opposite the present Valley Road. In 1854 the Caledonian Goldfields were established and by the late 1850s a small number of prospectors were poking around the upper reaches of Steels Creek.  There were small rushes to Steels Creek in 1867 and 1868 particularly the Full and Plenty Creek area, just east of the Mt Slide road. Since then there have been further waves of prospectors and miners as technology improved, a period of economic depression drove the unemployed to seek their fortune from the earth. An antimony mine also flourished briefly during the Second World War. The proclamation of Grant's Land Act of 1865 opened the way for closer settlement of the district and it is said that at least 50 families settled in Burgoyne Parish.

By 1868 nine families were shown as residents of Steels Creek: William Brimmer, John Cummins, George Fletcher (who is said to have built the first house in Steels Creek), David Frier, his sister-in-law Mary Frier, James and William Jewson, Anthony, William and Jonothan Scott and David Rolfe. Other early settlers were John Burgess Wilson and William Hubbard. Many of these settlers established small farms and orchards. The Steels Creek Primary School was built in 1886 and a church was erected alongside. The first postal service was a "Loose Bag service commenced in 1887. This was upgraded to a Post Office from 11th March 1890 with Edward Morris, the local school teacher, in charge.