Macarthur Historical Society







Macarthur Historical Society is very excited to announce the acquisition of a significant amount of memorabilia from the old Barber’s Shop formerly owned by Gordon Lucas. The memorabilia includes an amazing collection of razors, cigarette wall posters and cartons, signs, pipes, cabinets and of course, the rpized Barber’s Chair. This will be displayed in the Courthouse building.


The Macarthur Historical Society held a Re-enactment of the "Trial of the Naked Horseman". This was a re-enactment of an event that happened in Macarthur in 1863 where a man was ’bet’ that he couldn’t ride into town naked and purchase a bottle of liquor. The man did attempt the act, and was susbsequently arrest by police. He was sentenced to 6 months hard labour!


The Police Lock Ups were flat packed and shipped out from England to be constructed on site. They were used to hold people overnight, mostly for drunk and disorderly. One lock up was demolished but the other was relocated to its present site next to the Courthouse in High Street. It has been restored to its former glory and its plaque officially unveiled at the Trial of the Naked Horseman event.


This event was held over the weekend of 16-18 November and  included such things as a Historic Display, Photo display, Booklet of 150 years, Art Show and school competitions, Horse drawn carriages, Vintage cars, Campdraft display, Pony club display, Motor X display, Historic trail tours, Chainsaw carving, Childrens Entertainment, Live Music etc.

A carved statue of a pioneer is now located beside the old Courthouse in High Street.

THE POTATO VILLAGE - Mt Eccles, near Macarthur
by Bev Ross

Over the past 200 years Mt Eccles has been home to hundreds of people, has experienced war, floods and fire as well as celebrations and successes. Local resident and fourth generation Mt Eccles-ite Bev Ross has spent the past 20 years mapping these events. The people who came and went, where they lived and what mark they left on this area once known as the Potato Village.

The books is for sale at $20.


150 YEARS, 150 LIVES
by Simone Dalton.

The book, 150 Years, 150 Lives was launched at the Macarthur 150th Celebrations held in November 2007 - which celebrated 150 years since Macarthur was declared a town.

The book is for sale at $15.


BORING? NOT LIKELY! Great Characters of Macarthur”
by Simone Dalton.

“Macarthur lies south of Hamilton in the Western District. In primary school, Simone did a project on her hometown and learnt it had a population of 369. That seemed normal to her. She spent time with old people because they had good stories. That seemed normal, too. At 19, she went to Melbourne Uni to do commerce, dropped out after six months and did journalism at Deakin.

When she was 18, a Melbourne newspaper ran a competition on the most boring town in Victoria and awarded the title to Macarthur. It didn’t bother Simone, she’d always found plenty to do, but it hurt some older people. That’s why she called her book “Boring, Not Likely! Great Characters of Macarthur”.” (comments from Martin Flanagan, The Age)

A special weekend was held in Macarthur on March 6th 2005 to launch the book, which resulted in over 600 people coming back to Macarthur.

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This booklet was put together by Bev Ross in 2006. It gives a brief history of some of the more notable characters in the cemetery as well as a brief overall history of the cemetery itself. There are 1100 known graves and records show that at least 146 children under the age of 2 years were buried, mostly in unmarked graves.




This brochure lists historic sites in Macarthur. Sites of long gone businesses, buildings, and residences and places are listed with some details. A map gives good directions to these historic sites, and all is within town and walking distance. Copies are available from the Historical Society or Mooney’s Café, Macarthur Community Health or Port Fairy Information Centre.

The newly erected plaques are located around the town.


CONTACT: Macarthur Historical Society, High Street, Macarthur, Vic, 3286
Phone: (03) 55761221

Historical Society formed March 1987 -
Hours of operation: Open by appointment only.

Last updated - June 19th, 2013