PIONEERS AND EARLY SETTLEMENT OF LAKE WALLACE AND EDENHOPE
On April 16th, 1843, William Wallace – said to be a descendent of the great Scottish patriot – with his small part on horseback broke through the scrub and timbered country which had characterised their journey north from Portland to see the magnificent sheet of water at their feet. He explored the area for about a month but then settled about 20 miles southwesterly at Elderslie.
Two years later in February, 1845, the Hope Bros., George and James, symbolising the success of the westward settler invasion that had started from Geelong in the 1830’s, arrived and occupied some 120,000 acres which they called Lake Wallace Station.
The first signs of permanent settlement at Edenhope appeared in 1857-58 when a number of English, Scottish and Irish shepherds and labourers built humble homes in the township area.
The origin of the name “Edenhope” has puzzled many as there does not appear to be any other town or for that matter natural feature, hill, river, etc. of that name in the world. It has been stated that Edenhope was the name of one of the estates or farms of the Hope family in Scotland but definate confirmation is lacking. Another line of thought has it that is is a concoction of Hopes Eden and still another that the Hope brothers had a sister Edith from which the name was built up. Historians have become bogged down with the various formulas but all are agreed that the choice was a happy one.