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Culture and heritage

The township of Hepburn was named after Captain John Hepburn, one of the first European settlers in the area, who made his home in Smeaton in 1836.

Gold was first discovered in Daylesford in 1851 and by 1855, thousands of diggers were active as new fields were opened.

Many Swiss and Italian miners made their way to the diggings during the gold rush and the influence they had on the area remains in their descendants, distinctive architecture and local culinary delights. An annual Swiss-Italian Festival is held in Hepburn Springs.

Mount Franklin was the site of an early Aboriginal Protectorate station dating from the 1840s.