Founded in 1860, Lilydale in the Yarra Valley has multiple stories for the name of the town. One is that it is believed to have been named after an early settler, Lilly de Castella. Another tale is that it is named after the song, “Lilly Dale.” It has also been said that the town was named after the beautiful lilies a surveyor saw by the creek.
Lilydale’s early days was marked as a hub for sales of livestock from the nearby Coldstream area. This was also the time that many of Lilydale’s vineyards were planted. Along with the trade that ensued, came the trades and services like plumbers.
In 1881, the railway connecting Lilydale to Hawthorn helped to ignite growth of people and resources in the town. With it followed churches, a courthouse, and a shire hall.
Lilydale is also the starting point of the Warburton Trail, a walking path based on the old Lilydale-Warburton railway.
Agriculture has always been a major part of the town’s structure. Every year, the town holds the two day Lilydale Agricultural & Horticultural Show in the 3rd week of November every year.
For much of Lilydale’s history, it remained a small rural town. Only in the 1980s did Lilydale start to develop residential areas more than walking distance from the train station. a 2011 consensus showed 15,649 people living in Lilydale.
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