Following the discovery of gold at Nelson’s Gully in 1861, January 1862 saw the first rigging of camps alongside the prospectors on the banks of Hood’s Lagoon. Within the year, the settlement boasted a general store and around 30 diggings. The rush was on and by the end of 1863 over 1,000 miners were operating in local fields.
The town reserve was proclaimed on 25 March 1864, and saw the establishment of a Doctor, Newspaper, Banks, Churches and a Hospital.
It’s believed that Clermont was originally known as ‘Hood’s Lagoon’.
Clermont prospered however flooding was a problem: 1896 saw the fourth flooding since the town’s establishment. The flood on 28 December 1916 resulted in vast destruction and loss of life. The town was moved to where it is today.
The lagoon remained popular for swimming and picnicking, providing the railway’s water needs (extended to Clermont in February 1884), serving windmills, and supplying water for the town.
The old town lay dormant for over half a century. It was revitalised with the placement of the Flood Memorial in 1980, followed by tree plantings, replacement of the lagoon bridge, sporting ovals, and the beatification of the Lagoon area, and historical monuments.
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