The History of Happy Valley

The area in which Happy Valley lies was once a massive pastoral run of some 870,000 acres called Eagle Vale. In 1866 the Run was sub-divided into four separate runs and one vacant area. The Runs became, Wonnangatta, Beechers Hill, Dargo High Plains and the much smaller Eagle Vale.

Eaglevale Pastoral Run from 1859. 870,000 acres

1859Angus McMillan
1861Kaye and Butchart
1863James Butchart
1886EAGLE VALE was sub-divided into the four separate runs.

The new EAGLE VALE became 103,680 acres. The following became the licence holders:

1866 Aug 17th James Butchart

The Land Act was revised in 1884. Section 42 allowed for holders of grazing Lease’s to excise land from their Leases to obtain agricultural Licence’s of any quantity of Land not exceeding 320 acres to be taken out for six years. Section 44 allowed these Licence’s to be converted after six years to a 14 year Lease or Crown Grant if specified conditions had been met. At the end of the 14 years the lease holder could then purchase the land. This allowed Grazing Lease holders to own the portion of land they had built their houses on and land they had grown crops on.

Constantine Holme applied for and was granted Licence for Lot 4, 34 acres,Lot 4A, 63 acres and Lot 5, 43 acres. The Licenses were granted on the 1st August 1885. Holme also acquired Lot 1, 139 acres and Lot 12, 59 acres.

On his death in 1913 Holme left his land to his nephew Sydney Cuthbert Ede.


Happy Valley:

Around the same time in 1884 Harry Smith with Holmes blessing applied for a License for two allotments on the Wonnangatta River at Eaglevale several miles upstream of the land Holme was applying for. These were Lot 2, 38 acres and Lot 3, 89 acres. The Licenses were granted for Lot 2 on the 1st July 1885 and Lot 3 on the 1st September 1885. The area is known today as Happy Valley.

It was on allotment 2, c.1885 that Harry built his cabin. Harry lived on this property in the cabin he built until his death sixty years later.


Harry was granted a further License for Allotment 15, 30 acres on the 1st June 1899.


Harry takes another License this time for Allotment 13, Section 15,  298 acres.

For the four allotments Harry took Licence on he eventually converted them all to purchase.

1945—1956 Harry Smith dies on the 19th September aged 86 years. 

Harry bequeathed his estate to Mary and Daisy Campbell. The Campbell’s sell the property to Jim Barclay.

It was Jim Barclay who named the property Happy Valley.

1956 Jim Barclay sells the Happy Valley properties to Bruce Dungey.