FOR some, the name Snake Valley will conjure images of a sea of slippery reptiles slithering between the hills.
But the small town is far from that and is in-fact named after the river where miners used to pan for gold.
It is a country community steeped in history.
From the time it was first settled in the 1850s in the midst of the gold rush, Snake Valley has been evolving towards its modern form: a quiet country town that oozes history and has a strong sense of community.
Set among rolling hills, it’s picturesque too.
“You can be whatever you want to be in Snake Valley,” says local resident of several decades Pat Yeoman.
“If you want to be involved you can, but if you want to be in the bush and you quite like peace that’s fine too.”
But Ms Yeoman said the town’s proud past was the main attraction.
“Fishing is always good but history is the thing and we (the Woady Yaloak Historical Society) do have some open days,” she said, before speaking of the town’s changes over the past 150 years.
“We were more or less a left over gold mining town. Then there were a lot of labourers here who found jobs in different places and then people started working in Ballarat.
“Then quite a bit of the area was subdivided and that’s when a lot of the new people came in.”
As for the prospect of striking it rich, Ms Yeoman said there was still hope.
“For people with detectors I’m sure there’s still gold there, but it might be way down,” she said.
“I don’t think there’d be much left on the surface. You can go west and you’ll find diggers holes and see where they have been.”
Municipality: Pyrenees Shire
First settled: 1859
Main industries: Agriculture especially broad acre farming, grazing and timber.
Claim to fame: One of Snake Valley's most famous sons was the Reverend John Flynn, who established what eventually became the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
In addition, between 1887 and 1913 Snake Valley's Jubilee Historic Mine Reserve produced around $80 million worth of gold.
Five fast facts
1. The Reverend John Flynn, who was known as Flynn of the Inland and established the Royal Flying Doctor Service, went to school in Snake Valley.
2. Despite being a small town, Snake Valley has churches of five different Christian denominations, although not all of them are currently being used as places of worship.
3. The post office first opened in 1859.
4. A 30 hour siege took place in Snake Valley in June 2011. The man responsible was jailed for 26 months.
Five things to do
1. Take a four kilometre stroll around the town on the Snake Valley historical circuit.
2. Get a glimpse of the old police lock up, which is still standing in the backyard of a property on the corner of Snake Valley Smythes and Carngham-Linton roads.
3. Enjoy a schnitzel night with the local football club each Friday, but make sure you call ahead to check it’s still on.
4. Check out the local observatory just off the main road.
5. On a hot day cool off at the old mining hole Mag Dam on Magdam Road.