A LABOUR of love which involved more than 3000 hours of research has finally come to fruition for a local author with a book detailing the definitive history of Dunnstown to be launched on Sunday.
A new book by author Dianne Cahir features more than 150 years of history of the town that is best known for its Irish heritage.
But according to the author, it wasn't always the case.
"There was a lot more than the Irish here at the start, but Irish pushed out the English," Ms Cahir said.
"There was a state school set up, but no-one was allowed to go to it because it wasn't a Catholic school.
IN OTHER NEWS
"It was a brand new building, it was a newly-built place as opposed to an old Catholic school which was in a ramshackle building and didn't even have books, but that was the way it was."
Dunnstown was named after distillery owner Robert Dunn. Initially it was considered part of Warrenheip, but as it was a stop on the Cobb & Co to the goldfields, it soon became a settlement.
"By the time the Irish came the gold had mostly finished, but there was a lot of timber around here," Ms Cahir said. "Once the timber was all clear that's when they began farming it.
"It made sense, it was close to Ballarat, the railway was here, there was work, so you could get employment at the timber mills or on the railway or they setup their farm. The town virtually got its name from Robert Dunn. The distillery itself was almost a small town, it had a postal stop.
"Whenever people would send a letter it was always addressed to someone at Mr Dunn's Town and that's how the name stuck. At it's peak there were probably 800 (residents) at one stage, it's now about 200. People don't have the big families anymore and as the kids grow up, they move away."
Ms Cahir said the book would not have been possible without the assistance of the town's people who had offered up photos, press clippings and their own histories.
The book will be launched on Sunday at 2pm at Dunnstown Recreation Reserve. A sausage sizzle will be held from 12.30pm.