Mount Beauty – The beginnings

Mount Beauty was named after farmer Charles Richardson. He climbed to the top of a steep spur, now known as Cranky Charlie, slammed a fence post into the ground and remarked on the beautiful view.

The name stuck and when the State Electricity Commission decided to build a hydro-electric scheme in the Alps, Mount Beauty became the base.

The Mount Beauty Township was originally established to provide additional accommodation for the thousands of workers during the construction of the Kiewa Hydroelectric Scheme. They put boom gates at either end and built the first row of houses in 1947.

Local historian Bill Sutton said by 1950 there 484 homes, 4000 workers on the building site and 580 kids at the school. As construction slowed, the houses were vacated and sold off to permanent electricity workers and holiday makers. Control was passed over to the local shire council in 1967 after the scheme’s construction was completed.