In 1834 the polish explorer Johann Lhotski was the first European to reach this area. He travelled from Sydney, this was a
part of NSW at that time and he returned via the same route, informing the graziers he had stayed with on the way down about the
naturally treeless plains (Omeo High Plains) with lots of grazing possibilities, that he had found.

The following year, 1835, the first settlers arrived at Benambra and almost immediately Omeo. Gold mining began in
1851 although the presence of gold was known of earlier.

The Shire of Omeo celebrated the Centenary of European settlement in this region with a "back to Omeo" in 1935 that
drew large crowds and a week long celebration.
As a part of that celebration the Shire commissioned a set of chairs from Melbourne for the Councillors. 14 chairs of
one design but with the Shire Presidents chair carrying the Shire Coat of Arms.

They were used for many years and when the East Gippsland Shire was created in 1994 and Shire of Omeo incorporated into that,
the chairs were passed onto the Society along with many other records and items relating to the old Shire of Omeo.

The fine set of commissioned chairs was joined in the council chamber by a set of
Fler recliners that were much more comfortable for Councillors, to the extent that
they sometimes fell asleep during meetings. The Fler's were able to recline almost flat.
The speaker above has one behind him.

In 2001 (omeo shire ended 1994) the former council chamber was being used
as a meeting room by the Society and East Gippsland Shire.
this was a workshop for the Society with Public Records Office Vic.

The Fler recliners were offered to the last Shire of Omeo Councillors as keepsakes and
the 11 (2 are missing) chairs of the commissioned set are now cared for and used in the Star of the
East Masonic Lodge in Omeo who had both a need and the space to utilise these items.

The Society believes there were 14 chairs originally but cant account for two of them.

The Presidents Chair was moved to the Courthouse where it lives next to the Magistrates chair.
They represent two tiers of Government, State and Local.

Some of the 1935 crowd at the Recreation Reserve, Omeo.

A group in 1935, taken from the balcony of the Golden Age (which burnt down in 1939)
and looking towards the Police Station, Log Lockup and Courts.

1972 / 73 and the Centenary of the Shire of Omeo.
The Councillors all dressed as their counterparts may have in 1872. The Shire had been Proclaimed in October 1872
but the first council meeting was January 1873.
Note the fountain, this is in front of the Courthouse.

This was a really big event in Omeo, thousands came for the Australia Day Long Weekend in Jan 1973.

Jan 1973 Council meeting in the then council chambers.
The 1935 chairs are in use, as is the large table.

For the Centenary of the Shire of Omeo we even had a Moomba Float. Representing, snow capped mountains and
sking, fishing and outdoor recreation, Gold mining, Agriculture.

Cavalcade of hsitory parade in the main street in 1973

Sir Rohan Delacombe was the guest of honour.