Merino is the next township encounted as the traveler heads to Coleraine and then west. Merino is a very small place but does have a number of essential services. The name ‘Merino’ has no connection with the Merino Sheep breed.
The first European settlement of the area was in 1837, when Francis Henty, brother of Edward Henty, established Merino Downs station. Henty established the station after a report on the high quality pasture from explorer Major Thomas Mitchell at the Henty property near Portland.
A store and post office agency was established in 1854 and the first town lots were sold the next year. An official Post Office opened on June 1, 1858. The town continued to grow through the 1850s and 1860s with the construction of churches, hotels and schools. In 1870, the courthouse was moved from Digby to Merino. A number of ‘old’ buildings remain.
The Merino co-operative butter factory was established around 1885. After World War I, the area was opened up for soldier settlement. In 1955, Merino was finally connected to the electricity grid.
Should the timing be right refreshment may be in order?