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Village Settlement: Lyrup

Lyrup is named after a boundary rider's shack in the district named 'Lyrup's Hut', but it is not clear how the name originated (see below). Lyrup commenced as a village settlement in late February 1894. It was the most successfully placed village settlement. Lyrup's pumping station was able to be located on relatively flat land, not too high above the river level, even at times of low river. Additionally, the sandy clay soil around Lyrup was more productive than the shallow 'mallee' soil around most of the other settlements. The settlers at Lyrup came to the realisation earlier than those at other villages that they had less irrigated land than was needed to grow enough crops to support their population. Their initial pump was insufficient but when it was replaced in 1898, the villagers' attempts at irrigation were much more successful. In 1897, the Lyrup village association requested that the land commissioner approve changes to their rules to allow a more co-operative form of association rather than communal. The changes granted to the settlements rules included:

  • The replacement of the board of management with an individual manager
  • The coupon system only to be retained as a system of monitoring and recording the work done by individual settlers for the association
  • Work outside the settlement to be allowed with membership to the association to be retained by completing £70 worth of work for the settlement or by paying 10/- per week if outside work was engaged in.

The Lyrup settlers were resistant to what they saw as government interference in their affairs and were at first unwilling to take the advice of the village settlement expert, Samuel McIntosh. Eventually, however, his recommendations were heeded and in combination with the new administration of the settlement by a manager reduced the mismanagement and internal wrangling like that which marred the other settlements. Lyrup expanded and by 1924 had 600 acres of irrigated land.  Today, the settlement of Lyrup still exists as a town and irrigation area. The village association has survived too - it presently owns and runs the irrigation and drainage systems of the land owned by members, and supplies domestic water to Lyrup.

The naming of Lyrup
In 2013 Mr Robert Dancer, an Australian now resident in Denmark, contacted the library with the following interesting hypothesis about the naming of Lyrup.
My parents [in Australia] were recently at a restaurant for a special evening, and they scanned in and sent me the menu. One of the items was "Lyrup kangaroo". I showed the very interesting menu to one of my Danish colleagues, and his first comment was "Lyrup: that sounds very Danish to me....!" So I did a little google search and found your page on Lyrup.
Apart from other things, it mentions that the village was named after a boundary rider's hut, but that there was no record to suggest where/why the hut got that name. I/we have a suggestion... In Danish, the word "Ly" means shelter, and the suffix "-rup" is often used to represent a clearing (for example, many towns outside major cities have a name ending in -rup). So therefore "Lyrup" would mean "clearing shelter" or "the shelter clearing". This makes a lot of sense if there had been a Danish (or Swedish, or possibly also Norwegian) boundary rider on the property. Just a thought....!

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The Pumping-Station, Lyrup
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