The district of Wandin presents something of a puzzle to newcomers – the shopping centre on the Warburton Highway is at Wandin North, there are a church and a school at Wandin Yallock, and a hall and sports facilities at Wandin East, but no actual ‘Wandin’.
The area was originally a parish known as Wandin Yallock. From 1867, early settlers leased their land for an annual fee, and were required to do a certain amount of clearing and fencing, and to build a dwelling. A land act passed in 1869 then made it possible for settlers to buy their own lease. These pioneers worked incredibly hard, often clearing and building totally by hand whilst working elsewhere to earn the money to finance their land purchase.
The majority of settlers hailed from Britain, but a number of Wandin families such as the Sebires, Rougets and Gaudions came from the Channel Islands. Road names in the district perpetuate the names of pioneer settlers – Clegg Road, Quayle Road and Burgi Hill Road are examples.
Wandin has always been well-known for its fruit and berries. Early families started with raspberries, which produced an income almost immediately, and later planted apples, peaches, cherries, strawberries and other fruit. Many descendants of pioneer families still farm in Wandin today. Although there is housing development and a suburban core around Wandin North, the area still retains its rural character and boasts many successful orchards and market gardens as well as such diverse enterprises as the Wandin Equestrian Academy and a popular lavender farm.
Mont De Lancey is the original home of the Sebire family, and was donated to the Wandin and District Historical and Museum Society in 1992. The house and eight acres form the museum site. There is an old chapel, a replica schoolroom and blacksmith shop as well as tearooms and a museum. The museum complex provides a very interesting display of early life in the area and is a very popular tourist destination.