Drouin is a major service town, located in West Gippsland, 90 kilometres east of Melbourne. Its local government area is the Shire of Baw Baw. The town is supposedly named after a Frenchman who invented a chlorination process for the extraction of ore or an Aboriginal word meaning "north wind". New estate developments have accelerated the town's residential growth in recent years. According to the 2014 census, Drouin had a population of 15,043 people.
Drouin is located in the rich agricultural area of West Gippsland. It is a friendly and traditional country town conveniently located approximately 90km (around 76 minutes' drive from Melbourne) via the Princes Freeway, the major freeway connection between Melbourne and Gippsland. The beautiful beaches at Phillip Island, the ski fields at Mt Baw Baw and the University at Churchill are also only approximately 1 hours' drive from Drouin making the township very popular for city dwellers looking for a lifestyle change.
Drouin’s location within an area of green undulating countryside has resulted in the recent significant growth of a town with scenic outlooks set within picturesque surroundings. Drouin is also home to a number of attractive parks and gardens. Civic Park bordering the northern end of the towns commercial area is set in a picturesque valley, complete with a lake, rotunda , children’s playground and recreational facilities. Other parks include Bellbird Park with its sporting complex and ovals. There is also the Twin Towns Walking and Cycling Trail which passes through the Drouin Springs Estate’s wetland development.
Drouin is serviced by two 7 day a week supermarkets, three service stations, many specialty shops, two hotels, several cafes and restaurants, excellent primary and secondary educational facilities and numerous sporting clubs. The 18 hole Drouin Golf Club proves popular with country and city visitors alike. The West Gippsland Arts Centre in nearby Warragul is an outstanding community asset with local groups and visiting artists performing regularly.
The Gourmet Deli Food Trail renowned for it’s wines and world recognised cheeses is also very popular with both visitors and locals. There are several vineyards with cellar door sales and restaurants in the area.
Settlement in this part of Gippsland was rather delayed due to the dense forest. Pastoral runs were taken up but little developed. In 1867, a coaching station was established on the track into Gippsland at Brandy Creek, about 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) north-east of present Drouin. By the early 1870s, a small settlement had developed and land was being selected in the area.
Meanwhile, contracts had been let for the construction of a railway from Melbourne into Gippsland. Workers' camps were set up along the route which passed to the south of Brandy Creek. There were three camps in the vicinity of Drouin. After the Gippsland Railway opened in 1878, a township was surveyed at Drouin Junction, soon known as Drouin. A Post Office opened on 5 April 1876 and was renamed Jindivick in 1878. A Post Office named Drouin Junction opened on 1 January 1877 and was renamed Drouin in 1878. As Drouin developed, Brandy Creek, now called Buln Buln, had declined. When the Buln Buln Shire was formed in 1878, the administrative centre was located in Drouin. The New Tourists' Guide described the township in 1889, showing its substantial development.
Throughout the 1880s, a number of small sawmills operated in the Drouin district, many transporting their timber by tramway to the railway station. In the 1890s, a quarry was opened south-east of Drouin, the stone being carried by tramway to a railway siding east of Drouin. In 1913, this quarry was purchased and operated by the Shire.
As land was cleared, dairy farming became the main industry. Initially, butter and cheese were made on the farm. A creamery operated from 1891 to 1895 and in 1904 a co-operative butter factory was established at Drouin. When this factory was extended in 1907, an electric light plant was installed which also provided light for the streets and homes of Drouin. The factory supplied fresh milk to the Melbourne market from 1915.
Over the years, the company acquired other dairy companies and enlarged its own operation, producing casein, skim milk and butter-oil as well as butter and cheese. It became part of the Bonlac company which later closed it down, destroying the towns biggest employer. Flax was grown around Drouin during the two World Wars. A private factory operated for a while and in 1941, the government constructed a factory to manufacture canvas goods for military use.
The town has progressed steadily. In 1904, the population was 700. By 1933, there were just over 1,000 inhabitants and by 1970, 2,750.From the 1970s, the subdivision of an industrial estate on the south-east edge of the town had encouraged the growth of light industry. A number of housing subdivisions have also been initiated, as well as rural residential subdivision on the fringes of the town. The construction of a freeway bypassing Drouin allowed the remodelling of the shopping centre. By 1981, the population was 3,492 and in 1991 was 4,100. The Victorian Municipal Directory described the town in 1994.
This information has been sourced from Wikipedia.