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Smythesdale is a town in Victoria, Australia. The town is located on the Glenelg Highway. Most of the town is located in the Golden Plains Shire local government area; however, a small section lies in the Shire of Pyrenees. Smythesdale is 19 kilometres (12 mi) west of Ballarat and 135 kilometres (84 mi) west of the state capital, Melbourne. At the 2016 census, Smythesdale and the surrounding area had a population of 1,032.The town was established during the Victorian Gold Rush, and the Post Office opened on 14 July 1854. The town was known as Smythe's Creek until 1864.Facilities in the town include the Court House Hotel, a bluestone police lock up, constructed in 1869 and the old Court House, now home to the local historical society.Smythesdale is the birthplace of Arthur Alfred Lynch, a polymath who was trained in engineering and medicine, wrote poetry, was a Member of the British Parliament and fought against the British in the Second Boer War. It was also home to women's rights activist, Lillias Margaret Skene.