The 850-hectare Crawford Family Estate in the High Camp district near historical Kilmore, about 75 kilometres from Melbourne, was auctioned by Pat Rice and Hawkins on Friday. Three separate lots were auctioned under executor instructions to sell to the highest bidder.
A conservation group bought lots 1 and 2.
The 58-hectare lot 1 sold for $285,000. Lot 2, 642 hectares held in 19 allotments, sold for $995,000. It was sold as having potential to develop a rural enterprise, for institutional use or a commercial development. An old settler's hut remains on the site.
Lot 3 sold to a descendant of the original WB Crawford for $997,000. The sale included 152 hectares of land held in six allotments, plus the original 1850s four-bedroom Crawford family homestead. The solid granite house was built from stone quarried from the property.
Pat Rice and Hawkins selling agent Bart O'Sullivan said William Crawford, a Scotsman, made a half square mile selection of land in the 1850s and obtained the freehold, making further adjacent land acquisitions, including some purchased at mortgagee sales at the time of the 1890s depression.
WB Crawford ran a dairy farm and produced cheese from the property and his descendants have used it as grazing land for the past 60 years.
"We had a significant number of pre-auction inspections and a huge crowd was in attendance to see this unique family holding dispersed at auction," Mr O'Sullivan said.