In 1843 a squatter, Dr William Barker, occupied the northern section of the Mount Alexander region and a stream, which ran past his house and settlement, was called Barkers Creek. In July 1851 shepherds, Christopher Thomas Peters, John Worley, George Robinson and Robert Keen discovered gold at Specimen Gully, Barkers Creek. They are regarded as the first discoverers of gold in the Castlemaine area and, in April 1866, Worley and Robinson received a reward of 250 pounds each. The other two men could not be traced.
The 1857 census recorded that the Barkers Creek goldfield had a population of 296 males and 107 females, while in 1901 there were 82 males and 70 females living there.