Maldon was declared a ‘notable town’ by the National Trust (Victoria) in 1966. This is a history of key social, economic and cultural developments in the former gold mining town and its community during the period 1853 to 1928. Based on a thesis originally submitted by the author to La Trobe University in 1997, it examines the discovery of the goldfield, the formation of a township and settled community at Maldon, the emergence of early gold mining companies, the emergence of social organisations, and the politics of ‘labour and capital’ during the period. It further examines efforts made by leaders within the small mining community during the first decades of the twentieth century to develop alternative industries, in response to the decline of the town’s quartz gold mining industry. The narrative includes a brief discussion of contemporary issues associated with the conservation of a town that has also been noted for its contribution to the development of heritage controls throughout Australia in the twentieth century.