The township of Dartmouth has a population of around 120 people and was initially built to house and support workers and their families throughout the construction of the Dartmouth Dam in the 1970’s. Land was purchased from the local graziers, the Scales family, to build the township that developed into a bustling community almost overnight. During the 1970s the town had a population of over 2000 people, and at the town’s peak the local school had 186 students and 6 teachers. Once the dam was complete, the township once again changed overnight. Families left, and at its lowest the population dropped to 42 people.
The town subsequently went through the unique phase of being privately owned and facilities and accommodation were developed with an emphasis placed on tourism. When the township was again placed for sale, private investors began to purchase houses and businesses, and weekend and holiday trade began to sustain the community. The town has a hotel, motel, general store and post office, caravan park and community hall and is also the location of a Goulburn-Murray Water office.