In 1864, two years after the church had been built, the rest of the land was surveyed and subdivided. It is believed the word ‘Eden’ was found carved into a tree and thus Eden Valley got its name. Within a few years the town had boasted a general store, a hotel, a blacksmith, two churches, two schools, a post office and a flour mill. The land sold quickly but shortly after this failures due to rust in the previously profitable wheat crops caused land prices to drop dramatically and it was many years before the town recovered and expanded.
The English and German settlers continued to farm the area. The large holdings were mostly owned by the English farmers who engaged in cropping, dairying and sheep grazing. The German families had small mixed farms, and introduced grape growing into the region. They brought with them many traditions and customs, some of which still survive.
During the two world wars life became very difficult for the folk with German background. They were regarded with suspicion and even hostility although most of them had been born in Australia. Some changed their names to sound more English, and some place names were also changed.
The Lutheran School was forced to close in 1916 and the children then attended the public school which had been built in 1877 on a site adjacent to the hotel. Overcrowding meant that a new school was needed, so a school and headmasters residence were built on Matthews Road in 1918.
At its most prosperous Eden Valley had two general stores, two blacksmiths, a butcher shop, a butter factory, a bootmaker and visiting doctors.