A PLACE OF COMMERCE
and Co. Weeroona Vineyard, Tannery Lane. By 1865 there were
hundreds of acres of vines in the region - wines from Strathfield-saye
win various exhibition medals including awards at the 1873
Exhibition in Vienna against stiff European competition.
Following the discovery of gold there was a large population
influx into the Bendigo valley and the demand for goods and services
was immediate.Saw mills commenced. Bricks were required for chimneys,
commercial buildings and homes for the prosperous. The
Bendigo Pottery began in 1858, providing
various ceramic containers, decorative items and table-ware. Foundries
and engineering works supplied the mechanical needs of over 6,000
gold mines. Tanning leather for belting, harness, saddle, boot
and shoe manufacturing added to the diverse range of industry.
Quarries, town gas production, foundries etc. emerged rapidly
in the booming gold economy.
Early miners and townsfolk depended upon local produce when bread,
beef and sheep cuts were needed. For 100 years the local Chinese
gardens were to supply a good proportion of the Bendigo district’s
requirements of fruit and vegetables, with additional supplies
from Huntly, the Campaspe Valley, Mandurang and Strathfieldsaye.
The early settlers established vineyards and produce from more
than 1,000 district acres had already earned local and overseas
praise prior to the 1890s when phylloxera aphid appeared. Nowadays
this industry has been re-established as the Bendigo
District Winegrowers Association.
Poultry and swine enterprises were developed eventually into large
Pall Mall, Hargreaves, Bridge, McCrae and View Streets quickly
became the centre of business activity with Pall Mall itself having
an array of substantial buildings. The first of the Shamrock
Hotels, a slab and canvas structure, was built in
1854 but this was destroyed by fire in 1857. The third and present
Shamrock Hotel was erected in 1897. Pall Mall boasted a Stock
Exchange in the boom time of the 1870s (now being revived as the
Bendigo Stock Exchange – the BSX
and the Bendigo Building Society commenced in 1858 as the forerunner
of Australia’s only regional bank, the present Bendigo
Bank. In the late 1800’s, Simcha Baevski, later
to change his name to Sidney
Myer hawked goods in heavy suitcases, then opened
a series of drapery shops in View Street, Hargreaves Street and
Pall Mall before moving to Melbourne and national retail prominence.
Hotels abounded and at one time Bendigo possessed a liquor dispensing
establishment for every 20 head of population.
The Bendigo Fruit Growers Cooperative Ltd. with its distinctive
‘gold digger’ emblem began in 1889 at the Market Square;
brewing cooperatives developed; several Bendigo factories processed
the district’s renowned tomatoes and the dairying industry
started as small individual enterprises. The Whipstick and Wellsford
forests nearby became renowned for yielding excellent honey from
(Back to main menu)