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Bendigo History

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Last Update
16th of July 2014

Review of Bendigo History

The Bendigo Historical Society has published a more detailed 60-page ‘Historic Guide to Bendigo’ on which the following historical summary is based.

The Society hopes that this review of the history of our part of Central Victoria will contribute to an understanding of the historical and cultural environment in which our community and the Society operate.

Earlier Days
Discovery of Gold
Influx of ‘Diggers’
Water and Mining
Transport and Development
Building and the City
A Place of Commerce
Heritage of the Past
Reflection and Change
Further Information

EARLIER DAYS

Bendigo is a city that is ‘built on gold’.

The bedrock on which the city is situated - marine sedimentary slates, sandstones and mudstones showing only simple life forms – had its origin some 500 million years ago.... (more information)
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DISCOVERY OF GOLD

Although the Frencham Select Committee stated in 1890 that it was difficult, if not impossible, to decide who first discovered gold at Bendigo, it is acknowledged now that Mrs Margaret Kennedy and Mrs Julia Farrell, wives of workmen on the Ravenswood run, found gold at ‘The Rocks’....(more information)
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INFLUX OF ‘DIGGERS’

As a result of the rush of people to the area, the Gold Commissioner’s Office, the Police Barracks and the courts were erected on Camp Hill, now the present Rosalind Park in central Bendigo.....(more information)
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WATER AND MINING

Bendigo, then and now, experiences droughts and flooding rains and, when gold was discovered in 1851, Bendigo Creek was the only immediate source of water. This was quite inadequate for the influx of miners and was soon polluted by gold washing....(more information)
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TRANSPORT AND DEVELOPMENT

Travel to the goldfields in the ‘rush’ was largely by foot, horse and bullock but, by 1853, there was a coach line carrying passengers, gold and mail between Bendigo and Melbourne.... (more information)
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BUILDING AND THE CITY

When the gold seekers arrived at the Bendigo Diggings, their shelter consisted of a tent or a rough bark hut. Similar constructions serviced as public offices including the police office and the post office..... (more information)
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A PLACE OF COMMERCE

Following the discovery of gold there was a large population influx into the Bendigo valley and the demand for goods and services was immediate......... (more information)
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HERITAGE OF THE PAST

Over the years from the early goldmining days there have been many on-going developments that make Bendigo the thriving provincial centre with its current population in excess of 90,000.... (more information)
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REFLECTION AND CHANGE

Aside from the many tourist activities, the visitor to Bendigo might care to stroll or sit in Rosalind Park in central city Bendigo and reflect on the change over some 150 years –a timeline; from the bustling Government Camp and its expectant and sometimes agitated miners of 1853 through to the present mature and confident provincial business and population centre that it is now.
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FURTHER INFORMATION

This historical review was largely based on the Society’s own 60 page 2003 publication: ‘Historic Guide to Bendigo’.... (more information)
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Disclaimer: While providing links to a number of websites, the Society makes no claim that the information contained therein is completely accurate and/or up-to-date.


 
 
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