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Encyclopedia > Victorian gold rush
Nerrena Fossickers in Nerrena Creek outside Ballarat
Nerrena Fossickers in Nerrena Creek outside Ballarat

The Victorian gold rush was a period in the history of Victoria in Australia between approximately 1851 and the late 1860s. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 377 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (462 × 735 pixels, file size: 57 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Nerrena Fossickers in Nerrena Creek. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 377 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (462 × 735 pixels, file size: 57 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Nerrena Fossickers in Nerrena Creek. ... For other meanings, see Gold rush (disambiguation) A gold rush is a period of feverish migration of workers into the area of a dramatic discovery of commercial quantities of gold. ... VIC redirects here. ... 1851 (MDCCCLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... // The First Transcontinental Railroad in the USA was built in the six year period between 1863 and 1869. ...


During this era Victoria dominated the world's gold output. Ballarat for a while was the richest place on earth in terms of gold production.[1] GOLD refers to one of the following: GOLD (IEEE) is an IEEE program designed to garner more student members at the university level (Graduates of the Last Decade). ... Ballarat is a city in regional Victoria, Australia, approximately 120 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, with a population of 84,000 people. ...


Gold discoveries in Beechworth, Ballarat and Bendigo staggered the world and sparked gold rushes similar to those of California in 1849. [2] At its peak some two tonnes of gold per week flowed into the Treasury Building in Melbourne. Beechworth is a well-preserved historical town located in the north-east of Victoria, Australia, having experienced major growth during the Gold Rush days of the mid-1800s External Links Beechworth tourist profile Categories: Australia geography stubs | Towns in Victoria ... Bendigo is a large regional town in central Victoria, Australia, located in the City of Greater Bendigo. ... The old Treasury Building, now the City Museum The old Treasury Building, along Spring Street in Melbourne, was once home to the Victorian government Treasury department, but is now a museum of Melbourne history. ... This article is about the Australian city; the name may also refer to City of Melbourne or Melbourne city centre (also known as The CBD). ...


The gold era hurled Victoria from a sheep grazing economy based around wealthy squatters, into an emerging industrial base and small (yeoman) farming community. The social impact of gold was that Victoria's population boomed and the lack of available land for small farming generated massive social tensions. Those on-going tensions around land and selection (small farming) culminated in the Kelly Outbreak of 1878. [3]


It was gold that created the growth and power of Melbourne over its rivals; this is witnessed in the rail networks radiating out of Melbourne to its regional towns and ports. Politically, Victoria's goldminers led the world with the introduction of male franchise and secret ballots, based on Chartist principles. As gold dwindled, pressures for land reform, protectionism and political reform grew and generated social struggles. [4] [5] A Land Convention in Melbourne during 1857 demanded land reform. Melbourne, or "Smellbourne" (due to the stench of the tanneries along the river) became one of the great cities of the British Empire and the world. Following the huge gold rushes were the Chinese in 1854. Their presence on the goldfields of Bendigo, Beechworth and the Bright district resulted in riots, entry taxes, killings and segeration in the short term and became the foundations of the White Australia policy. [6] In short, gold was a revolutionary event and reshaped Victoria, its society and politics. “UK” redirects here. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This badge from 1906 shows the use of the expression White Australia at that time While there was never any specific official policy called the White Australia policy, this is the term used for a collection of historical legislation and policies which either intentionally or unintentionally restricted non-white immigration...

Contents

Background

By 1840 the city of Melbourne, in the far south of Victoria, was nearly five years old. Population growth in Melbourne and the surrounding countryside had been steady, and the population was around 10,000. 1840 is a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... This article is about the Australian city; the name may also refer to City of Melbourne or Melbourne city centre (also known as The CBD). ...


In July 1851, Melbourne's 29,000 residents celebrated as they broke away from New South Wales and the Colony of Victoria was born. Weeks later gold was found in Victoria. The discovery by Louis Michel, and William McKay Aberdeen at Anderson's Creek, near Warrandyte 30 kilometres north-east of Melbourne was awarded a prize by the new Victorian Government, with other discoveries by James Esmond at Clunes in July 1851, and Thomas Hiscock at Buninyong, near Ballarat, on 2 August 1851. See also: 1850 in Australia, other events of 1851, 1852 in Australia and the Timeline of Australian history. ... Motto: Peace and Prosperity Other Australian states and territories Capital Melbourne Governor HE Mr John Landy Premier Steve Bracks (ALP) Area 237,629 km² (6th)  - Land 227,416 km²  - Water 10,213 km² (4. ... GOLD refers to one of the following: GOLD (IEEE) is an IEEE program designed to garner more student members at the university level (Graduates of the Last Decade). ... Louis Michel Louis Michel (born September 2, 1947) was until July 2004 the Belgian foreign minister. ... Warrandyte is an outlying semi-rural suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 27km east-north-east of the Melbourne central business district. ... A kilometre (American spelling: kilometer) (symbol: km) is a unit of length equal to 1000 metres (from the Greek words khilia = thousand and metro = count/measure). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Clunes is a town in Victoria, Australia, located 36 kilometers north of Ballarat, in the Hepburn Shire. ... Wooden bust of Thomas Hiscock Thomas Hiscock (1812–1855) was an English blacksmith and prospector who settled in Australia in the 1840s. ... The town of Buninyong is located south of Ballarat in Australia. ... is the 214th day of the year (215th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1851 (MDCCCLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ...


On 20 July 1851 Thomas Peters, a hut-keeper on William Barker’s Mount Alexander station, found specks of gold at what is now known as Specimen Gully. This find was published in the Melbourne Argus on 8 September 1851, leading to a rush to the Mount Alexander or Forest Creek diggings, centred on present-day Castlemaine, claimed as the richest shallow alluvial goldfield in the world. is the 201st day of the year (202nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1851 (MDCCCLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... The Argus was a newspaper in Melbourne. ... is the 251st day of the year (252nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1851 (MDCCCLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Mount Alexander is a prominent hill, located approximately 100 km north-west of Melbourne, near the small town of Harcourt. ... Castlemaine (IPA: /ˈkæsəlmæɪn/; note the Flat A rather than a Broad A) is a town in Victoria, Australia, in the Midlands region about 120 kilometres northwest by road from Melbourne, and about 40 kilometres from the major provincial centre of Bendigo. ...


These discoveries were soon surpassed by Ballarat and Bendigo. Further discoveries including Beechworth in 1852, Bright, Omeo, Chiltern, Victoria (1858-9) and Walhalla followed. A view of Ballarat East and Eureka from Sovereign Hill. ... For the electoral division in the Australian House of Representatives, see Division of Bendigo. ... Omeo is a town in Victoria, Australia, located on the Great Apline Road, east of Mount Hotham, in the East Gippsland Shire. ... Chiltern is a town in Victoria, Australia, located on the Hume Highway, between Wangaratta and Wodonga, in the Indigo Shire. ... View of part Walhalla, showing mainly original buildings - including the fire station built over the creek - as well as some reconstructed ones. ...

Year Population of Melbourne
1835 0
1840 10,000
1851 29,000
1854 123,000

The population of Melbourne grew swiftly as the gold fever took hold. The total number of people in Victoria also rose. By 1851 it was 75,000 people. Ten years later this rose to over 500,000.


First obtained was the 'easy' gold(alluvial);found on the surface. It is reported that miners when first arrived on the Mt Tarrengower fields nuggets were picked up without digging. This was followed by exploitation of alluvial gold usually in creeks and rivers. The seekers used gold pans, puddling boxes and cradles to separate this gold from the dirt and water. Alluvium is soil land deposited by a river or other running water. ...


As alluvial gold ran out, underground or deep lead mining began. This was harder and dangerous. Locales such as Bendigo and Ballarat saw great concentrations of miners as teams and syndicates sank shafts. Coupled with erratic and vexatious policing and licence checks, tensions flared around Beechworth Bendigo and Ballarat. These tensions culminated in the Eureka Rebellion of 1854. Following the rebellion, a range of reforms gave miners a greater democratic say in resolving disputes via Mining Courts and an extended electoral franchise. This article is about mineral extractions. ...


At Walhalla alone, Cohens Reef produced over 50 tonnes (1.6 million tr oz) of gold in 40 years of mining. As of February 2004, that would be worth $800 million. View of part Walhalla, showing mainly original buildings - including the fire station built over the creek - as well as some reconstructed ones. ...


Major and long lasting impact

Prospector's Hut, Upper Dargo, Victoria (Gippsland), 1870.
Prospector's Hut, Upper Dargo, Victoria (Gippsland), 1870.

Australia's population changed dramatically as a result of the rushes. In 1851 the Australian population was 437,655, of which 77,345, or just under 18%, were Victorians. A decade later the Australian population had grown to 1,151,947 and the Victorian population had increased to 538,628; just under 47% of the Australian total and a seven-fold increase. In some small country towns where gold was found aboundant, the population could grow of over 1000% in a decade (e.g. Rutherglen had a population of ~2'000. Ten years later, it had ~60'000 which is a 3000% increase). The rapid growth was predominantly a result of the gold rushes.[7] Dargo is a town in Victoria, Australia, located 348 kilometres east of Melbourne, in the Wellington Shire. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... See also: 1869 in Australia, other events of 1870, 1871 in Australia and the Timeline of Australian history. ...


The gold rush is reflected in the architecture of Victorian gold-boom cities like Melbourne, Castlemaine, Ballarat, Bendigo and Ararat. Ballarat has Sovereign Hill — a 60 acre (240,000 m²) recreation of a gold rush town — as well as the Gold Museum, while Bendigo has a large operating gold mine system which also functions as a tourist attraction. Castlemaine (IPA: /ˈkæsəlmæɪn/; note the Flat A rather than a Broad A) is a town in Victoria, Australia, in the Midlands region about 120 kilometres northwest by road from Melbourne, and about 40 kilometres from the major provincial centre of Bendigo. ... A view of Ballarat East and Eureka from Sovereign Hill. ... For the electoral division in the Australian House of Representatives, see Division of Bendigo. ... Location of Ararat in Victoria (red) Town Hall Ararat () is a city in south-west Victoria, Australia. ... The gold diggings Sovereign Hill is an interactive museum in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, that depicts Ballarats first ten years after the discovery of gold there in 1851. ...


The rushes left the legacy of quaint Victorian towns in the Goldfields tourist region like Maldon, Beechworth, Clunes, Maryborough, Daylesford, Stawell, Beaufort, Creswick, St Arnaud, Dunolly, Inglewood and Buninyong. With the exception of Ballarat and Bendigo, many of these towns were substantially larger than they are today. Most populations moved to other districts when gold played out in a given locality. [8] Maldon is a town in Victoria, Australia, in the Mount Alexander Shire local government area. ... Beechworth () is a well-preserved historical town located in the north-east of Victoria, Australia, famous for its major growth during the gold rush days of the mid-1850s. ... Clunes is a town in Victoria, Australia, located 36 kilometers north of Ballarat, in the Hepburn Shire. ... Maryborough is a city in Victoria, Australia, located on the Pyrenees Highway, 70 kilometres north of Ballarat, 166 kilometres north-east of Melbourne, in the Central Goldfields Shire. ... Vincent Steet Daylesford () is a town in rural Hepburn Shire in Victoria, Australia, about 115 kilometres northwest of Melbourne, in the foothills of Great Dividing Range. ... Stawell is a town in the Wimmera region of Victoria, Australia. ... Beaufort is a town in Victoria, Australia. ... Creswick is a town in west-central Victoria, Australia. ... Saint Arnaud (36°36′ S 143°15′ E) is a town in Victoria, Australia, on the Sunraysia Highway. ... Dunolly is a town in Victoria, Australia, located on the Dunolly - Maryborough Road, in the Central Goldfields Shire. ... Inglewood is a town in Victoria, Australia, located on the Calder Highway, in the Loddon Shire. ... The town of Buninyong is located south of Ballarat in Australia. ...


At the other end of the spectrum ghost towns, such as Walhalla, Mafeking and Steiglitz still exist. View of part Walhalla, showing mainly original buildings - including the fire station built over the creek - as well as some reconstructed ones. ... Steiglitz is a small hamlet, approximately an hours drive north-west from the the city of Melbourne, Australia. ...

As with many gold towns, after deposits of gold had been exploited, the town of Cassilis ceased to exist. This picture shows the remains of part of King Cassilis Mine
As with many gold towns, after deposits of gold had been exploited, the town of Cassilis ceased to exist. This picture shows the remains of part of King Cassilis Mine

The last major gold rush in Victoria was at Berringa, south of Ballarat, in the first decade of the 20th century. Gold mining ceased in Victoria, not because there was no more gold but in part because of the depth and cost of pumping. The First World War also drained Australia of the labour needed to work the mines, but worse the prohibition on the export of gold from Australia in 1915, the abolition of the gold standard throughout the Empire, saw many goldtowns in Victoria die.[9]. The slump in gold production never recovered. However, as of 2005 the recent increase in the gold price has seen a resurgence in commercial mining activity; mining has yet to be resumed in Bendigo, whilst some is occurring in Ballarat, and exploration proceeds elsewhere, for example, in Glen Wills, an isolated mountain area near Mitta Mitta in north-eastern Victoria. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2000x849, 941 KB) Cassilis Historical Park. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2000x849, 941 KB) Cassilis Historical Park. ... Cassilis Mine, circa 1900 Cassilis is a ghost town in Victoria, Australia. ... Berringa is a small township in west-central Victoria, Australia. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... Ypres, 1917, in the vicinity of the Battle of Passchendaele. ... For the electoral division in the Australian House of Representatives, see Division of Bendigo. ... A view of Ballarat East and Eureka from Sovereign Hill. ... Mitta Mitta is a small town in Victoria, Australia on the Omeo Highway and is 380km from Melbourne. ...


References

  1. ^ Weston Bate, Lucky City: The first generation of Ballarat, 1851-1901( 1978)
  2. ^ David Goodman, Gold Seeking: Victoria and Calfornia in the 1850s (1994)
  3. ^ John McQuilton, The Kelly Outbreak 1878-1880; The geographical dimensions of social banditry (1979)
  4. ^ Antony O'Brien, Shenanigans on the Ovens Goldfields
  5. ^ I.D. McNaughton, 'Colonial Liberalism, 1851-92', in Gordon Greenwood (ed.) Australia: A social and political history (1955)
  6. ^ Katherine Cronin, Colonial Casualties: Chinese in Early Victoria (1982); and Cf O'Brien, Ch. 3.
  7. ^ Caldwell, J. C. (1987). "Chapter 2: Population", in Wray Vamplew (ed.): Australians: Historical Statistics. Broadway, New South Wales, Australia: Fairfax, Syme & Weldon Associates, pages 23 and 26. ISBN 0-949288-29-2. 
  8. ^ O'Brien
  9. ^ Marnie Hague-Muir, "The economy at war" ,Joan Beaumont (ed.) Australia's War 1914-18

See also

For other meanings, see Gold rush (disambiguation) A gold rush is a period of feverish migration of workers into the area of a dramatic discovery of commercial quantities of gold. ... The Welcome Stranger Miners and their wives posing with the Welcome Stranger. ... The California Gold Rush (1848–1855) began shortly after January 24, 1848 (when gold was discovered at Sutters Mill in Coloma). ... Year 1848 (MDCCCXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1855 (MDCCCLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...

Further reading

  • Robyn Annear,Nothing but Gold Robyn Annear ISBN 1-876485-07-8
  • G.F. James & C.G. Lee,Walhalla Heyday G.F. James & C.G. Lee ISBN 0-9596311-3-5
  • John Aldersea & Barbara Hood,Walhalla: Valley of Gold John Aldersea & Barbara Hood ISBN 0-9750887-0-X
  • James Fleet, The history of gold discovery in Victoria,, 1970.
  • Vivine McWaters, Beechworth's little canton, 2002.
  • Geoffrey Serle, The Golden Age: A history of the colony of Victoria, 1851-1861, 1963.
  • Carole Woods, Beechworth: A titan's field, 1985.
  • John Maloney, Eureka, 1984.
  • Dianne Talbot, The Buckland Valley Goldfield, 2004.
  • Frank Cusack (ed.), Songs of the goldfields, 1991.

External links

  • eGold - Electronic Encyclopedia of Gold in Australia
  • Victorian Museum
  • Walhalla
  • Sovereign Hill
  • Gold Museum at Ballarat
  • Report on resumed exploration

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