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Centenary of Gold Discovery Monument

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Corner of Sturt Street and Albert Street, Ballarat Central VIC 3350

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Features

  • Impressive pioneer monument
  • Model poppet head and winder house
  • Gold nugget replica
  • Information sign
This impressive stone monument stands on the intersection of Sturt and Albert Streets and commemorates both the centenary of gold discovery and the birth of Ballarat.

The monument is constructed of large quartz rocks and has multiple information plaques set in the stone. A model poppet head and winder house stand atop the monument, and a large gold nugget replica is fixed to the front.

A beautifully presented information stands beside the monument and displays the following text:

Centenary of Gold Discovery Monument

This monument was erected by the Ballarat Historical Society in 1951 to celebrate both the centenary of gold discovery and the birth of Ballarat. The monument was the idea of Cr W. E (Bill) Roff, who was Mayor of the City of Ballaarat ("aa" correct in this case) in 1951-52, and again in 1965-66. The miniature poppet head was designed and constructed by local fitter and turner John Skilbeck.

Government surveyor William Urquhart was sent to survey a township in December 1851. His plan incorporated a generous three-chain (60m) reserve for Sturt Street and two chains (40m) for the others. The township was laid out on the higher ground above the diggings. The Gravel Pits Lead, however, ran through this area, and mining took place under Sturt Street. Opposite is Camp Street, which was the site of the Government Camp, the centre of goldfields administration. Banks, business houses and the post office later developed near this centre of authority.

Urquhart later wrote: 'Ballarat was the first Goldfields Town surveyed by me, in Victoria, and was always my favourite. Commanding a fine position; a bracing fine climate equal to any any in the colony; about 1400 feet (427m) above sea level, with rich lands on all sides in some places second to none in Victoria'.

The plaques on the monument itself display the following text:

This monument was erected by the Ballarat Historical Society to commemorate the finding of gold at Poverty Point 21st August 1851 and is dedicated to the memory of pioneer miners of Ballarat.

RICHEST RECORDED YIELDS

Alluvial mines (ozs)
  • Band of Hope 808 269
  • Prince of Wales 168 929
  • Koh I Noor 164 157
  • Great Redan Ex 110 111
  • Albion 107 125
  • Bonshaw Fr 96 520
  • Park 94 699
  • St George 86 702
  • Sir Wm Don 76 830
  • Hand in Hand 76 830
  • Sir Henry Loch 43 562
Quartz Mines (ozs)
  • Star of the East 256 758
  • Band of Hope 158 299
  • Victoria United 152 013
  • N Woah Hawp 129 562
  • New Normanby 127 562
  • Britannia 103 225
  • Llanberris No.1 100 538
  • Black Hill 91 665
  • Last Chance U 83 766
  • Llanberris 71 364
  • Speedwell 66 000
  • South Star 64 444
  • Sulieman Pasha 62 698
Companies

RECORDED GOLD YIELD

20 606 000 ozs

NUGGETS ALLUVIAL (ozs)
  • Welcome 2217
  • Sarah Sands 1619
  • Lady Hotham 1177
  • Canadian 1 1117
  • Canadian 2 1011
  • Koh I Noor 834
  • Eureka 625
  • Lady Loch 617
  • Prince of Wales 606
  • Bakery Hill 571
  • Native Youth 540
FABULOUS YIELDS OF EARLIEST DIGGINGS NOT OFFICIALLY RECORDED

Quartz nuggets (ozs)
  • N Woah Hawp 500, 300, 200
  • White Horse 500, 444
  • Woah Hwp 266, 262
  • Canton  257, 200
  • Q Victoria Lease 410
  • U Black Hill Coy 315
  • Tinworths 250
  • Parade Coy 245


 

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