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Jacka Park Soldiers Memorial

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Corner of High Street and Chapel Street, Wedderburn VIC 3518

Explore other locations around this area using our interactive map

Features

  • Playground with fences and shade sails
  • Undercover picnic area
  • Electric barbecue
  • Band pavilion
  • Soldiers' memorial
  • Decorative and commemorative statues
  • Beautifully landscaped park
  • Information signs
  • Drinking fountain
  • Rubbish bins
  • Toilets
Wedderburn's Jacka Park Soldiers' Memorial is a gorgeous park filled with excellent visitor facilities such as electric barbecue, undercover picnic area, a fully fenced children's playground with shade sails, and lots of interesting monuments and statues. 

Beautifully landscaped, the park is divided into multiple sections comprised of the play area, picnic area, barbecue area and soldiers' memorial. A toilet block lies between the picnic area and playground. 

This is a fantastic place to bring the family for an afternoon picnic and play, with plenty of educational opportunities.

Other places of interest in the Wedderburn area include the Hard Hill Tourist Reserve, Wedderburn State Gold Battery, lone graves of Thomas Whyte and Catherine Glen Rinder, and the spectacular Mount Egbert (known locally as The Granites).

One of the many information signs at Jacka Park Soldiers' Memorial displays the following text:

History of Wedderburn

The first European to come to the Wedderburn area was the explorer Major Thomas Mitchell on July 20, 1836. By 1845 a number of swatters had arrived and their runs covered many thousand acres. One of them was Robert Forsythe whose run called "TORPHICEN" spread west from Mount Korong and covered what is now Wedderburn. 

In 1852 gold was found in Torphicen and the rush to the Korong diggings began. By late in the year there were 5,000 people on the diggings. They were obviously thirsty because when a detachment of police arrived about that time they seized and destroyed over 300 gallons of illicit spirituous liquor. In the early days water was a problem and the population varied depending on the season. 

Wedderburn was originally called Korong. It later became Wedderburne but the "e" has been left off since the early days. The origin of the name has never been resolved. Albert Jacka, Australia's first Victoria Cross winner was baptised in the Holy Trinity Anglican Church on 28/7/1897.

The Church of England operated a Denominational School known as No 350 Korong from 1857 - 1865. A National School (Common School No 665 Wedderburne) opened in 1861 in the Wesleyan Chapel. In 1865 it became State School No 794 and was moved to a new building on the corner of Chapel and Wilson Streets. It later became a Higher Elementary School taking students up to Year 10.

The Wedderburne hotel was established in 1855 and more followed. By the late 1860's there were numerous hotels, butchers, bakers and dairies, a brick works, a blacksmith, a post office and other businesses. There was a flour mill on this site where you stand until 1919 when it burnt down and was not replaced. 

In the 1860's and 70's miners and others were able to take up selections of land and the squatters stations began to be broken up. The Wedderburn Race and Trotting Club was formed in 1885. Wedderburn is the oldest harness racing club in Australia.

By the 1890's gold ceased to be a significant source of income in the area and Wedderburn became an agricultural centre. The Court House, built in 1882, was converted to a police station in the early 1980's. In 1961 a High School was built and the State School reverted to being a  Primary School only. In 1999 The State School was closed and amalgamated into a P-12 College at the High School site. The old Primary School is now the Community Centre.

Sheep and wool, grain growing, eucalyptus oil and pistachio nuts are products of the district. There is a factory manufacturing golf and bowling club machinery for the local and export markets. Wedderburn was the administration centre of the Shire of Korong, established in 1864. In 1995 the Shire of Korong, Gordon and East Loddon and parts of 3 other shires were amalgamated to form the Loddon Shire Council. Wedderburn is the administrative centre of the Loddon Shire. 

Wedderburn today

Why Should You Stay in Wedderburn Today?
  1. Eucalyptus Stills - many working and old relic stills are dotted around the district.
  2. Wildlife - the area has a wide range of wildlife including kangaroos, wallabies, Echidnas and many varieties of Lizards
  3. Public Land/Bush - Wedderburn is surrounded by huge tracts of public land that can be explored by vehicle or on foot. 
  4. Bird watching - a great variety of bird life to be observed such as Mallee Fowl, Eastern Rosella, Grass Parrots and Blue Wrens.
  5. Scenic Tours - Mt Egbert, Mt Korong and Mt Kooyoora.
  6. Gold Prospecting/Panning
  7. Walking Tracks
For more information visit the Tourist Information Centre or ask a local.

Wedderburn Gold

The discovery of gold in the Wedderburn area, as first known as the Korong Diggings, is attributed to a shepherd by the name of Brady, who found traces of it on May 10, 1852 in Welshman's Gully, on Torpichen Station. The first payable amount was found on May 20 of that year. The reward of £400 for the discovery of gold in Victoria was not given to Brady, who made no claim for it, but to four men, Henry Thomas Cullin, Richard Higgs, Thomas White and [W] Adams, in 1866. These men gave the date of discovery as May, 1852.

The population on the edderburn field fluctuated between 6,000 and several hundred. It was a dry field, there being no permanent water, so activity was greatest during the winter months. There was much alluvial gold with many nuggets interspersed. 

In the 1890's gold ceased to be regarded as a major source of income for Wedderburn. However there have been several revivals of gold fever since then, the main ones being in 1950 and 1980. In 1950, several large finds in and near Wilson Street sparked a rush, in which 8,000 people visited the town, many to dig and some to look. As late as the 1970's miners were still digging that area in search of the elusive Cerchi's Reef, said to be very rich. 

The discovery of The Hand of Faith at Kingower, and the Beggary Lump at Wedderburn in 1980 started another rush, and the bush surrounding Wedderburn was swarming with prospectors, most equipped with detectors, for many months. 

Since the discovery of gold in Wedderburn, nuggets as large as 336 ounces have been discovered. Even in 1980 a nugget weighing 85.2 ounces was discovered. Prospectors still come from all over Australia to detect the Wedderburn goldfields and no doubt there are many more nuggets discovered although generally they are not publicised. 

ACCOMMODATION NEARBY


Inglewood Motel and Caravan Park is a 10 acre bush park privately owned and managed by Jerry and Pauline Wellman in the gorgeous gold-rush town of Inglewood, Victoria. The park is within walking distance to cafes, shops and hotel entertainment, and is surrounded by State Forests. Inglewood Motel and Caravan Park is a popular destination for tourists and is located within the renowned Golden Triangle - a region of the Victorian Goldfields which is world famous for the size, purity, and quantity of gold nuggets found in the area. 


DID YOU KNOW...

  • There are so many excellent playgrounds tucked away in little-known places. Take a look through this great list of playgrounds throughout the Victorian Goldfields.
  • There are hundreds of fantastic barbecue areas throughout the Victorian Goldfields. Some are in parks/playgrounds, others are scattered throughout the bush. Many barbecue areas are located alongside amazing attractions and walks, so go out for a barbecue and get exploring!
 

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