Discover Bendigo

A pleasure garden in White Hills
James Lerk
In 1852 the White Hills of Bendigo were discovered to be a source of alluvial gold. The well consolidated quartz gravel, obstinately hard, deterred many from attempting to penetrate these hills. There were seven White Hills all told, it was the talent of skilled Cornish miners who had come ..
17-Feb-2017
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A garden for charitable causes
James Lerk
Alexander and Mary Bayne circulated and associated in the upper circle of Bendigonians during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Because of Alexander Bayne’s financial success through business, real estate investment and his significant mining interests he became well known on the loc..
09-Feb-2017
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Planting our heritage
James Lerk
As mentioned last week nurseryman and seedsman William Brown sold his land to Alexander Bayne in 1859. The land was near the corner of Don Street (formerly Myrtle Street) and ran uphill to Violet Street where his house Montavert was built. Alexander and Mary Bayne’s property was i..
02-Feb-2017
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What's in a name?
James Lerk
Bayne Street in North Bendigo on the eastern side of the Bendigo Hospital was named after Alexander Bayne, a man who was one of the moving forces behind the establishment of the hospital in that location. The hospital moved from Belgravia or “Hospital Hill” to the alternate site. ..
26-Jan-2017
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A further adornment
James Lerk
Already the construction of the conservatory and its stocking with choice plants has been well discussed. Abraham Harkness, its initiator, was to perform one more important act. Harkness was a very high principled and civic minded person and he wished to help make the gardens surrounding the..
19-Jan-2017
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Bendigo's conservatory
James Lerk
Internally the conservatory facing Pall Mall and Howard Place had tiered benches around the walls and there was a bench which ran along the centre of the glassed building. The building towards the end of February 1898 at the time of the official opening, was filled with many plants selected ..
12-Jan-2017
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A conservatory to beautify
James Lerk
Abraham Harkness, the proprietor of the Victoria Foundry in Shamrock Street, Golden Square, came into that manufacturing plant as a skilled worker. He, as pointed out last week gradually purchased the three partners’ shares in that establishment. The three were T Arundel, J Braddish a..
05-Jan-2017
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Through hard work
James Lerk
A man who was to make a significant contribution to Bendigo and the wider community achieved this primarily through this own exertion, this was Abraham Harkness. Born to Andrew and Hannah Harkness nee Scaife, Abraham first saw the light of day in Northumberland, England in 1829. Following a ..
21-Dec-2016
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Break from the mould
James Lerk
In the 19th and well into the 20th centuries people generally stuck to the one occupation. By contrast today those starting in one line of employment will most likely not be doing the same work 10 years later. Mobility in employment in earlier times took a different form, particularly in the..
16-Dec-2016
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Generations of Georges
James Lerk
There were generations of boys in the Ellis family who had been given the first name of George. In fact, there are seven generations that have successively carried the name George Ellis, hence the George Ellis about whom I have been writing in relation to Victoria Hill, his father had also been..
17-Nov-2016
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Victoria Hill over the decades
James Lerk
Albert Ernest Richardson, when nearing his retirement age began to take an active role in promoting the idea of Bendigo taking a pride in its gold mining past. As noted, the interests of Albert Richardson and George Ellis intersected in respect of Victoria Hill. Both men had slightly diffe..
10-Nov-2016
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Interests intersect
James Lerk
Albert Ernest Richardson, when nearing his retirement age began to take an active role in promoting the idea of Bendigo taking a pride in its gold mining past. He was to become a member of the Bendigo Historical Society, and it was not long thereafter that he was appointed president. On..
03-Nov-2016
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An area of fable and fact
James Lerk
Working at the John Brown factory in Ironbark, Albert Richardson was close to one of the richest gold mining areas of Bendigo. Richardson’s interest in recording the prominent mines and their machinery became a great passion. He was very conscious of the words that John Neill Macartne..
27-Oct-2016
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Steam power in his veins
James Lerk
It is fair to say that Albert Ernest Richardson, the engine driver whose family and life I have been sketching out in the past number of weeks, had steam power running through his veins. As mentioned Richardson became a qualified engine driver in the practical sense by the training that he did a..
13-Oct-2016
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Becoming qualified
James Lerk
The process of becoming qualified as an engine driver for steam powered mining machinery has already been mentioned. There was no easy way – the time spent in learning, driving and qualifying had to be done as a volunteer. The tutor naturally had to be sufficiently sympathetic to have..
07-Oct-2016
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Learner drivers
James Lerk
In last week’s article the main subject was the Fortuna Hustler’s Mine and mention was made of one of the engine drivers there, William Ernest Richardson. Richardson, like all engine drivers from the last quarter of the 19th century and beyond, had to have an appropriate certificate...
28-Sep-2016
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History in the streets
James Lerk
As we wander about the area bounded by the land off Mitchell, Garsed streets and that off Railway Place at the entrance of the Bendigo Marketplace, we give little thought as to what was located there before. Some people may reflect upon the area in question being occupied by Buckle and Jeffrey t..
22-Sep-2016
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Named in his honour
James Lerk
Earlier in this series I have mentioned the financially successful developing career of John Jepson Stanistreet, who became a partner in the mine legal management firm of McColl, Rankin and Stanistreet. JJ Stanistreet’s entry as a junior partner into the firm which dealt also in real estat..
08-Sep-2016
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A developing career
James Lerk
JOHN Jepson Stanistreet who started work as an errand boy with McColl and Rankin the mine legal management firm, quickly won the confidence of his employers. Stanistreet was serious, conscientious and had a good head for figures, for this reason his employers suggested that he attend book keepin..
02-Sep-2016
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More than an errand
James Lerk
Late in the 19th century the most humble office work was that of the errand boy. You will immediately notice the term “boy”, as no office manager would have, at that time, even considered to employ a girl. The sole female that was associated with the office would be the after h..
25-Aug-2016
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