The Irish Town
After the discovery of gold in 1851, immigrants from across Australia and the world were attracted to Bendigo. On the goldfields, there were miners from England, Scotland, Ireland, China and Germany, amongst other nations. Naturally, fellow countrymen tended to live and work together.
The Irish reputedly gathered at the junction of Bendigo and Back creeks, and the area became known as Irishtown. Bendigo's Irishtown was settled mostly by Irish immigrants who lived with their families in tents and simple roughly constructed cottages along Bendigo creek and the surrounding areas.
The influenced of these early Irish settlers contributed to the religious, cultural, economical and sporting life of the city from 1850s to this day. The St. Killian's Church, the adjacent grave of the Reverend Dr. Blackhaus, and the small cottages along Arnold, Baxter and Joseph Streets can still evoke the spirit of the old Irish town.
Audio visual display in Info Centre
Apart from the interesting static displays in rooms leading off the Tourist Information Centre, there is also this audio visual room, with a novel idea: a large screen set into an old carriage.
The informative video it transmitted told a great deal about the discovery and mining of gold, both back in the earlier Gold Rush, and that which is still continuing today, far underground, including 3D maps of the city and mines beneath it, so you can have a good idea of the grid network of tunnels.
One particular mine has a main shaft depth of twice the height of the Empire State building!
Visitor Information Centre
The former Bendigo Post Office and Public Offices building now house the Visitor Information Centre. A wealth of information with friendly staff. It should be your first stop in Bendigo. You can get a free Bendigo map, or get help with directions and suggestions of what to do in the city.
This building has been listed as a heritage building by the National Trust. Read more about it in the website.
Bendigo’s first discovery was in 1851 when a traveler spending the night in the area saw flecks of gold in slate. Significant discoveries followed this enough to send a Commissioner to establish mining claims. The early years of the town began in 1853 and it was known then as Castelton. In 1891 it underwent a name change to Sandhurst before being officially named Bendigo by the colonial government in 1891. During the early years a lot of gold discovered in Western and Northern Victoria. More than 3,000 Chinese were working on the Bendigo goldfields by 1861. Numerous Germans, Cornish, Irish and Canadians were also attracted to the area which provided Bendigo with quite a cultural mix which all contributed their own style to the existence Bendigo. The town produced some 25 million ounces during the period of 1851 to 1954 when the last gold was excavated from the underground mines. After the gold ran out, the community built laundries, tailor shops, hotels and shops, gambling houses and established market gardens. The more prominent residents at the time were doctors, dentist, architects and lawyers.
Today the city has some very grand buildings which stand testament to its rich past as well as museums which tell the stories of its gold mining past as well as the Chinese history in the area. The Golden Dragon Museum has some very impressive displays including the worlds oldest and largest imperial dragons. The Joss House, built from hand made bricks is also an important centre of Bendigo.
Photos which are taken by myself and all headings are copyright and digitally marked. Please do not use them without permission. Thanks.
(c) keeweechic 2001-2006 (copyright)