Golden Plains

Golden Plains Shire ‘Success Quartz Mining Co, Mullocky Hill, Browns, Smythesdale’ 1861 – Solomon & Bardwell

The Wadawurrung peoples are the Traditional Owners of the land that includes today’s Golden Plains Shire and they remain strongly connected to this and the rest of their Country today. Wadawurrung Country embodies songlines and storylines that connect Wadawurrung people to places. Places where Wadawurrung old people lived and contemporaries are still living today. Places for hunting, fishing and harvesting. Places that witnessed large gatherings, as well as spiritual and ceremonial locations. Through their cultural practices, stories and traditions, knowledge was built and shared, generation by generation and continues to be today.

Messrs. Rowe & Ferrers Station, Woady Yallock - State Library Victoria

The early European settlement of the Shire, like much of the colony, was by pastoralists. Many came from Van Diemen’s Land and were members of the Clyde Company or the Derwent Company. Runs with names like Barunah Plains, Laurence Park, Warrambine, Golf Hill, Moranghurk, Emu Hill and Darra still litter the landscape of the Golden Plains Shire.

‘Places where Wadawurrung old people lived and contemporaries are still living today’

The primary goldfields in the Shire were Woady Yaloak, around Smythesdale and Linton along with Steiglitz. The early discoveries were at Woady Yaloak and Mt Emu in 1852. By 1853 there was a large contingent of miners in the district and in 1855 the field expanded to take in Linton’s diggings on the Linton’s pastoral run. By 1857 there had been a rush to Carngham and Snake Gully.

Steiglitz. Mine Battery foundations. Collins, John T. 1907-2001 – State Library Victoria

At Steiglitz the first goldfield opened up in May 1853 and by 1857 seven new reefs had been opened up around the township.

Wadawurrung story from City of Ballarat, Our People, Culture & Place: a plan to sustain Ballarat’s heritage 2017-2030
Tonkin et al, 2012. Developing Victorian Goldfields into Australia’s Cultural Heritage Region. Final Report.
Lorraine Huddle Pty Ltd; Golden Plains Shire, Stage 1 Heritage Study, Environmental History; August 2004

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