77 days ago
n 1856 John Prest opened the Mount Pleasant Hotel roughly on the site of the former Oliver’s footwear factory. Also near the bridge were Samuel Elstone’s general store and the Red Lion store. Prest was also the first postmaster and the hotel was used for public meetings and coronial inquests. For some years this was the commercial heart of Mount Pleasant. A wooden bridge was built here in 1859. It was first known as the Mount Pleasant bridge and later as the Band and Albion bridge or the Redan bridge. As the boundary between the municipalities of Ballarat East and Ballarat West ran down the middle of the Yarrowee, there was constant bickering as to which council should pay how much for its upkeep. As a consequence, for decades the bridge and its approaches regularly fell into serious disrepair until the present bluestone bridge was opened in 1897. In 1887 the Swenson family established the Surrey Tannery on Tannery Lane. A quarry operated just behind the site of Prest’s hotel. In 1956 Hungarian migrant Alex Suvoltos established a new tannery in the former plaster works opposite the Caltex service station on the corner site. The corrugated iron remnant of another long-running tannery—Nathaniel Martin’s—can be seen in the wrecker’s yard further along Humffray Street at the bottom of Morton Street.
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