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n 1872 land at Sunny Corner being used as market gardens was bought by the newly-formed Ballarat Woollen Co. Financed locally as profits from gold were declining, the mill began a new era in Ballarat industry. The architect was Henry Richards Caselli, Ballarat’s most significant historical architect. In 1874 the building was extended and the Romanesque arched section was added in 1886. Production of flannels, tweeds and blankets commenced in 1873. By 1875 the mill employed 150 skilled workers on steam-driven looms. It was described as the most perfect mill of its kind in the southern hemisphere. Following a vice-regal visit in 1895 the re-named Sunnyside Mills became a major tourist attraction. During WW1, still surrounded by Chinese market gardens, it became a major supplier to the Australian military employing 500 people at its peak. An avenue of honour commemorating employees who served in the war was planted in Hill Street in 1918. The mill closed in 1981 as a result of the removal of protective tariffs. Subsequently it was used mainly for warehousing and job training.
77 days ago
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