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75 days ago
Milk Bar Grandview grove
'Clowance', 518 Barkly Street
Former St Luke's Anglican Church, Gladstone Street
Pearce's Park & band rotunda
Coates' House, 711 Tress Street
Tram terminus & shops, corner Barkly & Cobden Streets
Former Methodist/Uniting Church, Morton Street
Yuille Woolshed site & Miner's Right diggings
Chinese market gardens, off Hill Street behind woollen mill
Yarrowee River & Hill Street Bridge
@Pearce's Park & band rotunda: This was a barren waste before being transformed into a park. In the late 1850s it was mined and was later the site of John Sawyer’s hand-made brickworks. Until the early 20th century it was used as a rubbish dump with a wide drain down the middle. In 1913 it was decided to ‘beautify’ it. A committee of local women under Mrs Hoare, Mrs Stephens and Mrs Ritchie raised the money and worked with the curator of the Ballarat East Town Gardens, Mr Edwards. The women also paid for the band rotunda. The park was named in honour of Cr. Isaiah Pearce, a local resident, benefactor, mining entrepreneur and several times mayor of Ballarat East. It was opened in front of a crowd of several hundred on March 16, 1914. It was regularly used for patriotic gatherings, recruiting meetings, fund-raisers for soldiers and even for an anti-conscription rally. During the deadly ‘flu epidemic of 1919, the Methodist church conducted open air services here. The park became a popular venue popular for fairs, band recitals, community singing, scouting rallies and political meetings.
The bank along the Humffray Street side was designed to stop cricket balls rolling down onto the road. It often didn't work.
@Mount Pleasant Primary School: This was the first State School built in Ballarat. State School No. 1436 was officially opened on August 3, 1874. Designed by Henry Bastow, the State Architect, and built by Llewellyn and Edwards at a cost of nearly £8000 it was a monument to free, secular and compulsory education in the colony of Victoria. More than 500 pupils could be squeezed into the original six class rooms. The land had previously been a dairy farm, and before that was mined for gold—the rich Milkmaids lead ran down the northern boundary. The school is the direct descendent of the 1855 Wesleyan tent school (see 2.). A plaque and photographs inside the building celebrate the achievements of the first head teacher, William Nicholls, who established night classes that allowed more than a hundred mature-age students to matriculate directly from this school. The 1918 Honour Board may also be viewed with the names of forty-eight former pupils who died, and 220 who served in the Great War. The displays may be viewed with permission from the school office. From 1934 to 1958 a Rural Training School was conducted in a separate classroom modelled on a one-teacher country school. In the 1990s, due to the determination of the staff and the community, the school survived a rationalisation process under which many State schools were closed.
Interior of St Luke's Church in 1947 (Source: Anglican Diocese of Ballarat)
At time of opening in 1913
@Coates' House, 711 Tress Street: Sir Albert Coates (1895-1977) lived here in his youth. He was a national war hero who, as a prisoner of the Japanese in WW2 in Sumatra and on the infamous Burma-Thailand railway, endlessly performed surgery in the most difficult conditions. For this he was awarded the imperial honour OBE in 1946. The Coates family has deep roots in Mount Pleasant. His father, Arthur, was a letter carrier (postman) and his namesake, Uncle Albert, served in important positions at the Methodist Church for many years. Aged eleven Albert began work as a butcher's apprentice, and at 14 was indentured to a bookbinder. After service in WW1 he returned home to graduate in medicine while working part-time in the post office. He was knighted in 1955.
@Tram terminus & shops, corner Barkly & Cobden Streets: Shops appeared at this corner in the 1880s and from when it became the tram terminus in 1906 it became the heart of Mount Pleasant. The corner was the place where the community interacted daily, in the shops and under the verandahs. Here was the post office and the only public telephone. Shopkeepers lived next door to their shops and employed local people, often for many years. They knew the financial status of everyone in the suburb, extended credit, and in hard times recognised that some were too poor to pay. The building on the north-east corner, now a hairdresser’s, began as Edward Mares’ butchery in the 1880s, became Kilby’s barbershop and when Reg Bartle bought it in 1927 a greengrocers. The Bartle family ran the shop—which expanded with groceries, sub-newsagency, fancy goods, and even a penny library—until 1958. Next door Tom Hill the boot repairer rented his tiny premises (now gone) from the Bartles for 5 shillings a week. He made a better living on the side as an SP bookie. The shop on the south-east corner was built in 1934 by the butcher Jack Hobill when his premises around the corner in Cobden Street burned down. The business on the south-west corner began as Mrs White’s grocery in 1907 and she added the post office in 1912. In 1958 Bill Rees made it one of Ballarat’s first cash-and-carry stores. It has also been a milk bar and a fish and chips shop. The premises a few doors down Barkly Street was Watkins Cakes from 1948-62. Mr Watkins, who worked for Davis the baker, died after being kicked by one of the cart horses, leaving behind a wife with two small children. Davis put the widow into the shop. By the 1980s these shops had been closed or re-purposed. For many years the tram was the main means of transport into town and to distant parts of the city. It was a slow trip owing to the use of loops on the single line. But at 4d (2d for children) it was very cheap. The last Mt Pleasant tram ran on Sunday 5th September 1971
@Former Methodist/Uniting Church, Morton Street:
Former North Star Hotel & Hope Bakery 1861 Simon & Bardwell SLV
8. Former Methodist/Uniting Church, Morton Street
This collection of buildings were at the heart of Mount Pleasant’s spiritual, social and cultural life for more than a century. The first structures here were a large canvas Wesleyan chapel erected in 1855, followed two years later by a wooden church. The first minister to preach here was the Rev Theophilus Taylor, the Wesleyan circuit superintendent. After the bluestone church was built in 1865 the old wooden church was used both as a Sunday School and as a Denominational School and then as a National School. A new building was necessary in 1876 to accommodate the 200 Sunday School scholars and their 20 teachers. This was replaced in 1906 by the red brick building on the corner. Susan Trethowan, whose name can be found on one of its five foundation stones, had attended Sunday School in the canvas chapel in 1855. The modern cream brick church was completed in 1955, a century after the first tent chapel was erected at the Reserve. The magnificent cedar grove, which once surrounded most of the church block, was planted in 1917 by the Independent Order of Rechabites to commemorate local members who served in WW1. The grounds were originally fenced and included a caretaker’s cottage at the south-west corner, and, from 1927 until the 1990s, tennis courts. In 1993 part of the land was set aside for parish retirement units. In November 2006, the small remaining congregation decided to disband the church.
@Yuille Woolshed site & Miner's Right diggings: Near the end of Greene Drive, at the end of Humffray Street South, is the approximate site of what was probably the first solid European structure in the Ballarat area. It was a woolshed built in 1837. Arthur Yuille also built a small homestead on the opposite side of the Yarrowee. In 1856 the rush to Miner’s Right spread south from the Prest Street Bridge area to Magpie. Just across the creek at the top of the rise is Withers view of ‘old Ballarat’.
@Chinese market gardens, off Hill Street behind woollen mill: From this spot you can see the rich land of the floodplain of the Yarrowee. From Humffray Street to the banks of the creek there were neat rows of cabbages, cauliflowers, carrots, beans and lettuces. Market gardens ran all along the crown land beside the Yarrowee from White Flat to the other side of the Prest Street bridge. Wild floods would wash away bridges, wipe out the gardens and fill the creek with produce. Sitting in the gardens were the huts of the mainly Chinese licensees who supplied much of Ballarat’s vegetables into the 20th century. Until about 1960 the last market garden in Mount Pleasant was hidden here behind the mill. Ah Lok, also known as ‘Paul the Chinaman’, lived in a pretty vine-covered hut in the midst of his garden. He delivered door-to-door around the suburb with a horse and cart.