-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Saturday, June 28, 2008

History of Talbot (from UDF report)

Talbot's Urban Design Framework report is at last published. You can download the full report here.

Here's an extract about the history and geology of Talbot:

Talbot is 159 kilometres north west of Melbourne and 14 kilometres south of Maryborough.

Talbot lies in an interesting area where combination of volcanic basalt and igneous quartz reefs. The alluvial gold as dust and small nuggets was washed from higher hills as they eroded and found its way to lower areas such as Back Creek.

The Quartz reef gold of Dunach and Scandinavian Crescent is in contrast to igneous reef of molten lava that forced its way through dykes or channels towards the earth’ssurface. More recent basalt volcanic action in parts covered and blocked these reefs and a notable example is the Scandinavian Lead which where extreme basalt lava flows.

Old Talbot township was located on the flat on Back Creek west of the highway and alluvial gold was found here to Amherst some five kilometres from Talbot.

It was only when the Hallen party, a group of men from Norway and Sweden decided to dig an exploratory shaft near the intersection of Ballarat and Crespigny Street in 1859 they discovered a deposit of alluvial gold trapped against an impenetrable basalt rock base. The Hallen party and other miners followed this basalt, which was a run lead to become known as the Scandinavian Lead and headed for the present site of Scandinavian Crescent. The Lead was so extensive it was an open cut mine described by the Edition of the Talbot Leader in January 1862 as a open cut of 15 metres deep, 45 metres wide and 650 metres long.

From tents to wattle and daub buildings were the first temporary buildings with more substantial blue-stone and brick construction by the 1870-1890’s. When the open cut was filled in much of the ground on which the core precinct sites had been rendered unstable. Many of the buildings facing Scandinavian Crescent were hotels and these had cellars as cool storage for food and beer. Today a number of properties require water to be pumped out of their basements following heavy rain.

pictorial illustration of Talbot buildings

For decades Talbot was virtually a ghost town, however since 2000 it has rejuvenated itself largely through community action and support by the Central Goldfields Shire Council. By the mid 1860’s the population had dwindled from 15,000 to 3,000. As the miners left a number of industries commenced such as candle factory, flour mill, a picture theatre and gas works provided employment. Cohn Brothers soft drink factory, later relocated to Bendigo was founded in 1861.

The court house 1866 and Court House Hotel 1860, the former Union Hotel and opposite the two storey Town Hall is the Bull and Mouth Hotel now Chesterfield House Bed and Breakfast establishment.

Talbot’s Post Office is the oldest functioning post office in Victoria.

St Michael’s Anglican Church was designed by William Wardell the architect of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne. An unusual feature of the church are the servants pews which still remain.

The former Primative Methodist Church (1870) is now the local history museum and it houses gold mining memorabilia.

Just to the north of town there are some aboriginal drinking wells and a hollowed out red Gum birthing or shelter tree were Aboriginal women gave birth to their children.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Interesting History.