BACK in the 19th century Bendigo sat at the heart of Victoria’s goldfields with the regional settlement growing into a bustling metropolis after the first sparkling nuggets were found in the 1850s.
While tent neighbourhoods quickly sprawled in every direction – as more miners arrived to fossick for gold rustic communities grew around the mines and waterways – View Street evolved into the elegant heart of town with philanthropists that found their fortune building the grand structures they missed from hometowns on the other side of the world.
Bank went up to store the gold, chimneys marked the sites of back-street smelters, theatres were built to provide entertainment, art galleries were constructed to bring European-style culture to the fledgling community, pubs catered to those needing a civilised place to drink, hotels appeared to provide accommodation, and fancy shops opened to sell excess to the wealthy.
While the centre of Bendigo has since shifted, with the network of streets that now mark the heart of this city a few hundred metres away, the Gold Rush-era buildings still stand in View Street to tell a story of a very different time.
… posted Monday, January 23, 2017