Ballarat - Encyclopedia

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BALLARAT [BALLAARAT] and Ballarat East, a city and a town of Grenville county, Victoria, Australia, 74 m. by rail W.N.W. of Melbourne. The city and Ballarat East, separated only by the Yarrowee Creek, are distinct municipalities. Pop. of Ballarat (1901) 25,448, of Ballarat East, 18,262. Ballarat is the second city and the chief gold-mining centre of the state. The alluvial gold-fields were the richest ever opened up, but as these deposits have become exhausted the quartz reefs at deep levels have been exploited, and several mines are worked at depths exceeding 2000 ft. The city is the seat of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops. It has a number of admirable public buildings, while, among several parks and recreation grounds, mention must be made of the fine botanical garden, 750 acres in extent, where, in Lake Wendouree, pisciculture is carried on with great success. The school of mines is the most important in Australia and is affiliated to the university of Melbourne. Ballarat is an important railway centre and its industries include woollenmilling, brewing, iron-founding, flour-milling and distilling. Owing to its elevation of 1438 ft. it has an exceptionally cool and healthy climate. Although the district is principally devoted to mining it is well adapted for sheep-farming, and some of the finest wool in the world is produced near Ballarat. The existence of the towns is due to the heavy immigration which followed upon the discovery of the gold-fields in 1851. In 1854, in their resistance of an arbitrary tax, the miners came into armed conflict with the authorities; but a commission was appointed to investigate their grievances; and a charter was granted to the town in 1855. In 1870 Ballarat was raised to the rank of a city.

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