By TreeHugger

The Gold Rush of 1851

Gold was first discovered at Bathurst, NSW, in 1823, but the find was considered unimportant at the time.
However the discovery of gold at Ballarat, Bendigo and Castlemaine sparked a huge gold rush converting Australia, such a remote dependency, into a country of world fame, becoming the richest country in the world within 3 years.
Only the goldfields of California exceeded its output. The gold exported to Britain in the 1850's paid all her foreign debts and helped lay the foundation of her enormous commercial expansion in the latter half of the century. Because of the discovery of gold the non-indigenous population of Melbourne grew from zero in 1835 to 123,000 by 1854. By 1861 the number of people in Victoria was 500,000.
My Blip is of the stairwell of the Town Hall in Ballarat, built on the wealth generated by the gold rush.  The orignal town hall, built in 1851 was burnt down and replaced with this still existing and opulent restored building, in 1871. My extra is of the town hall as seen fromt the main street.  The three flagpoles carry the Australian flag, the Australian aborignal flag and the flag of the Eureka Stockade - a symbol of the rebellion of the miners in 1854. More on that later in the week, I think. On the median strip outside is a magnificent statue of Queen Victoria, clearly defining our colonial status.

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