Learmonth (locality)

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History

Learmonth is situated on the Sunraysia Highway, 21 kilometres from Ballarat. It was founded by Thomas Livingstone Learmonth in August 1837.[1]

The setting of Learmonth within the old volcanic landscape with its broad plains, lakes and steep volcanic cones has been modified by farming practices such as narrow country roads, linear fences and cypress windbreaks delineating the rectangular layout of the properties. The three major hills, Brown Hill, Bankin Hill and Sellwood Hill and Lake Learmonth itself provide places of natural beauty. First settled by Learmonth and Bath, the availability of fresh water and good grass encouraged settlers who soon developed the township in response to demand after the gold rushes. Fertile volcanic soils allowed Learmonth to service the goldfields with fresh fruit and vegetables and it position on the highway between Avoca and Ballarat made it a natural service point for travellers. The layout of the township, straddling the highway with a formal semi linear street layout containing public buildings and commercial premises on High Street, gives it a recognisable classical nineteenth century look. Learmonth the was civic and administrative seat of Victoria’s first rural Shire.[2]

The Ballarat District Roads board was established in 1856 and proclaimed. hires on 24 November 1863. Large sections of the Shire of Ballarat, including Learmonth township, were amalgamated with the City of Ballarat in 1994.[3]

In the early 1860s Learmonth was a busy and prosperous town. There were six hotels, four stores, saddlery shops and two bakeries.[4]

Learmonth was an important stopping point between Geelong and the Wimmera. The wagon trains crossed the Divide at Waubra rather than tackle the steeper grades beyond Beaufort and at Ararat. [5]


To Blacksmiths, Wheelwrights and Others.
‘A BUSINESS
To be disposed of.
J. & T. ODDIE are desired to offer for sale, a business suitable for a
Wheelwright, Machinist, or Blacksmith,
Now doing one of the best businesses in the colony. The premises consist of a 5 roomed cottage, smithie, wheelwright shop, shed, stable and out-houses, situate at
LAKE LEARMONTH,
and doing even in these times sufficient to employ 6 men. When fully employed 16 men are engaged. The books open for inspection.
Full particulars may be had of
J. & T. ODDIE, Dana street,
Ballarat.‘
[6]

See Also

McGlashan and Cummin

Montrose Bakery

James Oddie

Reference

  1. myBallarat!, October 2011.
  2. City of Ballarat Heritage Study (Stage 2) April 2003: Thematic History.
  3. myBallarat!, October 2011.
  4. myBallarat!, October 2011.
  5. Courier Supplement, 10 June 1967
  6. The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), Saturday 23 October 1858, page 1.
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