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Haddon is a small township 12km west of Ballarat.


Origin of the name

First known as Sago Hill or Campbell’s Diggings, gold was first prospected in 1857 but not profitably until 1859. By 1870 Sago Hill had been renamed Haddon, and it maintained a population of over 400 persons until the early 1880s.[1]


In 1868 the Ballarat Star gave a detailed assessment of the gold mining at Haddon:

THE DEEP LEAD, HADDON. This place, which was highly prized some few years ago, has made but little progress towards attaining the rank of a gold-field, and this may be chiefly attributed to the parties holding the ground having failed to invest sufficient capital to give the place anything like a fair trial. Haddon, or the portion of it referred to is about nine miles from the Ballarat Post-office, and three from Smythesdale. To obtain a good idea of the country through which the main lead has been proved by bores to traverse, the best plan is to start from the Smythesdale road at the Black Bull hotel, and follow the course of the lead in a northerly direction. On the southern side of the Smythes Creek road are the rich claims of the fortunate Chinese who purchased blocks from the Phoenix Company, a proprietary which held very valuable ground, but having got into difficulties and underrating the worth of their claim, sold portions to Chinamen, who meeting with success told the good news to others, who in their turn bought. Some of the parties made over 20l per week per man, and nearly all got more than wages. The only outlet for this ground appears to be through the lead referred to, but the only place at which any work was done in the gutter to the north of the road was in the Preemptive Right claim, so-called from being on freehold property. This was at one time worked by the Port Phillip Company, but they did not bottom, and the company bearing the name above given finished a shaft and drove across the gutter, but not finding paying dirt stopped operations without driving along the gutter to see whether it improved to the north or south. Ahead of this the gutter has not been touched, excepting by bores. To the east of the lead several tributaries come in, and on one of these the Gladstone Company, and a party of Chinamen who purchased a block from the company, are doing very well. The Reform Company, which holds the claims formerly known as the Amazon and Gulf Stream is the only company likely to prove the value of the lead for some time to come, and on this account its position and operations are of more than usual interest. Near the head of the claim a bore proved ground 100 feet deep, and farther to the north, ground 150 feet was struck, and here the shaft was commenced. It is 9ft. 6in. long and 3ft. 9in. wide, and has been sunk to a depth of 130 feet, through the following strata:—25 feet surface soil and clay, 97 feet of rock, 13 feet of black clay, and 4 feet of drift. A further depth of 17 feet has to be sunk before bottom will be reached, and the heavy water met with has delayed the company, and rendered it necessary to obtain a second column of pumps. These have been fixed, and everything is ready for another start—that is everything but funds, and to obtain money the capital was increased by a new issue of shares, and a meeting will be held this evening to decide as to the future of the company. The debts amount to about 1200l, and the assets consist of the claim of 450 acres, and the plant, which includes an engine with a 16½ inch cylinder, one iron puddling machine, a column of 12½ inch pumps, and another of 11-inch, and firewood, &c. Hitherto the works have not been pushed on very rapidly owing to the scarcity of funds, but now if cash is forthcoming the shaft could be soon bottomed, as all things requisite for getting through the drift have been provided and the double lifts will beat the water. The drift is well worn quartz, and contains some gold. Under it there are 5 feet of washdirt, as proved by the bore, which passed through one quartz boulder 3 feet thick and another 9 inches, thus indicating that there is a heavy wash in the deep ground. A bore put down in a north-westerly direction in the Smythesdale racecourse proved ground 149 feet deep, and 9 grains of gold were obtained from the washdirt brought up the bore. It is considered that the course of the main lead has thus been proved, and it is believed that it will pass through the racecourse and then go in the direction of the deep leads to the north of Carngham. On the western side of the lead, opposite the old Preemptive claim, there has been some rich surfacing; and any smaller leads coming from these ranges must form tributaries to the main lead. On the opposite a tributary is coming in from Sago Hill and another from Sailor's Gully, in addition to that worked by the Gladstone Company. One peculiarity in the formation of the country must be noticed. The ground through which the creek flows has a scarcely perceptible fall to the south, while the gutter has a considerable dip to the north, thus proving that at one period the water ran to the north instead of to the south as at present. This might cause some doubt as to the course of the gutter, if the surface indications, such as the schistose ranges and belts of basaltic rock, did not clearly indicate the flow of the deep ground, and these indications have been confirmed by bores put down in various places. No very great expenditure will be necessary to thoroughly prove the Reform claim and the shaft will soon be bottomed. It is expected that all the shares of the new issue will be taken up, and it is to be hoped that this will be the case, for the lead is entitled to a thorough and complete trial, as many indications are in favor of its proving one well worth the working, and the extent of ground about 450 acres, which has been taken up, so as to give a great length along the lead, secures to them a large share of the gutter. A visit to the ground warrants the opinion that the lead has been too long neglected and that it offers a fair field for the investment of capital. There is a really good metal road from Ballarat, and any person who may be desirous of seeing and judging for himself can do so without being absent from Ballarat for mere than three or four hours.[2]


Geography and climate

Haddon is a township in the Golden Plains Shire, 12 kilometres west of Ballarat, Victoria. Haddon is set on the Woady Yaloak River, which rises in some swamp land a few kilometres to the north. The river runs though paddocks, parks and under a road.Ref>Wikipedia, accessed 08 Decmber 2019/</ref>



Haddon Great Extended Gold Mining Co.

Reform Company







In 1883 Haddon was connected by railway to Ballarat. [3]



Haddon Primary School (No. 1076) opened on 8 August 1870, with 58 students in a small weatherboard building in School Road. The first Headmaster of Haddon PS was Elijah Binder. By 1879 there were 320 children enrolled at the Haddon Primary School. After the ‘gold rush’ in Victoria, numbers at the Haddon PS rapidly declined and in 1956 the enrolment at the school was 15 students. The Haddon community start to develop and expand again and from the 1980s the Haddon School has grown from a small 2 teacher school to a community school with a current enrolment of 220. In 1990 a new school was built on a new site on Sago Hill Road.[4] A new school was at 398 Sago Hill Road was opened on 15 March 15 1991 by Hon Joan Kirner, MLA, Premier of Victoria.[5]



There were a number of hotels in Haddon over the years.

See also


  1. https://www.victorianplaces.com.au/haddon, accessed 08/12/2019
  2. 1868 'THE DEEP LEAD, HADDON.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 19 August, p. 3. , viewed 03 May 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113846722
  3. https://www.victorianplaces.com.au/haddon,a ccessed 08/12/2019
  4. Our History, Haddon Primary School, http://haddonps.vic.edu.au/about-us/our-history
  5. http://haddonps.vic.edu.au/about-us/our-history


Further reading

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