The Astonishing History of Ballarat Volumes 1-3

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Volume 1 – The Astonishing History of Ballarat

The book highlights the crucial ingredient for success and that is understanding and intelligence. Successful mining required never ending reflection by the diggers on their experience, especially on their problems, difficulties and failures. Deep sinking required deep thinking.

Fortunately, the diggers not only talked about gold around camp fires or at the pub, they also talked to reporters or wrote letters to newspapers.

In The Astonishing History of Ballarat we join the diggers on their quest for understanding. We can virtually hear them thinking.

Volume 2 – The Story of the Deep Lead Miners of Ballarat

By 1855 the buried rivers of Ballarat East had been found, explored and exploited, but they were running out. Ballarat’s golden buried rivers seemed to be flowing westwards towards the lava flow of Ballarat West.

Did the buried rivers flow under that lava? Could the miners penetrate the basalt and find those rivers?  Was there be gold under Sturt Street, Redan and Sebastopol? Ballarat’s survival was in the balance.

Volume 3 – The Story of the Quartz Miners of Ballarat

By 1878 the alluvial gold of Ballarat had virtually run out and the town was ‘on its last legs.’ Volume 3 tells the story of how an undervalued, marginalised group of miners, the quartz crushers, laid the foundations for Ballarat’s transition from alluvial to quartz crushing.

Thank heavens they persevered.