April A-Z Challenge: H for Heathcote
I am back again for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge so have made the commitment to blog every day in April except the Sundays. Some bloggers choose a theme, and others do random posts. For me, a theme works better, so them I’ve chosen for 2016 is Towns in Victoria. I will be choosing towns with a relevance to my family history, where possible.
H is for Heathcote, a small town situated on the Northern Highway, about 45 kilometres from Bendigo, with a population of about 2700. Gold was discovered in 1852 and within just a few months, about 40,000 miners were camped in the area, trying their luck on the goldfields.
The goldrush in Heathcote was shortlived, as gold in the area, was easily found and ran out very quickly. Heathcote then became a pastoral area, with many large pastoral runs.
By1891, the gold had well and truly run out, and the population had decreased to only about 1000. During these times, many town ceased to exist after the goldrush. The land in the area, being good for farming, aided Heathcote’s continued existence.
Heathcote is relevant to my family history as my great great grandfather, Farquahar Morison, settled in Heathcote, where he lived for many years. He was employed as the local school master in the 1860s and then, after retiring from teaching in 1868, went on to farming at Spring Plains, an area outside Heathcote.
This small town, seems to have done a great job of preserving it’s past, with many houses, churches, shops and other old buildings still standing and in use today.
Heathcote today is a small, rural town, very well known for it’s wine growing, with many award winning wineries in the area. The town has the reputation, of having the longest main street in Victoria. Having walked the street, I can say, that yes it does seem to be very long.
Situated just outside Heathcote are the Pink Cliffs. This is an area of amazing, pink coloured rock formations and gorges, that were exposed during the goldrush.
sources: heathcote.org.au; wikipedia;