Eureka Monument

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The famous 'Eureka Stockade', Ballarat, December 1854. Photography: Charles Rudd 1849-1901. Collection: State Library of Victoria.
Eureka Stockade Monument, c1923,
Eureka Stockade Monument, c1958,

Background

On 16 April 1884 the Eureka Stockade Memorial Committee met for the first time. The decided to invite designs for a memorial. [1] The winning design was by H.A. King. [2]

Tender for the erection of the memorial was awarded to Rowsell and sons for the sum of 129 pounds, 18 shillings. On 5 September 1884 the contractor was awarded an further 10 pounds for additional earthworks, with the memorial to be finished by 10 November 1884.[3]

On 25 August 1886 the committee passed to wait on the Ballarat East Town Council on Friday 27 August 1886 for the purpose of handing the memorial over to the Council. [4]

Eureka Memorial Site

1877

"::The Ballarat East Town Council (says the Courier) appears to be determined not to let the Eureka Stockade lie in oblivion any longer, or fade away from the history of Ballarat, for want of some land mark to show the site of the memorable engagement which took place now nearly twenty-three years ago. At the council meeting held last night, Councillor Long moved on notice —"That in the opinion of this council, the spot where the Eureka Stockade once stood, and where so many brave men fell on the memorable 3rd of December, 1854, should be enclosed, as soon as possible, with a substantial tial fence, and a suitable monument erected to the memory of those who lost their lives in resisting tbe unconstitutional proceedings of the Victorian Government, on that occasion." The motion was carried. A motion contingent on this, namely—" That the council pledges itself to set apart at the proper time a sum not to exceed £50, to subsidise any fund that may he raised by the people of Ballarat for that object," was withdrawn for the present.[5]


1884

Thirty years after the Eureka Stockade a monument was to be erected and an attempt was made to determine the exact site that the battle took place..

On June 26th 1884 several hundred men gathered at Eureka Street and argued. The Star the next day said that the proceedings almost became another Eureka riot. Joseph Roff waving his famous umbrella, ordered that a ring should be formed of those who had been present at the fight and each should give his opinion. [6]
On 25 July 1884 the committee resolved to inspect the Eureka Stockade Reserve and determine the site for the proposed memorial, and invite the Ballarat East Council to participate. The committee met at Joseph's Hotel, Eureka Street as a diversity of opinion exists regarding the position once occupied by the stockade.[7]
Eureka Stockade Monument, 2008, Photography: Clare Gervasoni.
File:IMG 0311-wiki.JPG
Eureka Stockade Monument (detail). Photography: Clare Gervasoni, 2013.
Alexander Morrison, the first secretary of the movement for a monument at Eureka. Ballarat Heritage Services Picture Collection
The great interest taken in everything concerning the Eureka Stockade was evident yesterday, when several hundred persons gathered at the site at Eureka Street, Ballarat East, for the purpose of fixing the exact spot where the fight took place, on which the monument will shortly be erected. Besides a large number of Stockaders and old identities, there were present Messrs James and Russell, M.L.A., Mayor Ferguson and Councillors Lewis, Morrison, Williams, Roff, Gregory, Walker, Scott, Elsworth, and Messrs Bechervaise, J.N. Wilson, H. Josephs, Lester, C. Dyte, D. Turpie and Mr H.A. King, the architect. Mr James Esmond, the gold discoverer, who looked very well, was amongst the Stockaders present. It soon became apparent that great difficulty was in the way of setting down the exact boundaries of the Stockade, which measured about 400 feet in diameter, This was on account of the great change in the surface, the neighbourhood having undergone considerable change in the course of thirty years. Each knot of Stockaders was of a different opinion, and the scenes were rather amusing, as each one stuck stubbornly to his opinion. the memorial committee recognised the difficulty, but had not foreseen anything of the sort, no arrangement had been made to take evidence on the point. Ultimately Councillor Roff exclaimed - "Let us make a ring and get the different opinions." This idea was carried out. Mr James, M.L.A. said that he had come to the conclusion that the Stockade was to the north of the Eureka Street rise. there were cries of 'No, No." Nearly all the remaining diggers were of the opinion that the fight took place about 200 yards to the north of Eureka Street, and ultimately the spot which is about 200 yards to the east of what was generally accepted as the site, was set down as the centre of the Stockade. Mayor Ferguson duly made the announcement, which was received with cheers. The sport selected, even if not actually the exact site of the Stockade, was undoubtedly the most suitable for the monument, which will probably be unveiled on the 30th anniversary in December next. About 50 pounds is still required for the completion of the monument. it is not generally known that 12 acres in the neighbourhood of the Stockade has been declared a reserve, The whole, or a portion of this reserve, will shortly be fenced in by the Town Council.
Mr C. Dyte pointed out the site of the store he was keeping at the time, and Mr Lester, of Lester's Hotel, indicated the precise locality of an hotel he was keeping in those days. Diversity of opinion was great as to the sites of the Albion Hotel, the blacksmith's shop, and other notable buildings at the time of the stockade. ... the circle was by this item completely broken up and Cr Roff's ambition to form "another circle" was once more put to the test. At this stage, however, calls were made that a "few practical men" had fixed upon the site for the memorial and the place was surrounded. The Mayor of the Town then asked for an expression of opinion to the question whether it was the centre of the Stockade. A few dissentient voices alone were raised. A peg was into the ground to mark the spot, and three rousing cheers were given by the spectators. The memorial will, therefore, be placed in a commanding position, some 30 or 40 yards way from Eureka Street. The design for the monument has been prepared by Mr H.A. King, who is now engaged in preparing specifications of the work. Tenders will be called in a few days, to be dealt with at a meeting of the Committee next week. The sum of 170 pounds has been obtained, mostly in small subscriptions; and the committee are 30 pounds short of the required amount for the erection of a memorial. The angles of the Stockade will be mounted with cannon, donated for the purpose by the Service Government.


THE EUREKA STOCKADE MONUMENT
TO THE EDITOR
Sir, - My heart warms to the writer of your letters on the Eureka Stockade, as I avail myself of the pleasure of perusing his lucid, truthful, and intelligent communications. My tent was near the Stockade, and with a friend I had my share of the perils and dangers of the occasion, and witnessed part of the massacre. I remember, remarking while standing at our tent door, looking upon the work of blood, which we were so powerless to prevent, “we had better go inside, or we might share the same fate;” and inside we went, after having heard the testimony of a youth, who had escaped with his life, as to what had occurred within the Stockade. Some time after I went and inspected the spot, and counted 22 dead bodies; and such a scene, God grant I may never witness again. I judge it is not only a case of “shedding human blood,” but of oppression, tyranny, and massacre; and a fitting monument is needed to testify of these and people’s loyalty and patriotism, and of their justification in resisting the work of the tyrants. If the committee will take this stand, and resolve to raise £2500 for such a monument as I indicated in my former letter, I will contribute £500 towards the amount, every pound to carry a vote, and the form of monument, inscription, and site, to be approved by the Honourable the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. It would doubtless, be gratifying to those who wish to hide or forget their part in the business that the facts of the time be buried in forgetfulness, but history repeats itself, and it is necessary, both as a matter of justice to the dead and the living who escaped death and to posterity, that the history of the time should live vividly in the memory of the nation, and that periodically the facts should be reviewed and the memory of the slain, and the wounded living be kept green in the minds and affections of the people of Victoria and of all Australia than whom Her Most Gracious Majesty has not, in her vast realm, a more loyal and patriotic people. I hope the committee will see that the experience meeting of men who know of the Stockade takes place. If rightly handled, it will be a tower of strength to the movement, and to history, and I shall be glad to contribute my part. Ample time and notice will bring together such a gathering, and such a testimony as will move the hearts and loving sympathy of the people to a holy appreciation of the loyalty and patriotism of those who resisted unto death. At least 30 are known to have met their death, and it is fair to infer that, being mostly men in the full vigour of manhood, they would have survived until today. Well, now estimate the value of the labour of these 30. Supposing they had lived and earned £2 per week during the 30 years, that would amount to £90,000. But among the living who were in the Stockade, I know one man who is worth £60,000, made since the death of his fellows, and doubtless there are more of the kind. Surely the memory of the men who sacrificed life and the friends who would have shared in the blessings of the £90,000, and the happy homes that would have been made, claim the affection of the living who escaped death, and of the nation; and the least we can do is to honour their memory by a suitable monument. This is a cold view of the humanity of the case; still it has its telling aspect. I therefore appeal to the co-patriots of the noble dead to join heartily in the movement, and participate in the luxury of renewing old friendships, and realising the pleasure that will follow the discharge of a holy duty. But I fear that the mild position the committee have taken will not commend itself to the men of action of December, 1854. I do not admire the reply of the chairman of committee to the friends at Learmonth. He should have taken higher and holier ground. He had no doubt forgotten that those same friends once refused to have a railway made to Learmonth, a unique refusal, singularly original and the only one of the kind to be found in the history of railways all over the world. In the event of the committee not being in a position to claim the sum I have named, it is probable that men who know something of the Stockade, will follow with a movement to complete the work as suggested previously by me. My offer will be a standing one until the monument is erected. One of the wealthy ones is at present away in Europe, and a very likely person to help materially with a considerable sum.
Yours, &c., MUNICIPAL FREEDOM[8]


1889

The Eureka Stockade monument Ins now been finished. An obelisk of Stawell freestone, about. 15 fc« t in height, has brren crrcted on the bluortone base, and the mom* meat n->w presents a very much unproved appearance. The four guns, with their carriages, have all been placed in position — one at each corner of the monument. The only inscription on the monument is to be— " Eureka Stockade, December 1S54." The bluestooe obelisk, which was at first proposed to bo placed at the monument, (says the Post) now to be erected on the spot where gold was first found in Ballarat, whenever this spot has been settled upon.[9] (Editors note: The monument is on the site of the Eureka Stockade, not the gold discovery site.)

64-Pound Cannons

The four 64-pound cannon were a later addition, and were provided by the government. [10] They have no connection to the Eureka Stockade.

Eureka Monument
Courtesy Ballarat Heritage Services.

In The News

EUREKA STOCKADE MEMORIAL.
A meeting of the executive committee was held on Tuesday evening; Mr R. Lewis in the chair. Present,— Messrs Ferguson, Bechervaise, Josephs, Williams. Roff, Spain, Morrison, Hall, Dyte, and Wilson. Donations were received from the following mining companies: Royal Saxon, Maxwell’s, New, Britannia, Kong Meng, and Imperial; also; Australian Natives' Association, Ballarat, Creswick, and Stawell branches; Buninyong Miners' Association, St. John's Church Improvement Society, Tinsmiths’ Society,: Typographical Society; from Messrs Wanliss, Wilson, Serjeant, McGovern, M’Donald, Salter, Oddie, Russell, Glenn, Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, Hickman, Ferguson, Hill, Fincham, and others. Poetic contributions from J. W. Mills and William Walker, of Ballarat; and William Rankin, of Craigie, were received with thanks. Seven designs for the memorial were submitted; those marked “Piper," King," and “Pioneer" were highly approved of, and ultimately the design of Mr H. A. King, of Ballarat East, was accepted. It was decided that specifications be prepared, with the view; of calling for tenders forthwith. The committee meet on the ground, in company with the Town Council on Friday, 25th-instant, for the purpose of selecting the site, as there appears a conflict of evidence as to the actual position of the Stockade.[11]


THE EUREKA STOCKADE MONUMENT.
TO THE EDITOR.
Sir, - My heart warms to the writer of your letters on the Eureka Stockade, as I avail myself of the pleasure of perusing his lucid, truthful, and intelligent communications. My tent was near the Stockade, and with a friend I had my share of the perils and dangers of the occasion, and witnessed part of the massacre. I remember, remarking while standing at our tent door, looking upon the work of blood, which we were so powerless to prevent, “we had better go inside, or we might share the same fate;” and inside we went, after having heard the testimony of a youth, who had escaped with his life, as to what had occurred within the Stockade. Some time after I went and inspected the spot, and counted 22 dead bodies; and such a scene, God grant I may never witness again. I judge it is not only a case of “shedding human blood,” but of oppression, tyranny, and massacre; and a fitting monument is needed to testify of these and people’s loyalty and patriotism, and of their justification in resisting the work of the tyrants. If the committee will take this stand, and resolve to raise £2500 for such a monument as I indicated in my former letter, I will contribute £500 towards the amount, every pound to carry a vote, and the form of monument, inscription, and site, to be approved by the Honourable the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. It would doubtless, be gratifying to those who wish to hide or forget their part in the business that the facts of the time be buried in forgetfulness, but history repeats itself, and it is necessary, both as a matter of justice to the dead and the living who escaped death and to posterity, that the history of the time should live vividly in the memory of the nation, and that periodically the facts should be reviewed and the memory of the slain, and the wounded living be kept green in the minds and affections of the people of Victoria and of all Australia than whom Her Most Gracious Majesty has not, in her vast realm, a more loyal and patriotic people. I hope the committee will see that the experience meeting of men who know of the Stockade takes place. If rightly handled, it will be a tower of strength to the movement, and to history, and I shall be glad to contribute my part. Ample time and notice will bring together such a gathering, and such a testimony as will move the hearts and loving sympathy of the people to a holy appreciation of the loyalty and patriotism of those who resisted unto death. At least 30 are known to have met their death, and it is fair to infer that, being mostly men in the full vigour of manhood, they would have survived until today. Well, now estimate the value of the labour of these 30. Supposing they had lived and earned £2 per week during the 30 years, that would amount to £90,000. But among the living who were in the Stockade, I know one man who is worth £60,000, made since the death of his fellows, and doubtless there are more of the kind. Surely the memory of the men who sacrificed life and the friends who would have shared in the blessings of the £90,000, and the happy homes that would have been made, claim the affection of the living who escaped death, and of the nation; and the least we can do is to honour their memory by a suitable monument. This is a cold view of the humanity of the case; still it has its telling aspect. I therefore appeal to the co-patriots of the noble dead to join heartily in the movement, and participate in the luxury of renewing old friendships, and realising the pleasure that will follow the discharge of a holy duty. But I fear that the mild position the committee have taken will not commend itself to the men of action of December, 1854. I do not admire the reply of the chairman of committee to the friends at Learmonth. He should have taken higher and holier ground. He had no doubt forgotten that those same friends once refused to have a railway made to Learmonth, a unique refusal, singularly original and the only one of the kind to be found in the history of railways all over the world. In the event of the committee not being in a position to claim the sum I have named, it is probable that men who know something of the Stockade, will follow with a movement to complete the work as suggested previously by me. My offer will be a standing one until the monument is erected. One of the wealthy ones is at present away in Europe, and a very likely person to help materially with a considerable sum.
Yours, &c., MUNICIPAL FREEDOM[12]

Other Sites

http://vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au/vhd/heritagevic#detail_places;125351

Also See

Commemoration

Charles Dyte

James Esmond

Eureka Stockade Memorial Committee

Eureka Stockade Memorial Park

References

  1. Chisholm, J.A., A few notes o the site of the Eureka Memorial, 1974.
  2. Butters, Peter, Monument to Eureka IN Ballarat Courier, March 2000.
  3. Chisholm, J.A., A few notes o the site of the Eureka Memorial, 1974.
  4. Chisholm, J.A., A few notes o the site of the Eureka Memorial, 1974.
  5. Melbourne Advocate, 13 October 1877.
  6. Spielvogel, Nathan, Spielvogel papers, Vol. 1, Ballarat Historical Society, 1974.
  7. Chisholm, J.A., A few notes o the site of the Eureka Memorial, 1974.
  8. Ballarat Star, 21 June, 1884.
  9. Geelong Advertiser, 19 March 1889.
  10. Butters, Peter, Monument to Eureka IN Ballarat Courier, March 2000.
  11. Ballarat Star, 16 July 1884.
  12. Ballarat Star, 21 June, 1884.

--Clare K. Gervasoni (talk) 17:11, 15 March 2013 (EST)