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The township of Ballan was settled many years before Ballarat. It was known as a resting place en route to the Ballarat Diggings. The military camped near the Werribee Hunt Inn at Ballan on their way to Ballarat prior to the Eureka Stockade. Around 800 soldiers arrived there, and a military officer requisitioned from Ballan butchery of Michael Shannon (for the use of the troops) 1,000 pounds of cooked meat to be supplied within 24 hours. John Egan, the groom at the Inn stayed up all night to keep the stables open for the general and his staff, and stated that "a rumour was current that a body of armed miners was on its way to intercept the military, and the general and his staff went out after nightfall, reconnnoitred the country on all sides ... and did not return until 2 o'clock in the morning ... four of the soldiers were handcuffed to the wheels of the ammunition carts, probably as punishment for some breach of discipline. Marines in charge of artillery were with the troops and the whole force camped close to the inn, their tents extending over the space now occupied by the residence of Mr Andre Flack and Mrs O'Donohue and where the old Mechanics' Institute formerly stood. Some of the soldiers had their wives with them and practically every room in the house was occupied, shake-downs being made on the floors of rooms other than bedrooms." [1]


The death occurred recently of Mr John Egan, of "Fairview," Ballan. aged 91. He was the oldest resident of Ballan, having first settled there with his parents 78 years ago. A native of Ireland, he reached Sydney in the Hyderabad, of 800 tons, in 1848, and came to Victoria, where his parents settled at Durham Ox and then on Charlotte Plains. His father became licensee of the Werribee Hunt Hotel, Ballan, and Mr Egan remembered the soldiers camping beside it on their way to the Eureka Stockade riot.[2]

Names associated with Ballan

Michael Tuohy

Mrs Flack


Eureka Memories

The quest begun last week by an historian Miss Finnin, for information aboutt he exact camping site for the soldiers marching to Ballarat to quell the Euricka (sic) rebellion in 1854, has set older residents thinking. Mrs W Linsdell, of Myrniong reports that her mother the late Mrs Flack told her the soldiers camped in a paddock close to her home then known as the Werribee Hunt Hotel, Ballan. There were two trees in the paddock, Mrs Linsdell can remember, which bore bullet holes as the result of the troops practising marksmanship. These trees are now gone, but the residence remains in excellent preservation and is well known as "Bellevue", the home of Mrs J. B. Fagg.[3]

Also See


John Egan (2)

Werribee Hunt Hotel


  1. J. L. Turner (ed.), The Walsh Papers:Memoirs of the Early Settlement of Western Victoria and in particular, Ballan Shire: 1830-1875, written and compiled by James Henry Walsh (1863-1930) of Ballan, 1985.
  2. Weekly Times, 23 April 1932.
  3. The Bacchus Marsh Express, 30 November 1946