Stawell at Pleasant Creek

Where is Pleasant Creek?

This question is often asked in reference to early events in the Stawell area which show Pleasant Creek as the place where the event took place i.e. birth, deaths, marriages or residence.

Pleasant Creek is a small creek which rises in the Black Ranges a few miles south west of Stawell. The creek flows through Stawell West at the Caravan Camping Park, crossing Seaby Street near the racecourse; continuing along the Halls Gap Road, through the Illawarra forest and finally to Lake Lonsdale. A small quantity of gold was discovered in this
creek in May 1853 by a hut keeper who, with two shepherds were
shepherding Concongella Station sheep. They were occupying a bark
hut, known as Pleasant Creek Hut, on the eastern side of Pleasant
Creek not far from the present racecourse. This gold find was
described as at Pleasant Creek.

Some three years later, about 1856, miners were pegging out claims on the quartz reefs around Big Hill
in present Stawell. This would be about 2 kms from the original
gold find in Pleasant Creek. This quartz goldfield was called
Quartz Reefs, Pleasant Creek or The Reefs, Pleasant Creek. In
August 1857, a large alluvial gold find caused a big rush to what
we now know as the Illawarra/Deep Lead area some 6 kms north west
of the original gold find. This goldfield was described as at
Pleasant Creek and was distinguished by the names of its streets –
High Street, Broadway, Commercial road, Oxford Street. High Street
was situated about where the Western Highway passes through Deep
Lead today while Oxford Street runs off the highway past the Deep
Lead Cemetery. Commercial Road runs off the Halls Gap Road at
Illawarra and is signposted. Shortly after this big gold rush, in
June 1858, a Township called Stawell was proclaimed. This Township
was an area of 640 acres and was surveyed around the site of the
original 1853 gold find in Pleasant Creek.

The Western Highway, passing through what is now Stawell West, is part of this original
Township of Stawell. This township was known as Stawell at Pleasant
Creek. Eleven years later – in November 1869 – the Quartz Reefs
settlement around Big Hill which had grown enormously and the
Township of Stawell down on the present highway which had dwindled,
were united to become the Borough of Stawell. The area of the
diggings at Commercial road, etc., which had also dwindled, became
Illawarra and Deep Lead. So, a birth, death, marriage or residence
could have taken place anywhere within a radius of many kilometers
and still have been correctly described as “at Pleasant

18 thoughts on “Stawell at Pleasant Creek”

    1. Hi Lorna, When I came across this page while researching matters relating to Graffiti, and the Sisters Rocks, on the outskirts of Stawell, I noted that you hadn’t received a reply to your query. If you are still seeking cemetery details concerning the surnames ‘Tippins’ and ‘Martin’, I would be pleased to conduct the necessary research, including photographs, and forward the results on to you. Sincerely yours.

    2. Hi, have just come onto this site and not sure if you ever recieved a reply or comment. What is the surname of the person whos’e grave you are looking for? The Stawell Historical Sciety have all the Cemetery records and would be able to locate it for you. (03) 5358 3789

    3. Hi ‘giddywater’,
      Some time ago (several years), I searched the Pleasant Creek (Stawell) Cemetery Register’s records for information relating to the ‘Martin’ and ‘Tippins’ families’ burials. I photocopied the relevant records; and these are available, at your request.
      Should you still require them, please advise me of your Postal Address, so that I may send them to you by Australia Post.
      Yours sincerely,
      Roy H. Trimble.

  1. Hello Roy
    My name is Neville Campbell.
    I have just finished researching my family tree which lead me back to Pleasant Creek.
    My Great Grandfather was a man by the name of Gray Campbell and he was a Tobacconist
    at Pleasant Creek c 1865-1866. (He married Marion Louisa Garrett.)
    According to an article in the Ararat Advertiser, Feb 20, 1866, there was a fire in the town
    and Gray Campbell instructed the men fighting the fire to tear his shop down (it wasn’t on fire at the time) to prevent the fire spreading throughout the remainder of the adjoining shops.
    Not a bad effort!
    I was wondering if there were any old photographs existing of the original Pleasant Creek township from that era?
    If you could provide me with any information on that it would be much appreciated.
    My email address is

  2. Hi,
    My family may have been pioneers of Mt Pleasant Creek and I was wondering if anyone had any information on them or if my family graves are still there. I am from Geelong but am unable to travel to Stawell to have a look. Is there anyone who can point me in the right direction or help? The family names of TOMLINSON, O\’BRIEN (HERD), PORTER are who I am looking for. I am a direct descendant from the Tomlinson family who settled in Mount Pleasant Creek around 1850\’s. Any help would be most appreciated. I can be contacted at bernie.helman @ gmail .com

    The names are:
    Joseph Tomlinson – died 21st April 1858 (age 48) – wife Catherine (Byrne) died 1870\’s
    William Thomas Tomlinson – died 1897 (age 40)
    Teresa Tomlinson – died 1898 (aged 4)
    Eliza (Tomlinson) Porter – 1926 (age 83)
    Joseph James Tomlinson – died 1895 (aged 48)
    Francis Tomlinson – born 1884 – death unknown date/year
    Elizabeth Agnes Tomlinson – Born 1886 – death April 1969

    Garret O\’Brien – 23rd Nov 1899 – Wife Ann Nancy (Herd) 8th April 1897


      1. Graham,
        My name is Michael Maloney. My wife’s maiden name is Tomlinson and a direct descendant of JT and CB. We live in Echuca. Only yesterday my wife Jeanette, her sister kerrie and cousin Allan Tomlinson were at the Stawell Cemetery and historical society researching the Tomlinsons. Love to make contact. Mobile 0427537377 or

  3. Hi, I was born at Stawell, Vic 1952 and our residence at the time was 27 Seaby St, Stawell. My father was Bill Banks, a Sawmill worker and my question is – was there a Sawmill in Stawell or Pleasant Creek around that time. I would be very grateful for any info.
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Leslie, have just come across your query. There were 2 Sawmills in Stawell/ Pleasant Creek, one owned by Smith and the other by Redden. Stawell Historical Society have detailed files on the mills and the families/ workers.
      kind regards
      Kate van Dyck

  4. Henry Whitaker. Lived in Pleasant Creek in the 1857 era. Had several children ,but around 1860 he just disappeared.No sign of him since.If anyone has any information I would be glad to receive it.His wife had still lived there until her death and had more children to another man Hustler. It appears that he left around the 1860 mark. No death can be found.
    Thank you

  5. Seems like the people of Stawell and Pleasant Creek are very interested in recording history. Great to see! This query may be a puzzle. My great grandmother, Catherine Sparks (who married a NSW man Edward Ashcroft) may have been born in Stawell or spent time there. Our family tree investigator cannot find her birth records in Victorian or NSW registries and all we know is that she was born “about 1867”. The only clue relating to Stawell is that a newspaper clipping recording her death in Sydney in 1933 stated that “several natives of Stawell travelled to Sydney for her funeral”.
    Does anyone have knowledge of a Sparks family?

Fill in your details below or login