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
Creek”.

4 thoughts on “Stawell at Pleasant Creek”

  1. I have family member buried at pleasent creek and i would like more detail if possible name of tippins and martin

    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. 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 neville.campbell@fairfaxmedia.com.au
    Thanks

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