Discover Bendigo

Adelaide Vale
James Lerk
A garden with a strong connection to Bendigo was that begun by John Harney of Adelaide Vale, on the Campaspe. Harney was one of those elected to Bendigo’s first council having been voted in by the ratepayers in 1856 and serving until 1858. He had also established his Bendigo Hotel..
15-Feb-2018
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A supportive wife
James Lerk
A German and a Scot came together to become husband and wife, they were Frederick Gustave Strauch and Christina Simpson Strauch nee Taylor. Christina was born at Mid-Lothian which is a county south east, and bordering the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh. Mid-Lothian is renowned for its be..
09-Feb-2018
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Background to a linguist
James Lerk
Inextricably linked to the history of Huntly is the Strauch family, the founder of this important clan in our area was an accomplished linguist Conrad Jacob Frederick Gustavus Strauch. With such a string of given names it is little wonder that in everyday usage he had simplified it, and was ..
25-Jan-2018
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The constant speculator
James Lerk
IT would be quite fair to state that Frederick Wilhelm Kraemer was a mining company share speculator of the first order. He had never forgotten the area of German Gully on the south side of Diamond Hill where he had made his first pile in gold digging, then later selling supplies to the dig..
19-Jan-2018
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Rising like a phoenix
James Lerk
Frederick Wilhelm Kraemer on two separate occasions became insolvent and somehow, phoenix like, he was able to re-establish himself. Did he spend his money wisely? It will be recalled, that he arrived in South Australia a few years before the Victorian gold rush, came over to German Gully an..
11-Jan-2018
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Destroyed by fire
James Lerk
Previously I mentioned that frequently in the 19th century the kitchen was constructed as a separate building, primarily because of the risk of fire. Wood was used for heating, not only for the cooking stove but warming rooms and importantly in the wash house or laundry. Fires were lit ..
04-Jan-2018
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Funding crisis
James Lerk
Speculation in mining shares led to Frederick Wilhelm Kraemer’s temporary financial demise. This man had enthusiastically lavished a very large sum of money on establishing the Sydenham Gardens and providing arguably the best appointed hotel and ancillary buildings for various..
15-Dec-2017
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Perfume and colour
James Lerk
Sydenham Gardens became a by-word in early Bendigo as a wonderful place for relaxation and recreation. As previously mentioned, the garden’s instigator was a pioneering Prussian named Frederick Wilhelm Kraemer. As soon as Kraemer had purchased his first slab of land in 1854, he..
07-Dec-2017
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Prizes to be won
James Lerk
Remarkably Frederick Kraemer had on two separate occasions found himself in a financial bind. The one described last week occurred in 1868, the second time that he was insolvent. Ten years earlier he had placed his beloved Sydenham Gardens and its hotel on the market in the form of a ..
01-Dec-2017
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Kraemer had flair
James Lerk
Frederick Wilhelm Kraemer showed significant promotional flair in making sure that his Sydenham Gardens and the adjacent hotel sharing the same name should be well patronised. Even though the gardens were first established in late 1854 it had become a draw-card quite early for those who had ..
23-Nov-2017
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Facing insolvency
James Lerk
All gardens are subject to the vagaries of the weather and Kraemer’s Sydenham Gardens was to prove to be no exception. Mention has already been made previously of how he attempted to secure for himself a water supply with a large well and a dam. As the demands of the hotel for wate..
17-Nov-2017
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A necessity of life
James Lerk
Looking at the headline, “a necessity of life” I am sure that most readers would immediately conjure up in their minds the subject of water. One of the early steps that Frederick W Kraemer took was to have a large well sunk on his property at The Junction. Kraemer’s ow..
09-Nov-2017
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A German gathering place
James Lerk
One of Bendigo’s early historians, John Neill Macartney, said Frederick Wilhelm Kraemer had a pleasant personality and genial countenance. Macartney also wrote in 1882 that, “Herr Kraemer’s Sydenham Gardens, which, at the very early date in the history of Bendigo (1854), we..
02-Nov-2017
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Land for a new enterprise
James Lerk
Last week I began to introduce Frederick Wilhelm Kraemer, the man who was an early arriver on the Bendigo goldfield from South Australia. Kraemer was a very successful digger having worked consistently in German Gully for about a year. He returned to Adelaide to bring his family and su..
26-Oct-2017
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Trekking to German gully
James Lerk
In the mid to late 1850s English was the most spoken language in use on the Bendigo goldfield, followed by Cantonese, then German, with Italian/Ticonese coming in at fourth place. Germans were among the early arrivals here once the news of the European discovery of gold in Victoria filtered ..
19-Oct-2017
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Keck the public man
James Lerk
THE high profile that Herbert Keck had attained, not only locally but also Victoria wide and beyond, has been clearly demonstrated over the months since I started this series. At the local level Keck’s nursery and orchard was a delight for those who wished to obtain quantities of fresh..
12-Oct-2017
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Contractor Martino Ferrari
James Lerk
When I began this series about Herbert Keck, our readers will recollect that mention was made of how he had approached the Bendigo council in 1890 in respect of depositing the city’s night soil on his land. A number of times in the past months mention has been made of a Bendigo City Co..
06-Oct-2017
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A vexing situation
James Lerk
Briefly recapitulating: the inspector of nuisances, Mounted Constable Ryan on June 11, 1891 accompanied by the Shire of Strathfieldsaye’s health officer, Dr Burke Gaffney visited the property of Herbert Keck. Constable Ryan and Dr Gaffney found that after excessive rain, the night soil..
27-Sep-2017
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Caught in a bind
James Lerk
Bendigonians believed they had a solution to the sanitation question that was beneficial for both the city and the Shire of Strathfieldsaye. Keck’s land, where the night soil was being deposited, was just inside Strathfieldsaye’s boundary. On the Bendigo side it was touted t..
21-Sep-2017
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Resisting co-operation
James Lerk
Herbert Keck was determined to improve his soil quality. For some considerable time the Bendigo council and councillors had been investigating the best methods of night soil removal. By the middle of 1891 the councillors had decided that they should use a daytime collection service for the p..
14-Sep-2017
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