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Photograph - Colour - Ballarat Old Colonists' Association Homes, Charles Anderson Grove, Ballarat

From the Collection of Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc. 16-14 Lydiard (North) Street Ballarat Central Victoria

Object Registration
00015
Keywords
charles anderson grove, old colonists' club, ballarat, old colonists' association, old colonists' homes, retirement village
Historical information
HISTORY OF THE BALLARAT OLD COLONISTS' ASSOCIATION HOMES AT CHARLES ANDERSON GROVE, LAKE GARDENS
One of the original objectives of the Association was “to provide the shelter of a house for those Pioneers of the Goldfields whom the reverses of fortune have deprived of the means of procuring the comforts of life in their declining years.” While the first home at Charles Anderson Grove was built in 1925 the Association had previously provided relief for needy pioneers from the time it was formed in 1883. Relief included monthly monetary payments, loads of firewood, medical assistance and distribution of Christmas boxes of groceries to deserving pensioners and in some cases payment of burial costs. Records indicate that in September 1922 three of the pensioners being assisted by the Association were accepted as residents in the newly erected Hassell Homes in Gillies Street (now demolished-opposite the High School).

The first site for an Asylum for Indigent Members of the Old Colonists' Association was temporarily reserved from sale in October 1891. The site was approximately 28 acres in area in Mt Clear nearly opposite Midvale Shopping Centre in Main Road. The site was heavily timbered and when cleared over 260 tons of wood was sold to the Woah Hawp Gold Mining Company. A set of gates were erected but no homes built, although a plan for this reserve was drawn which showed twenty buildings ranging from one to four unit per building. The reserve was revoked in November 1909.

The second site temporarily reserved in November 1909 as an Asylum was in Alfredton and consisted of some 7 acres and was adjacent to land reserved for an Abattoirs for the Ballarat Council. The reserve was revoked in February 1912 as it was deemed more appropriate to be added to the Abattoir site. Council suggested four (4) other sites in exchange for this land and they were inspected by the President, Vice President and Secretary on 22 December 1912.

The first site inspected was land on the west side of Creswick Road opposite the brick kilns (now occupied by the showgrounds and oval). The land was described as being good quality, well fenced, no trees, good drainage and ample acreage but some distance from trams. The second site was Perry Park which was described as being good land, well fenced, having frontage to Gillies Street, good drainage and about 26 acres (but subsequently reduced to 10 acres). It was closely planted with Pinus Insignias and Wattle and had easy access from the Botanic Gardens tram. The third site was the North West portion of Victoria Park (corner of Sturt and Gillies Street) and was described as good land, well fenced and drained and well located. The fourth site was the South West corner of Victoria Park and known as Pound Paddock (corner of Winter Street and Gillies Street). It was considered to be low lying and too close to the Abattoir, and was also a considerable distance from trams.

While the third site was recommended as the most suitable for the erection of homes it was considered unwise from the point of view as citizens to reduce the acreage of the park and therefore it was recommended that the Perry Park site be asked for as the most acceptable to the Association for the building of homes. The site was eventually temporarily reserved for an Asylum for Indigent Members of the Association in April 1914 with the gates from Mt Clear having been removed to the site a year earlier and eventually erected in 1917 for £12.10.0. In the same year the first 290 pine trees were advertised for removal in July and sold for £16. A sign indicating that the site was reserved for the erection of cottages was erected in September 1917. Stripping of the wattle bark (for tanning) and the cutting of the wood occurred in November 1918 with the land then being leased until it was required for the construction of the first homes in 1924.

While the site was the third to be reserved it was the only one which was used for its intended purpose. It was named as Charles Anderson Grove in honour of Charles Anderson who joined the Association in 1918 and was President of the Association from 1942 to 1944.
Last updated
22 Aug 2019 at 11:03PM