Pioneers of Daylesford & DistrictPrint Page Print this page

08-June-2013 (Arthur Garland)
08-June-2013 (Arthur Garland)

Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland / John Huth

The tower commemorates the pioneers of Daylesford and District.

In 1848, Irish immgrant John Egan took up land on the future townsite (then known as `Wombat Flat`). He and a party of searchers found alluvial gold in 1851 on ground now covered by Lake Daylesford, thereby initiating the local goldrush. Other finds quickly followed. Two or three hundred diggers were reported in the area in 1852.

A townsite was surveyed in 1854. Initially called Wombat, it was soon renamed by Sir Charles Hotham after the English birthplace of Warren Hastings, the first governor-general of India.

Erected at a cost of £800, a concrete lookout tower on the top of Wombat Hill was opened officially on Saturday by the Governor (Lord Huntingfield). Before the opening ceremony Lord Huntingfield and Lady Huntingfield were given a civic welcome by the Mayor and Mayoress (Councillor and Mrs. T. A. Whiteley). Lord Huntingfield, who was accompanied by Lieutenant Robertson, A.D.C., inspected a guard of honour comprising militia men under Captain Gribble, and returned soldiers. Girl Guides and Boy Scouts also assembled in front of the town hall, where a large crowd gave Lord Huntingfield and Lady Huntingfield an enthusiastic welcome. Responding to a toast proposed by the Mayor, Lord Huntingfield said that he hoped to be an ambassador for Victoria and Daylesford when he returned to England next year.

On behalf of Maxwell Consolidated N.L., which, is operating at Daylesford, Councillor C. J. Metzner, a director of the company, presented Lady Huntingfield with a specimen from the mine in a case made of Victorian wood and carved at the Daylesford Technical School. Lord and Lady Huntingfield visited the mineral springs and tasted the waters. They were also shown over the public gardens in which the tower is erected. Officially opening the tower, which was dedicated to the pioneers of the district, Lord Huntingfield referred to the progress made since the first settlement in the district. "All the people here," he said, "owe an immense debt of gratitude to the pioneers of Daylesford. This tower is the greatest tribute you can pay to their memory, and I ask you always to remember that when you visit it." Lord Huntingfield granted all district school children a public holiday on Monday. After opening the agricultural society's annual show, and attending the official luncheon, Lord and Lady Huntingfield visited the Hepburn mineral springs and baths in company with the president of the shire (Councillor D. Gillies) and E. H. Zelman.
Argus (Melbourne), 21 November 1938.


Address:Wombat Hill Scenic Drive, Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens, Daylesford, 3460
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.343352
Long: 144.151134
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Designer:E. J. Peck


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 19th November, 1938
Front Inscription

Pioneers Memorial 

This tower dedicated to the pioneers of Daylesford and District was declared open by His Excellency Lord Huntingfield K.C.M.G. on Nov. 18. 1938

Mayor           T. A. Whiteley.
Archt             E. J. Peck
Town Clerk   G. Cook


Source: MA,RUMV
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au