, 13/4/1876, SURVEYED BY MR STARK.

A map of the Lake
from 1876. It clearly shows the remains of the embankment that was formed in 1869.The gap that was knocked through to allow boats through can also be seen. The foundations of this embankment can still be discerned in aerial photographs of the lake.In 1914 when the lake was very dry parts of the embankment re-appeared and it was possible to walk from Macarthur street to the gardens without getting your feet wet.(Mayor’s report 1948-49)In 2009 I walked the length of the old embankment when the Lake dried up again and saw the pieces of board they used to shore up the mud.

The rushes/reed beds still cover half the Lake and there are several more islands at the eastern end of the lake. The two main islands at the western end were formed and planted in 1874. Wendouree Parade is still not a thoroughfare with the Botanic Gardens extending right to the lake’s edge. The layout of paths and roadways around the Gardens quite different to the present day organisation. The quarry holes are visible on St.Patrick’s Point and View Point and the number of boatsheds has increased significantly from 1865,spreading along past View Point towards the end of Webster Street

It was this map,combined with a report of a fire at the Lake in February 1877, that helped me identify the location of the Oriental Hotel.marked on this map,on the corner of Carlton Street is the name Jenkins.The property that burnt down was owned by Mr.Jenkins and it had formerly been the Oriental Hotel!
(Courtesy of Ian Atkins, Ballarat City Archives.)

The club only recorded one win in 1876 .At the 1876 Ballarat regatta the crew of A.S. Brown, J.Fitzgerald, W.Crampton, Arthur Gibbs won the Senior gig race. Ballarat regatta this year was a combined rowing and sailing event, and there were more sailing events than rowing events.

Subscriptions were raised in an effort to pay off the club’s debts more quickly. While City was going from strength to strength the Ballarat Club seemed to be going through a lean patch as their veteran Captain Ned Williams after some 15 years retired from competing. The following piece appeared in the Star News and Notes Monday, April 3rd 1876-

“Although Ballarat will be strongly represented in both the Barwon and Melbourne regattas…we regret to notice that the older club will only be represented in both aquatic tournaments by a junior four and a single sculler. The City Rowing club has however made up for the laches of its more ancient rival by entering promising crews for almost every event in both regattas. And if we mistake not, its senior eight and senior four especially will give a very good account of themselves on both waters notwithstanding the newly imported eight-oared boat of the now celebrated Civil Service crew will lessen

Their chances of success in the challenge eights…the City eight is the most powerful seen in one boat in Victoria, and their stroke Mr J Gibbs, has few if any superiors. He has power, endurance and reach and sends his men along at a lively swing. Under the assiduous tuition of Captain Cazaly, the City Rowing Club makes the name of Ballarat as well in regattas as the older club has in times past. But why this once famous rowing organization should lapse into almost nothingness since its veteran captain left off active rowing seems strange……….

Treasurer Daniel Brophy added to his list of achievements by being elected Mayor of Ballarat for 1876.

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