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City of Ballarat Community Magazine October 2011
In the coming editions of myballarat we will explore the many neighbourhoods
that create the City of Ballarat. Our first neighbourhood feature explores the
community of Learmonth.
Located in the north-west corner of our municipality, Learmonth is situated
on the Sunraysia Highway, just 21 kilometres from Ballarat.
Learmonth supports its surrounding farming population and has prospered
primarily due to Lake Learmonth, which offers an ideal environment for
campers, fishermen and camping enthusiasts. The lake is one of three shallow
lakes in our municipality that are used extensively for aquatic activities.
Learmonth was founded by Thomas Livingstone Learmonth in August 1837.
In the early 1860s Learmonth was a ver y busy and prosperous town. There
were four big blacksmithing establishments that produced farm implements.
There were also six hotels, four stores, saddler shops and two bakeries.
The Ballarat District Roads Board was created in 1856 and proclaimed a
Shire on 24 November, 1863. Built around 1869 as a municipal office for
the Shire of Ballarat, the Learmonth Town Hall served the Shire in this capacity
until 1969, when new premises were built in Wendouree.
Large sections of the Shire of Ballarat, including the township of Learmonth
were amalgamated with the City of Ballarat in 1994.
With a population of around 300 people, the township is now home to a
hotel, cafe, general store and camping ground along with an active historical
group and Friends group. The community is also home to a number of sporting
clubs including cricket, football, netball and lawn bowls.
PrESErVING LEArMONth’S hErItAGE
In 2010, Learmonth’s historic Shire Hall underwent an extensive renovation
to protect, conser ve, restore and interpret the former Ballarat Shire Offices
in High Street.
The project was made possible thanks to a partnership between Council,
the Learmonth and District Historical Society and a $129,000 grant from
the Federal Government’s Jobs Fund.
The project made the building more useable, prevented demolition by neglect and
provided employment in the local community during the redevelopment stage.
The Learmonth and District Historical Society now houses research rooms
in the refurbished building.
To visit the museum and find out more about the area, the Society hosts
an open day on the fourth Sunday of ever y month (excluding December
The next open day is 2 to 4pm, Sunday 27 November. Society meetings are
held on the third Tuesday of ever y month at 8pm. For more information, visit
Below: The historic Learmonth Shire Hall was extensively restored last year.
ExPLOrE LEArMONth By FOOt Or BIKE
To learn more about the many historic buildings and monuments take
the Learmonth Heritage Walk.
Another great way to explore Learmonth is by bike. Learmonth is included
in the Two Lakes Sports Ride that travels in a loop from Lake Wendouree
to Learmonth and back again.
For more information on the Learmonth Heritage Walk and the Two Lakes
Sports Ride, call the Ballarat Visitor Information Centre on 1800 44 66 33.
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