Friday, June 25, 2010

Lord Wiki Teaches Me About the Gold Rush in Victoria.

So, now I'm on the gold rush segment of Lord Wiki's post on Melbourne.

The gold wasn't actually in Melbourne. Well, at least not all of it. I'll check in a minute to see if some of it was there. But the reason Melbourne grew is that, people needed a town to go to, and Melbourne ended up being that town.

Lord Wiki says that the gold was found in Ballarat, Bendigo, and Beechworth. I was looking at the Visit Victoria website yesterday. They divide Victoria into regions, and one of the regions is the Goldfields. I'm not sure if that's an official name, or something the website created.

I know Ballarat's west of Melbourne....Bendigo too; so I'm guessing the others are nearby.

Melbourne's population grew because people from other lands came to test their luck. Lord Wiki says there was a lot of Chinese and Irish people in that mix of new migrants. I kind of already knew that.

I'm not sure how many people ended up lucky in the gold game. One group of people who got shit luck were the Aboriginals. The masses of new people brought more Smallpox. Lord Wiki says the Aboriginal population of the area decreased 80%. That's not good.

Aside from the Aboriginal tragedy, Melbourne was doing quite well for itself.

The gold rush began in 1851. By the 1880's, Melbourne was a very wealthy city. Lord Wiki says it was the richest country in the world? Is that really true? I need to confirm that.

This Melbourne guide website says that Melbourne was ONE of the richest cities. It doesn't say it was the richest of the richest, but who knows, Lord Wiki could be the correct one here.

Rich Melbourne (if perhaps not the richest) had many big events in their fancy shmancy Exhibition building. Tourists flocked to the city, and hotels were built.

One of those hotels is still standing. It's called Hotel Windsor. I have a feeling that place is not in her price range.

Actually, it's not as bad as I imagined. A basic room in September is $148. I just chose a random date.

Maybe we'll stay there.

But probably not.

I have a place in mind that will probably be a better fit for us.

The thing that annoys me about Australia hotels (from what I was seeing yesterday) is it seems many rooms have beds for only two people. It seems there's usually one queen bed, one king bed, or two single beds. I think usually in America, hotels offer one king size bed, two queen size beds, or two double beds. So a family of three or four can easily fit. You don't need to hire an extra bed, or get an extra room. Also, we find that in Australia you often have to pay extra for the third person (child or adult). In America, children are usually free.

Back to Victoria's happy wealthy time.

Well, guess what. All good things must come to an end...or most of them, at least.

You boom, and then you bust.

In the 1890's, things went sour, and there was a depression.

Lord Wiki says the cause of this downturn (or one of them) was something called Boosterism. This is one a town tries to pump up their image. I guess they spend lots of money....uh, maybe too much money.

I guess it would be like someone throwing a huge wedding to impress their friends. Then later you don't have money to pay the living expense bills. That would kind of suck.
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