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    Model of the ‘First Miners Tent erected at the Ballarat Township, 1851’, courtesy of Sovereign Hill Gold Museum.


Model of the ‘First Miners Tent erected at the Ballarat Township, 1851’

This miniature recreation of the ‘first miner’s tent’ at Ballarat was the work of Walter M. Hitchcock. The text accompanying the model reads;

This building, of Turf Sod Walls, and Chimney, was the first tent erected on the newly proclaimed Township of Ballarat, November 1851- Size 16ft. x 13 ft. Built by John Garratt, Thos. M. Hall, John Odgers and Walter M. Hitchcock. After 2 or 3 weeks alone, on the high site of the township, the setting of flood rains compelled thousands to move up on to the high ground, the flooded Bal’aarat Flat no longer being fit for residence. Showing Kangaroos, Aborigines, Miners tools, Windlass, Cradle, Cooking utensils, etc., and containing 4 Beds.

The model was launched in 1911, with the Blackheath Local Guide of 18 March full of praise for what it saw as an insightful recreation;

The beautiful model of the first miner’s tent erected in Ballarat township, Australia, in 1851, recently made in Blackheath by Capt. Walter Hitchcock, is on view in Mr. Ebenezer Smith’s window in the village for a few days, prior to it being shipped to Australia as a gift to the Ballarat School of Mines museum.

On our inspection of it we were much interested with the amount of careful attention to all details, in supplying not only in miniature the miner’s tools and appliances, camp beds (occupied), etc., but on the moss plateau surrounding the structure several Kangaroos and Wallabies, and also Aboriginals, one in the act of spearing a Kangaroo. The printed statistics of the population of the township at its start (four only) contrasted with the forty-five or fifty thousand of the present beautiful City of Ballarat, enables one to realise how marvellous, in a lifetime, has been the growth and development of our Australian States. H.R.H. The Prince of Wales has graciously accepted a Photograph of this unique Model. .

Physical description

Black and White Prints of: Walter M. Hitchcock 1852, Model of the 1st Miners Tent erected in Ballarat 1851 by Garrett, Odgers, Hall and Hitchcock. Description of the Tent. Description of the Model

Collection Number: 443.81
Archival Source
Ballarat Historical Society Photograph Collection; Sovereign Hill Gold Museum. Details
Courtesy Sovereign Hill Gold Museum


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