The Local – Camp Reserve
Within minutes from our home the Camp Reserve, our local, has been well mapped!
The first small village was developed at Chewton, today a suburb of Castlemaine. It included the Commissioners tent, stores, an office for The Argus newspaper, and an office for the Mount Alexander goldfields own newspaper the Daily Mail.
On 28 January 1852, Gold Commissioner William Henry Wright was one of nearly 200 men who were assigned or affirmed as Territorial Magistrates for Victoria. Not long after, he took control of the Mount Alexander diggings and set up a government camp on Forest Street near the junction of Barker and Forest Creeks (today’s Camp Reserve).
It briefly served as the administrative centre for all the Central Victorian goldfields. By mid-1852, his staff numbered 300. This camp provided the impetus for the emergence of a settlement which served as a supply centre for the local goldfields as they continued to spread out in all directions.