Happy Valley

From Hotels of Ballarat

Happy Valley was a small town 28 kms south west of Ballarat.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

Lucky Womans Mine, c.1935

The town on the Springdallah Creek was originally known as Lucky Woman's, after a gold mine.[2]

The town may not have been as happy as the name suggests. In May 1873, a "Mother" complained about behaviour caused by the hotels:

A COMPLAINT AGAINST THE POLICE. TO THE EDITOR OF THE COURIER. Sir, — l am very much annoyed with some drunken neighbors, whose foul language from time to time I have the greatest difficulty in keeping my children from hearing ; and although I see the police about occasionally, they do not seem to check the nuisance, nor put a stop to the bad conduct carried on in a neighboring hotel. This may be accounted for by the loose conduct of some of the police who visit the place. Yesterday, for instance, I saw one of them falling about the street drunk, his horse having thrown him and galloped away. I have frequently seen the same man in a similar state before. As I suffer, as well as others, by this thing, I think I have a right to complain, in the hope that the nuisance may be abated, and that the several parties may take the hint.— I am, &c., AA Mother. Happy Valley, 24th May.[3]

A response to this letter was written, defending the alleged complaints:

POLICE AND HOTELS AT HAPPY VALLEY. To the editor of the Courier. Sir, — Referring to a letter that appeared in your valuable journal, bearing date 24th May, I beg to contradict the same, especially as referring to the conduct of the hotels here, and the conduct of the police. I can safely vouch that a better conducted place, with regard to publichouses and police protection, does not exist in the colony. Regarding the remark made in the aforesaid letter, respecting a horse having thrown a policeman at that time, I beg to say that is an accident which might happen to any man, especially considering the curious sort of animals supplied to them which are so infirm upon their legs as to be incapable of carrying anyone safely : in fact, it is a disgrace to the Police Department to oblige their officers to ride such animals, as in the execution of their duty they are completely unable to cope with any ruffian who happens to be well mounted. With respect to the charge of "A Mother," of her children hearing obscene or profane language at the hotels, I most emphatically deny that any such language is used, as, having a good deal of business in the publichouses, I have the best opportunity of knowing ; but even if such were the case, why does not "A Mother" keep her children away from such places? The fact is, Mr Editor, that there are some people, and I am sorry to say many, who areonly too anxious to get up a cause of grievance, no matter upon what grounds, and spread their abominable slanders to the detriment, if possible, of their respectable neighbors. — Yours respectfully, A Sufferer from Slander. Happy Valley, 30th May.[4]

It seems that life in the town did not improve, and that the "Mother" was still unhappy, as this letter in April 1875 shows:

NOISY PUBLICHOUSES. TO THE EDITOR OF THE COURIER. SIR, — I think it is high time a policemen was stationed at Happy Valley for nothing else but to observe the manner in which the publicans conduct their hotels, especially on the Sabbath. The scenes which take place in these so-called respectable houses are of the very worst description. Only last Sunday a dreadful fight occurred at a neighboring hotel, at about five o'clock in the morning, which resulted in serious injury to one of the combatants. It is bad enough, Mr. Editor, when these scenes occur during the week; but when they are allowed to take place on the Sabbath, within sight and hearing of those who are going to, and returning from, the various places of worship, it is quite time they were put a stop to. I am, Sir, yours, &c., VERACITY, Happy Valley, 29th March.[5]

In September 1877, a local man described the nature of the town's people:

HAPPY VALLEY v. LINTON. TO THE EDITOR OF THE COURIER SIR,— Having seen a paragraph in your paper from an ignoramus signing himself "Civis" calling Happy Valley an unimportant place, allow me to tell him we are a more liberal, free and off-handed people than those of the aristocratic Linton ; and that, if they have any swindle on the board, such as a bazaar, concert, or a raffle, they are glad to fly to us Happy Valley people for our money and support, while they take good care to spend little themselves. We have three hotels, well conducted, and require no police protection,— Yours, &c., HAPPY VALLEY MAN.[6]

Hotels[edit | edit source]

The newspaper in 1906 reported that one of the town's publicans had simply locked up the hotel and left. The name of the hotel wasn't mentioned:

HAPPY VALLEY. A very unusual event took place here this week, when the licensee of a hotel moved out, it is alleged, without giving notice before doing so, to the owners, who are located out of the district. The house has been locked up since Monday last. A little speculation is taking place as to what the results will be with regard to the Licensing Act.[7]

Hotel list[edit | edit source]

Mine list[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 2015, Happy Valley, Victorian Places, Monash University, http://www.victorianplaces.com.au/happy-valley
  2. Happy Valley, Victorian Places, http://www.victorianplaces.com.au/happy-valley
  3. 1873 'A COMPLAINT AGAINST THE POLICE.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1880; 1914 - 1918), 27 May, p. 3. , viewed 05 Feb 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article192281113
  4. 1873 'POLICE AND HOTELS AT HAPPY VALLEY.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1880; 1914 - 1918), 31 May, p. 4. , viewed 05 Feb 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article192281740
  5. 1875 'NOISY PUBLICHOUSES.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1880; 1914 - 1918), 2 April, p. 4. , viewed 05 Feb 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article191559814
  6. 1877 'HAPPY VALLEY v. LINTON.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1880; 1914 - 1918), 8 September, p. 2. , viewed 05 Feb 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article211539976
  7. 1906 'HAPPY VALLEY.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 29 October, p. 6. , viewed 27 Jan 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article210688996