In March, 1838 therefore, they selected 10,000 acres north west of Mt Buninyong on the shores of a swamp. This run which in today's terms included the inner suburbs of Ballarat and extended south as far as Sebastopol was known as "Ballaarat". When William Cross Yuille first arrived (shortly before his cousin), he camped on the edge of what was then known as Black Swamp. Soon it became known as Yuille's Swamp and today is recognised as Lake Wendouree.
|A memorial erected in 1938 on the banks of Lake Wendouree|
(near the end of Pleasant St) commemorating the arrival of
William C Yuille, the first European to live in the district
|Photo of William Cross Yuille, taken in 1894. Image|
held by the State Library of Victoria
The site of the homestead was described some years later in The History of Ballarat from the First Pastoral Settlement to the Present Time (WB Withers, 1887, 2nd Edition)
Down the valley of the Leigh where the Sebastopol streets and fences run over the eastern escarpment of the table land, may still be seen the sandstone foundations of a station begun by the Messrs. Yuille, whom the coming of the first hosts of gold-hunters scared away from a place no longer fit, in their opinion, for pastoral occupation. Those unfinished walls are in a paddock overlooking a little carse of some four or five acres by the creek side, owned by an Italian farmer, and close to the junction of the Woolshed Creek with the main stream in the valley.In today's terms, the homestead site would have been situated at the end of Bala Street in Sebastopol and the "little carse" later owned by Mr J Grenno forms part of the wetlands next to the river, through which the Yarrowee Trail now passes.
|Sketch of the homestead on Woolshed Creek, built by Henry Anderson and later'|
occupied by Archibald Yuille. Image held by the National Library of Australia
After passing the Yuille's homestead on Woolshed Creek, the track followed the ridge line above the Yarrowee River before curving away to the north - somewhere near the intersection of Grant and Moyle Streets - taking a path to the east of Lake Wendouree towards the Pyrenees.
At that time, Yuille's Swamp really was a swamp, teeming with wildlife and a summer camping place for the local Wathaurong people. After the town of Ballarat was established however, earthworks were built and modifications were made in order to provide a water supply for the town, resulting in the lake we see today.
|The view across Yuille's Swamp (now Lake Wendouree) from the site of W.C.|
Yuille's first camp
The track to the Pyrenees district also led to the town of Clunes, where gold had been discovered a few weeks before Hiscock's discovery at Buninyong, so some of those disappointed at Hiscock's Gully, decided to try their luck at Clunes instead.
Others, upon hearing the news, rushed to investigate the new find by Dunlop and Regan only a few miles away on the Yuille's Ballarat run. Taking to the track once again, they made the much shorter journey to Poverty Point, taking with them their pans, cradles, tents and what supplies they had, hoping this time to strike it rich.