Steiglitz Historical Society Inc
PO Box 187, Yarraville, VIC 3013
Tel. 03 9315 3018
Steiglitz is a tiny hamlet nestled in the Brisbane ranges approximately 75 km west-south-west of Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria. The few buildings that remain give little indication of its former life, but its mining heritage is revealed by the many mullock heaps and shafts that dot the thickly wooded hills. Because of its isolation and the nature of the quartz reefs, Steiglitz never developed into a major mining and civic centre. Likewise, the town and its mines have never been studied intensely, so much of its history is shrouded by the mists of time.
Gold was discovered at Steiglitz around 1851 and by 1853 it had become a bustling alluvial goldfield. This changed in 1855 when the metal was found in outcropping quartz reefs. Underground mining soon became widespread but was hampered by the small size of claims, narrow veins, influx of water and lack of capital.
Mining was thus intermittent and Steiglitz suffered the wild swings of boom-and-bust, so typical of many other gold towns in Victoria. There were three main periods of prosperity - the mid to late 1850s, the late 1860s-early 1870s, and the mid 1890s. With the population as high as 2500 the township was a hive of mining and commercial activity, attracting miners, promoters, shopkeepers, hoteliers, tradesmen and conmen from all corners of the globe. Unfortunately, the good times were interspersed with prolonged periods of depression when people departed, buildings were removed and mines mothballed.
The inhabitants of Steiglitz were a hardy bunch, and we can only admire their perseverance and resourcefulness in overcoming the many disadvantages of living and working in such a remote location. Over the years, family historians and other researchers had made enquiries about former residents, businesses and mines, but there was precious little information available and it was difficult to find. To help overcome this deficiency a small group of dedicated people formed the Steiglitz Historical Society in 1999.
The aim of the Steiglitz Historical Society is to celebrate the history of Steiglitz and the memory of its pioneers and residents by collecting and conserving documents, photographs, artefacts and family histories, and by promoting research into families, businesses and mines that once flourished there.
The Society occupies the former St Thomas's Catholic Church (photo), and is indebted to Parks Victoria who carried out its restoration and made it available. Parks Victoria also administer and maintain the Steiglitz Historic Park, which includes the Steiglitz goldfield, and the surrounding Brisbane Ranges National Park.
WHERE IS STEIGLITZ?
Please note this website is still under construction. We apologise if you experience any difficulties.
This page updated on 11 June 2012
© 2012 Steiglitz Historical Society Inc