The discovery of gold in 1851 put Bendigo on the map, with 15,000 people moving there is just three years, drawing migrants from throughout the UK, Germany, America and China. A direct rail link to Melbourne in 1862 and to Echuca, to the north, on the Murray River by 1864, opened up a major corridor for passengers and freight. As in all gold rush towns, there were hotels a plenty along with local industries, including brewing and flour milling, catering to the rapidly growing population.


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