Russell Square User Group

Community / Community

Community facility for Ballarat East and Brown Hill residents.

Laurelle Sommers
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0401 996 380
Stawell and Humffray Street Brown Hill
Other information

Hall Hire: Drew 5339 4034

User Groups include:

Ballarat and District Multiple Birth Association
Ballarat Masters Football Club
Ballarat North United Soccer Club
Ballarat Permaculture Guild
Ballarat Touch Association
Dixie Doozle Cloggers (Val, 0409 138 610)
East Ballarat Junior Football and Netball Club
East Ballarat Cricket Club

The Russell Square Story
In 1857, Ballarat East was proclaimed as a “Municipality” and in 1872, it was proclaimed as a “Town”. By 1882, Ballarat East had a population of 14,722.
The origins of Russell Square date back to 1862. On the 3rd February that year, the Gymnasium Square and Garden, in East Ballarat, was declared a site for public purposes by the Ballarat East Municipality. The land consisted of 18 acres and 19 perches and was surrounded by a close hardwood fence of swan board 7.5 feet high.
On 27th March 1874, minutes of the Ballarat East Council, Public Works Committee Report 373 proposed that Humffray Street Gymnasium Reserve be called Russell Square and Garden. Shortly after, on 10th April, 1874, minutes of the Ballarat East Council, Order of the Day 5, stated that the Humffray Street Gymnasium Reserve be called Russell Square. The motion was proposed by Cr Ivey, and seconded by Cr Taylor that this clause be adopted. The motion was carried. The reserve was renamed as a tribute to James Russell M.L.A., Justice of the Peace, ex Mayor and Councillor of Ballarat East. Mr. Russell died on 17th October, 1889.
Over the years, several attempts have been made to acquire the land, but with the vigilance of the A.N.A. and the Department of Lands, the Square has survived intact. On 19th December, 1884, notice was given to revoke the order of 1862. However, on 14th January, 1885, this notice was cancelled when the Mining Board requested that the original order not be revoked. On 8th May, 1886, the A.N.A. protested against any alienation of any or portions of any of the recreation reserves throughout the Colony, drawing attention to an excised portion of Russell Square for foundry purposes. The Phoenix Foundry Company had sort to lease or purchase Russell Square as a site for the construction of railway locomotives. On 13th July, 1891, an Order declared that the said land be permanently reserved for public use. This was gazetted on 10th June, 1892. (Mrs Gwen Dixon - great granddaughter of James Russell - provided the above dates and events).

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