Dereel is a small town to the south of Ballarat on the Ballarat to Cressy Road. In its early days miners had worked the Spring Creek Goldfields in the area since 1853. In 1864 a common school was provided in the town and closed in the 1930s.In 1959 State School Dereel reopened following support from parents in the area. On 16 March, 1874 the residents at Dereel petitioned the Victorian Department of Lands and Survey for the reservation of a site for a cemetery to be established. The petition was signed by sixty residents of the parishes of Dereel and Corindhap. The site that was requested was of seven acres on the Rokewood to Ballarat Road, to the south of the town. On 16 July, 1874 the Governor in Council approved that seven acres be temporarily reserved and the site was gazetted on 24 July, 1874 [VGG 1874/1387]. The records noted that by 1934 there had been no burials in the cemetery and on 10 July, 1935 the Government Gazette noted the revocation of the cemetery.
1851 was to be an eventful year, with Esmond's exciting find of gold at Clunes in June, being released to newspapers in Geelong, almost at the same time as Hiscock's find at Buninyong on August 8 hit the headlines.
As Holmes of Colac would know of this early village, fifty miles to the north, exciting events quickly took place.
During the latter part of August, gold was found at Golden Point, Ballarat. Holmes and his mates would get the news of this event at Mother Jamieson's Hotel.
Later, the first week of September, they were found at Golden Point diggings and on good gold.
At this time the only road serving Colac was one from Geelong, so Holmes blazed a new track north from Colac across the plains, the high country of the Misery Ranges quickly showed on the horizon above Dereel, (these hills are a part of the ancient shore line). Six miles from here they would come across one of Learmonth's old Sawyers Camps. During the gold era this camp probably became the Log Hut Village.
Statement of Significance What is significant? The Mount Misery Creek Bridge is located on the Berringa - Dereel Road in the Enfield State Park. It was constructed in 1906 to provide permanent access to the township of Berringa and to facilitate the transportation of gold extracted from the Berringa Goldfields. The Mount Misery Creek Bridge is situated on a crown land road reserve and defines the south-western boundary of the Enfield State Park. It is 2.5 kms south of the township of Berringa. The Mount Misery Creek Bridge is an early but conventional example of a timber trestle road bridge, designed by Grenville Shire Council engineer Mr. Martin. The bridge was officially opened on 30th August 1906 by Miss Montgomery, daughter of the first Grenville Shire Engineer. This type of bridge became very common when it was adopted as a standard design by the Country Roads Board from the early 1920s. How is it significant? The Mount Misery Creek Bridge is of historical, architectural (engineering) and aesthetic significance to the Golden Plains Shire. Why is it significant? The Mount Misery Creek Bridge is of local historical significance as a surviving example of an early timber trestle bridge constructed to link the local mining industry to the broader trade routes of Victoria. The bridge is of local architectural (engineering) significance as a surviving example of a timber trestle bridge from the turn of the century, designed by Grenville Shire engineer Mr. Martin, adopting a form which later became standard. The Mount Misery Creek Bridge is of local aesthetic significance for its ruinous but picturesque condition and setting over the Mount Misery Creek and its association with the surrounding bush land of the Enfield State Park. History The Mount Misery Creek Bridge is located adjacent to the Berringa - Dereel Road over the Mount Misery Creek. The bridge is situated on a crown land road reserve and defines the south-western boundary the Enfield State Park, 2.5 kilometers south of the township of Berringa. The Mount Misery Creek Bridge is an early example of a timber trestle road bridge, designed by Grenville Shire Council engineer Mr. Martin. Prior to the construction of the timber trestle bridge, access to the nearby township of Berringa was achieved by passing through the Staffordshire Reef Range, colloquially referred to as the 'Alps' (Menhennet, The History of Berringa, 1987, p. 146). However, this was not a reliable route and was susceptible to flooding and 'other troubles of bush life' (Pitfield Banner and Hollybush Times, 1st September 1906). The local community and mine operators rallied the Grenville Shire to construct a permanent crossing to facilitate the transportation of 'thousands of tons of gold' extracted from the Berringa Goldfields (Pitfield Banner and Hollybush Times, 1st September 1906). The Mount Misery Creek Bridge was constructed in 1906 to provide permanent access to the Berringa Goldfields and in particular, to link the prominent Birthday and the William Fancy Co. mines to the port of Geelong and to the Gold Mining Exchange at Ballarat. The road from Rokewood to Ballarat, in which Berringa featured, was also a major Cobb & Co. route. The trestle bridge was built by D. Madden at a cost of £630 which was shared between the Grenville and Leigh Shires. The government of the time contributed £300 (Menhennet, 1987, p. 146). The official opening of the bridge took place on 30th August 1906 and was performed by Miss Montgomery,daughter of the first Grenville Shire Engineer (Ballarat Star, 1st September 1906). Many factors have lead to the current dilapidated state of the Mount Misery Creek Bridge, including the rise and fall in prosperity of the Birthday and the William Fancy Co. mines, which was the catalyst for its construction. As well as the turbulent mining history of the area, there was a steady decline in the population and services available at Berringa throughout the mid-twentieth century. The timber trestle bridge has been superseded by a cement and rubble ford, located adjacent, on the Berringa - Dereel Road. Description The Mount Misery Creek Bridge is a conventional timber trestle road bridge located adjacent to the present Berringa - Dereel Road over the Mount Misery Creek. The bridge is situated on a crown land road reserve, within the Enfield State Park. The timber bridge comprises 3 spans between timber reinforced abutments and across 2 cross-braced, four-pile piers. The abutments are angled in plan and the outer piles of the piers are angled inwards. The total length of the three spans is approximately 70 feet and the width of the deck is approximately 17 feet. The walers and braces are adzed but well dressed, while the stringer beams are only roughly squared with the use of an adze. The four stringers are supported on round corbels. The various junctions are pinned with square headed iron bolts. The structure of the bridge is now in very poor and partly collapsed condition. The stringers are becoming hollow from rot and are out of alignment. The lower structure retains a good degree of integrity. The decking, almost certainly transverse, is all missing as is any balustrading. The abutments are built from timber-in-the-round piers supporting squared planks, backfilled with rubble and now partially collapsed. The approaches at both ends are extensive. The ruinous condition of the bridge creates a Romantic appearance in the bush land setting of the surrounding Enfield State Park.