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A local steam locomotive industry developed from 1854 with the Phoenix Foundry operating until 1906.
From the late 1860s to the early 20th century, Ballarat made a successful transition from a gold rush town to an industrial-age city.
It is the commercial capital of the Central Highlands and its largest city, as well a significant tourist destination.
As a result, a huge influx of immigrants occurred, including many from Ireland and China, gathering in a collection of prospecting shanty towns around the creeks and hills.Unlike many other gold boom towns, the Ballarat fields experienced sustained high gold yields for many decades, which can be evidenced to this day in the city's rich architecture.The city is famous in Australia for the Eureka Rebellion, the only armed rebellion in Australian history.Civil disobedience in Ballarat led to Australia's only armed civil uprising, the Eureka Rebellion (colloquially referred to as the "Eureka Stockade") which took place in Ballarat on 3 December 1854.The event, in which 22 miners were killed, is considered to be a defining moment in Australian history.