Born 19 August 1824. Callow, Heredfordshire, England
Died 19 September 1900
Buried Ballaarat Old Cemetery
Johanna (Joanna) Vaughan was born to Thomas Vaughan and Mary Whent. Her mother died at her birth, her father remarrying to Susannah, who cared for Johanna and whose name appears on Johanna’s death certificate.
Johanna Vaughan emigrated from England on the barque Benecia landing with her father, step-mother and brother and sisters in November 1850. In the following September this family settled at Ballarat.
Reverend Lewis celebrated the marriage of Johanna and Thomas Bath in 1851 at Geelong. The Bath’s established The Ballarat hotel which by 1854 had changed its name to Bath’s Hotel. In 1857 the name was again changed to Craig’s Royal Hotel. At that time the Bath’s moved to a farm near Learmonth which was called Ceres. Johanna and Thomas made the voyage back to England departing on the Northam in March 1860.
Johanna’s husband, Thomas Bath, was born on 29 January 1825 at Penair near Truro, Cornwall. He worked as a butcher before serving aboard the H.M. troopship Belle Isle. As a sailor he was well travelled having visited Malta, Corfu, Gibralter, West Indies, Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In May 1849 he arrived in Australia on the Sir George Seymour, and started a butchering business in Geelong.
In 1851 Bath heard of the goldrushes and travelled to Hiscock’s Gully, near Buninyong. Early in the 1850s he established a butcher’s shop at the gold diggings at Ballarat. He did not stay on the Ballarat diggings but went to Fryer’s Creek in 1852, then to Colac and Bendigo where the Eaglehawk Diggings were opening up. By 1853 he had ceased mining and came to Little Bendigo, near Ballarat East. He bought land in Ballarat (west) and owned the Saxon Paddock on which some of the earliest cricket and football matches were played, and which was given to the Ballarat City Council. It is now known as the Ballarat City Oval. “Together they shared in all that conceived of the well being and progress of the Town. The church, the hospital, the art gallery … all benefitted by their thoughtful generosity and their private benefactions as well as their hospitality at both of their houses, Bara at Ballarat and Ceres at Learmonth.
Johanna Bath died on 19 September 1900 and was buried in the Ballaarat Old Cemetery. Thomas died 27 July 1901 aged 76 years. They had both been living at 15 Errard Street North at the time of their respective deaths.
In October 1855 Mr Oddie drew up the Petition to the Governor-in-Council, obtained the necessary signatures., prepared the required resolutions, and submitted them to a public meeting: this meeting was held in Bath’s Hotel, and on the 14th January, 1856, the first local council of seven members was elected and continued to hold their meetings in Bath’s Hotel, until the Council Chambers were erected. There are many other historic associations connected with this hotel.