TWICE this piece of Ballarat’s lake history has been lost and found.
When Lake Wendouree was gripped in drought about 10 years ago, local Colin Holmes found a piece of rusty metal caked in mud on the bottom of the lake behind Gill’s Boatshed.
He took it home and put it in the garden with plans to wash the mud off and investigate further, but it was forgotten again and overgrown with ivy.
Recently Mr Holmes’ son was looking for a time capsule buried in the garden when he rediscovered the piece.
It turns out the rusted metal is actually a piece of the firebox grate that is most likely from the New Golden City steam boat that first took to the lake in 1885 and operated for decades from Gill’s Boat House.
While no markings actually identify it as coming from the New Golden City, all other steam boats were housed on the other side of the lake and it was found just a metre from the doors of the boat house.
Mr Holmes believes it is possibly the last remaining part of the original steam engine.