These are some of the many stories you may hear on a guided tour of J Ward.
Another story told on the display panels is about the infamous Gary Webb. Webb apparently had a long career in crime but the part of his life we are interested in started in Rye on the Mornington Peninsula.
Roughly in the centre of the back yard, along the east line of fence near the present toilet block, there once stood an aviary. There were apparently some quite exotic birds in this aviary. On the floor of the cages were sheet metal trays filled with sand to catch the bird droppings.
In the early days of growing vegetables one particular patient was in charge of the pumpkin patch, but he was a J Ward patient, and his subsequent behaviour might give an indication why.
Friends of J Ward recently received a 2019 Victorian Museum Award for their volunteer work in establishing and maintaining J Ward as a museum and an on-going tourist destination. The award was presented on 26 June 2019 at NGV International.
Buried in 1994, the J Ward time capsule was opened at 2:30pm on Sunday 21 April 2019.
Jacqui Sanders explores the lives of the women who were imprisoned in Old Ararat Gaol and the J Ward Asylum during the nineteenth century.
J Ward started its life as a goldfields prison in 1859.
George Fiddimont was the last Governor of the gaol.