Born in 1827 at Genoa, Italy, Joseph Barberis was the son of a Parliamentary Secretary, Charles Barberis.
Barberis was fluent in English, Spanish, Italian and French languages. He migrated to South America at an early age, then the lure of the Californian gold rushes attracted him. He came to Australia in 1851 travelling to the Ballarat goldfield. … While in Ballarat Mr Barberis was a spectator of the Eureka Stockade riot events, and was one of the few to know where the famous Peter Lalor was hidden in a shaft, and helped convey food to him. He also was one of those who knew where the rebel’s arm had been buried in the ground … Echuca 1 August 1911
Goldfields Involvement, 1854
- … While in Ballarat Mr Barberis was a spectator of the Eureka Stockade riot events, and was one of the few to know where the famous Peter Lalor was hidden in a shaft, and helped convey food to him. He also was one of those who knew where the rebel’s arm had been buried in the ground. … 
Post 1854 Experiences
Barberis was engaged in mining at the Jim Crow Diggings ( Daylesford ) for some years, before he sailed to Shot-over River, New Zealand. He then went to Queensland, New South Wales, and then returned to Ballarat and Daylesford. In Ballarat he started an hotel business. He went to Echuca where he was prominent in civic affairs, becoming a member of the council in 1887. He was re-elected in 1890.
When in Ballarat Joseph Barberis ran the following hotels:-
1870 - Supreme Court Hotel, 104 Lydiard Street South, Ballarat.
1870-1872 - The Eagle in Armstrong Street South.
1873 - New Englington Hotel, Main Road, Ballarat East.
1874-1874 - The Exchange, 85 BridgeSt, Ballarat.
1875-1876 - Royal Mail Hotel, Lydiard Street North, Ballarat.
At the age of 84 Barberis died in 1911 at his residence in Collier Street, Echuca, in Victoria.
- Mr. Joseph Barberis, a pioneer resident of Echuca, died on Monday evening, aged 81 years. Deceased was born at Genoa, Italy, and came to Victoria in 1851. He followed mining pursuits, after which he became successively interested in some of the leading hotels in Ballarat and Daylesford. He was a spectator of the Eureka Stockade riot, and was one of the few who knew the shaft in which Peter Lalor was hidden during those stirring times. Mr Barberis ultimately came to Echuca. He was a large property holder. He was for nine years a councillor of the borough of Echuca and one of the founders of the local hospital. He leaves an adult family of three daughters, and one son.
Ballarat Courier , 2nd August 1911, Page 2, Col 8.
From Echuca come news of the death of Mr Joseph Barberis, one of the pioneers of this district. He had had an adventurous life in South America and the Californian gold fields, and later in Ballarat. He was also on the fields in New Zealand, Queensland, and New South Wales. Mr Barberis, was an Italian, and had passed his eightieth year, was one of those who knew where Peter Lalor (of the Eureka Stockade) was hidden. He was one of the largest property holders in Echuca, and was much respected by all. He leaves a son and three daughters.
Ballarat Courier, 4th August 1911, Page 2.
Still another of the old pioneers has passed away, in the person of Mr Joseph Barberis, who many years ago was well known in business circles in Ballarat, but removed some considerable time ago to Echuca, where he was very successful in his speculations. Deceased at the time of his death which occurred at Echuca, on 31st July after a prolonged illness, was 84 years of age. He leaves a family all grown up and married. His wife predeceased him about 35 years ago. His remains were brought to Ballarat by train on Wednesday night, and removed to St Patrick’s Cathedral. On Thursday morning, at 9.30, a special Mass was conducted by the Rev Father Flynn for the repose of his soul, the chief mourners being present – three daughters and one son, Mrs Sexton and Mrs Jones of Echuca, and Mrs A.F. D. White, of Wagga, and Mr Charles Barberis of Bendigo. The funeral took place yeseurday, leaving St Patrick’s Cathedral at 10.30 for the Old Cemetery, in the grave with his late wife. Messrs M. and F. Hayes, nephews of deceased, S. Seward and D. Leonard acted as pallbearers. Service at the grave was conducted by the Very Rev Father Shiel, and the funeral arrangements were in the hands of Messrs Steve Wellington and Son.
Corfield, J., Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.
- Echuca, 1 August 1911.
- The Age, 01 August 1911.
- Ballarat Courier , 2nd August 1911, Page 2, Col 8.
- Ballarat Courier, 4th August 1911, Page 2.