Mount Pleasant is the oldest residential suburb of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. It is located on the southern extremity of the city between the Yarrowee Creek and the White Horse Range. Physically it is largely cut off from the rest of Ballarat which contributes to a sense of a suburb apart. The traditional Wathaurung country was first invaded in 1836 when the Yuille brothers established a sheep run that included the sheltered corner under the escarpment later named Mount Pleasant. In those days, before there was a town at Ballarat, Buninyong was the nearest township. When the gold rush of 1851 brought thousands of diggers to nearby Golden Point, Mount Pleasant was left alone as no gold was initially found there. Its peacefulness made it attractive to a number of Cornish miners and their families who had come to Australia to settle permanently. These Wesleyans were the founders of the community. As devout and sober church people they sought a place to live away from the drunken mayhem of the diggings around Main Road.
The converging lines of the main streets that lead into Mount Pleasant from the north (Barkly, Humffray and Bond streets) follow the original tracks that connected it to the Main Road commercial area in the 1850s.
In December 1854, on the gentle slope above the creek, the Cornish families set up their tents and established a school, a memorial to which can be found near the reserve. This quiet life was rudely disrupted in late 1856 when gold was found and for a few years Mount Pleasant itself suffered all the disturbances of a rush.