HISTORIANS have delved into our ancestors' experiences of Bendigo's chocolate industry and discovered a dark flavour.
Researchers at the Bendigo Regional Archives Centre have been looking at the extensive chocolate and confectionery sector and found some quirky stories about the city's factories, suppliers and stores.
Those include a runaway circus elephant and a pregnant burglar.
The researchers have also found some very bitter tales involving threats of violence and questionable court rulings, BRAC archives officer Desiree Petit-Keating said.
"We've been looking at the people and families who had been involved in the trade and I guess because of the nature of our archives we found a lot of stories, many of them quite dark," she said.
They include the story of John Jacobs, who attacked a confectionary shop proprietor in Bridge Street.
Jacobs was convicted after an officer recognised a distinctive tattoo and would serve out much of his term at the notorious Pentridge prison.
BRAC is sharing what it has found in a Bendigo Library exhibition and free lectures, the first of which takes place on Thursday July 8 at 5.30pm.
The lectures will include insights from La Trobe University historian Emma Robertson, whose book Chocolate, women and empire: a social and cultural history explores the stories behind chocolate's luxurious status and uncovers a complex histories of empires and work.
The "Such Sweet Sorrows" lecture will include tastings.
The archives centre will also run the event at Axedale's library branch on Friday July 30 and Dingee's on Tuesday, August 10.
The exhibition at the Bendigo library begins next week.
To book a place at the lecture visit BRAC's website.
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