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    South Australia - Mining

    Diamonds, Opals and Precious Stones

    "Diamonds in South Australia" is in the Observer,
    19 July 1879, page 14c,
    23 August 1879, page 19c,
    19, 20 and 23 August 1879, pages 5g-2e (supp.), 6e and 4e.

    A diamond find in the Barossa Ranges by Mr Miles is reported in the Observer,
    27 September 1879, page 19b.

    "Rubies in the Far North Country" is in the Register,
    6 and 13 December 1887, pages 4g-6d and 6f,
    20 January 1888, page 6g,
    22, 23 and 29 March 1888, pages 4g, 7e and 5b,
    11 April 1888, page 4h,
    11 May 1888, page 4a-c,
    23 June 1888, pages 4g-6d,
    23 July 1888, page 6c,
    24 August 1888, page 7c,
    10 September 1888, page 6b,
    19 and 26 October 1888, pages 5a and 6e,
    31 December 1888, page 7a,
    10 December 1887, page 25c.

    "Gems in South Australia" is in the Register,
    24 March 1892, page 7a,
    "Ruby, Sapphire and Diamonds - SA Fields" on
    23 June 1909, page 7a,
    "Diamond Mining in SA" on
    24 January 1899, page 4e; also see
    4 April 1908, page 8h.

    Information on the "Luck Stone" (chiastolite) is in the Advertiser,
    18 March 1909, page 7e.

    "Gold and Diamonds - The Echunga Field" is in the Advertiser,
    16 June 1909, page 8c.

    "Some Facts About Opals" is in the Register,
    25 November 1921, page 7h,
    3 December 1921, page 20a.

    "Australian Opals - Attraction at Wembley" is in the Advertiser,
    26 November 1924, page 11g,
    "Opals - Miracle Stone of Our Sunken Deserts" on
    3 August 1935, page 9d.
    Also see Place Names - Coober Pedy.

    "Why Stones Are Precious" is in the Register,
    23 April 1927, page 10f.

    Choose again - Mining


    There's Gold in "Them Thar Hills" -
    Prospecting in the Mount Lofty Ranges in the 19th Century


    At the turn of the 20th century, viewed from a ridge beyond Uraidla, there could be seen a well-defined valley drained by the River Onkaparinga, while visible, looking eastward, were dark patches of timber alternated with farms, gardens and a string of small townships. Beyond this line the forest was less dense and the rising ground, backed all along the horizon by a lightly-wooded range, was of nearly even height, except at one point near the central section where a high summit rose with a steep face in front. Its back fell away eastward in a prolonged slope resembling the top of a saddle - this was the ?Hay Range? of the early explorers, the high summit of which was Mount Barker.

    In the geological map of South Australia the stratified rocks, forming the ranges east of Adelaide, were distinguished by two different colours. The western, or Mount Lofty belt, was coloured slate to represent rocks of Silurian age and the eastern, or Mount Barker side, coloured purple to represent metamorphosed or highly altered rocks. The boundary line along which the adjoining edges of the two classes of rock touched each other was, broadly, a line along the Onkaparinga channel, distant from one to four miles in front of the Hay Range.

    This bounding line, prolonged north-eastward, ran out into the Murray Flats contiguous to Truro and, prolonged southward, ran into the sea near Yankalilla. Indeed, throughout the world it was an observed fact that metamorphic rocks were the chief location of metallic treasures and for this reason all Australian authorities, from Selwyn onwards, pointed to the Onkaparinga valley as the colony's most likely goldfield.

    Surely, the many indications of gold scattered throughout South Australia must have come from a source having in it the elements of permanency but, as I write, no one has been fortunate enough to possess the magician?s wand to touch the surface and expose the true fountain head of the metal for which men thirsted and died in the 19th century. True, there were spasmodic attempts at goldmining, but nearly all failed to reach fruition and it was easy to count the few mines developed and worked energetically.

    A variety of causes contributed to the fate attending the lives of most colonial mines. Want of water, or too much water, was a common cause of failure, but more often it was the paucity of proper development by experienced men and/or lack of perseverance by the owners. Until the mid-1890s there were over 100 mining tenements in the hills surrounding Adelaide and extending to the Barossa, but ?it was safe to say that few of them [had] a man on them.?

    The hills close to the city satisfied the wants of the people in many ways, for the market gardens yielded vegetables, fruit and the ?choice spots [gave] forth the most delicate and beautiful blossoms." The producers did not seek for sudden wealth, such as comes at times to successful mining men, but were content to till the soil and labour out their long hours earning a steady livelihood.

    It was in 1847 that John Phillips, CE, by profession a mineral surveyor, tested various localities on both the River Torrens and Onkaparinga for alluvial gold and, having found it, "communicated his discovery to Sir Roderich [sic] Murchison", as well as to the Governor of the Colony. He invented the first Australian gold washing appliance and the model of it bearing the date of 1848 was, in 1887, housed at the Technical Museum in Melbourne.

    Yet Mr Hargraves, who found gold in New South Wales at a date after Mr Phillips? discovery, and who really had nothing to do with the discovery in Victoria, was rewarded by the various colonies with sums amounting to over £13,000. Today, it cannot be argued that South Australia did not fulfill the promise flowing from Mr Phillips? original discovery but, surely, the fact that he was a man of retiring disposition should not have militated against his claim. In the 1880s he was teaching up country at a small provisional school, but illness compelled him to relinquish his employment and this prompted a magnanimous Editor of the morning press in Adelaide to say:

    It is apparent that this plea fell upon deaf ears as there was no comment forthcoming from those in authority on North Terrace.

    Gold Mining in the Hills in the 1840s

    The history of the Reedy Creek Mine dates back to the period of special surveys when 20,000 acre blocks could be purchased at £1 an acre. London speculators did not hesitate to spend a few pounds and, indeed, the cupidity of the capitalist being fairly aroused, there was no reason to complain of a lack of enterprise on his part. In the mid-1840s South Australia was the supposed true El Dorado - the great mineral treasure house of the southern hemisphere - "a realization of the poetic description of another and more ancient country 'whose stones were iron and out of whose hills one might dig brass'.?

    Among the many discoveries rewarding the exertion of pioneer miners was in the immediate neighbourhood of Reedy Creek in the Tungkillo district where, in 1845, an English company yielded to temptation and secured a special survey. The workings were discontinued after a sum in excess of £60,000 had been expended and, for about two decades, the mine was left desolate and the entire property turned into a sheepwalk. In 1868 Mr Bevilaqua, of Palmer, obtained a lease of the property and a company was formed to undertake further mining "about sixteen miles from Blumberg" and, within twelve months, ?miners? cottages were dotting the hillsides in all directions? and tenders called for the construction of a Bible Christian Chapel..

    By April 1869 the Reedy Creek mine had, during the previous six months, produced gold to the net value of £5,000, while the ore itself was smelted at Blumberg, ?besides a quantity being sent to the Port? and, because of this economic activity, it was said that ?the new township of Palmer will soon number a thousand souls.? Over the years Mr Bevilaqua spent £12,000 without making any profits and, in 1893, a New Reedy Creek Company secured 538 acres from the Australian Mining Company as ?ground tenants?, while some of the machinery of the first company was purchased and 40 men employed.

    Before the discovery of gold in California in 1849, the jewellers in Adelaide had wrought ornaments with gold obtained from the Victoria Mine in the neighbourhood of Montacute, only ten miles from the city, and the first gold taken from it was made into a handsome brooch and sent to Her Majesty, the Queen.

    It was in April 1846 that Captain Tyrell (sic-Terrell?) raised, from a lode, two pieces of gold ore on Section 5597, for which the South Australian Company had tendered vainly for a preliminary land order. Immediately upon this startling announcement the proprietors ordered that the mouth of the shaft be covered and protected, while it was reported that:

    The precious metal was found in a gossan vein and, for some time, caused great excitement in the young colony. A few years earlier the attention of the colonists had been drawn to the copper discoveries at Kapunda, followed later by that at Burra, and the accruing wealth together with cash currency that followed on the opening up of these fields, precipitated the first of South Australia?s mining ?booms?.

    When trading commenced, shares in the Victoria Mine rose rapidly from £2 to £30 and fell almost as quickly for the colonists had been educated by the copper miners to conceive of true lodes having considerable depth and with ore more or less continuous throughout. Therefore, they could not appreciate a gold-bearing reef with ?pockets? of high values separated by portions altogether barren.

    The era of quartz crushing, as known at the close of the 19th century, had not commenced and, accordingly, the Victoria Mine worked its "patch" and the land was then devoted to other uses. A few years later a former director, John Bentham Neales, confessed that the gold produced did not cover expenses and "it was a trifling, feeble vein, to be sure." He went on to say that in 1847 he employed a party to wash for gold in Sixth Creek where they obtained four ounces, while in 1849 he engaged other parties to wash on the "Brazilian system, with bullock hides", and these operations resulted in a yield of 14 ounces. Another discovery of the precious metal was made in 1849 when a Mr Coleman turned up a lump of gold-bearing quartz while ploughing his land in close proximity to Williamstown.

    Thus, it happened that the presence of gold in the rocks forming the hills did not incite the residents to any serious prospecting work, but the methods of working copper and lead being well known, caused the chief attention to be given to localities where indications pointed to the likelihood of those ores occurring. Capital was obtained easily to work discoveries at Strathalbyn and Callington, and other numerous developments were attempted on shows occurring from Angaston to Cape Jervis.

    In the Wake of the Rush to Victoria

    The great rush to California in 1849, followed by a similar exodus to Victoria in 1851, resulted in a wide diffusion of the knowledge of gold occurrence and returning diggers, or adventurous pioneers, gave eager attention thereafter to any similar localities they unearthed. Less than twelve months after Ballarat was discovered, alluvial gold was obtained in the Echunga district and, at last, South Australia experienced a local gold fever founded on actual production of the precious metal, but this soon gave way to disappointment, when the field was found to be of limited extent.

    The development of the goldfields in South Australia had been retarded by doubts as to the legality of alluvial working while, in 1851, the brilliant prospects of the Victorian discoveries all but obliterated everything done on this part of the continent following the pioneering work of Mr Phillips.

    It was on 23 August 1852 Messrs Chapman and Hampton applied to have their names registered as claimants for the reward of £1,000 appropriated for the discovery of a productive gold field they had unearthed at Echunga. To this momentous declaration the Editor of the Register went into raptures and proclaimed to his readers:

    The joint venturers never received the reward because the conditions imposed in Government regulations stipulated that £10,000 worth of gold had to be obtained within two months of discovery. They could not prove this, although it was claimed by storekeepers and diggers that £18,000 worth had been obtained. Eventually £500 was awarded by the Legislative Council, thus leaving the question of the reward open.

    It is impossible to say, with any degree of accuracy, what amount of gold was found at Echunga but, in 1896, it was estimated about £300,000 had been realised and, at that time, Bell?s Lease and the Warrakilla Mine were being worked, with good returns, near Donkey Gully, the site of the initial "strike".

    By 1850 the whole line of the River Onkaparinga was said to exhibit auriferous deposits and one of the richest had been chosen by Osmond Gilles in the Mount Barker Special Survey. At this time a gold company secured numerous adjoining sections, together with others on the course of the river, upon which gold was reported to have been found.

    On 19 January 1850 the South Australian Gold Company, with a nominal capital of £25,000, announced that it had purchased 1,638 acres of land and, together with leased land comprising 400 acres, it boasted that it commanded about 20 miles of watercourses ?open for immediate operations.? From an economic point of view this announcement was propitious because, before it was made, the disposition for colonists to migrate to California was unlimited and intense but, suddenly, the desire to leave the colony abated.

    At the same time the Editor of the SA Gazette & Mining Journal advised prospective investors to defer their investments until the appearance of the prospectus of a rival company (The Onkaparinga Gold Company) which intended to ?offer advantages not to be equalled, at a bonus somewhat less than £17,000.? However, a remarkable blunder was made in respect of Section 4014 held by the Onkaparinga Gold Company, for it was stated that it was to be part and parcel of a certain section, or sections, purchased from the Government in 1839 by Mr Osmond Gilles and:

    In February 1850 the directors announced that the applications for shares had not been numerous enough to induce them to proceed with the proposed allotment. Undeterred, they resorted to their own resources in developing the field and, in due course, an officer and detachment of the 11th Regiment was sent there to guard the commissioner?s tents and assist the police. This prompted the succinct comment that ?one policeman is worth 20 soldiers. The baton, not the bayonet, is the weapon which will be respected by the most rude of diggers?, while the Editor of the Register opined that:

    He also suggested a complete ban on intoxicating liquors on the field to which an ardent temperance advocate, under the pseudonym of "Onkaparinga", heartily concurred:

    In 1851 the company commenced operations at the Onkaparinga where "four ounces were washed out by four men." However, as time and labour progressed, it expended a great deal of money uselessly, for its directors were then "ignorant of the proper mode of conducting the work", while elsewhere:

    In the 1850s the government engaged the service of the Victorian Geologist, Mr A.R.C. Selwyn, who spent two months traversing the hills country from Cape Jervis to Mount Serle following which he concluded that the Onkaparinga Valley was the only certain gold field, although it was probable that gold might be met with at many points between Angaston and Encounter Bay.

    In January 1852 Mr James S. Clark unearthed the largest piece of gold ever found in the colony from rocks ?within the township of Noarlunga?, while further afield the ?Lobethal Diggings? attracted attention and, at Mitchell Flat on New Year?s Day, near modern-day Lenswood, many hundreds of persons visited the field - some bent only on a holiday search, but the "greater part strong in the determination to prosecute a vigorous and systematic examination of the ground."

    A startling announcement was forthcoming a week later when the Government Gazette alleged that a fraud had been practised upon the Government in respect of the Mitchell Flat discovery and castigated Mr G.M. Stephen for his part in the deception. This field was reported to be "near Lobethal", the road to it being by "way of Magill and Prescott?s Bluff", while specimens of the ore found were exhibited publicly at the Adelaide office of Messrs Collinson & Bayly, gold brokers.

    Closer to home, a party of diggers set to work with cradle and spade upon the river sand at the back of the Adelaide Gaol without success but, undeterred, they removed up the Torrens to a little creek or tributary near the Company?s bridge near modern-day Hackney and it was declared that "the river deposits between the Ford and Thebarton abound with fragments and minute particles of quartz...?

    The name "Mitchell Flat" commemorates Mr Thomas Nelson Mitchell, better known in the early days as 'Old T.N.', who died at the Kapunda Hospital in 1895. At one time he lived at Mitchell Flat, "somewhere westward of Woodside", and was believed to have been in the service of the South Australian Company. In his twilight years he lived on the charity of the Anlaby Estate and was cared for by two managers, namely, Mr H.T. Morris and Mr P. M. Miller, by whom he was kindly treated. In addition to this information, taken from a published obituary, official records reveal that he obtained the grant of section 5144 in 1850 and held it at the time of the "rush".

    In October 1855, while sinking a hole in the bank of the Macclesfield Creek, a man came upon a small amount of gold which induced him to make further explorations, but without success. Professor J. Menge had said in 1838 that the Flaxman Valley, in the Barossa country, was ?a beautiful country, splendid timber, plenty of water, abounding in minerals and precious stones and to all appearances there is gold,? while later, in 1856, there was a find reported at Tanunda Creek, near Angaston, where B.H. Babbage had traced the course of this stream in August of that year, examined the ranges forming the basin of its upper portion, and explored the Kaiser Stuhl and surrounding "dykes" from Jacob Creek on the south-west.

    These diggings were 1,700 feet above sea level and high hopes were held out in respect of its likelihood to yield gold but, with the exception of a few specks, none was found. However, in mid-July 1856 four elated diggers, Messrs Thomas Lawson, Edward Callaghan, Richard Dean and Peter Brady, informed the Adelaide press that they had sunk a shaft to 13 feet, seven miles to the northeast of Tanunda Creek and from one tubful washed 2 ozs. and 4 dwts.

    It was at this time that government stated that the £5,000 reward, promulgated previously by John B. Neales, Chairman of the Gold Research Committee, was still payable - namely, on condition that upon any alleged gold field 600 licences at £1 per month should be taken out for five months consecutively. Universally, a cry went out - "We must look out for a larger and more hopeful find than Echunga."

    Within three months of this pronouncement an Aboriginal woman, known on Kangaroo Island by the Christian name of Betsey, sent in a preliminary claim to the Government reward and it was duly lodged with the Gold Research Committee, accompanied by testimonials and joint claim of no less a person than Captain Cadell who stated that the discovery had been made in the Cape Willoughby Ranges.

    In August 1856 great excitement reigned in Adelaide when a rumour circulated that a large discovery of gold had been made in the Murray scrub by Mr Moore, a storekeeper at Tungkillo. He left an ounce of "good nuggety gold? at the office of the Register and on the day following :

    In November 1858 further rumours were rife that a ?grand discovery? of gold had been made near Hahndorf. A Mr Carl Herberger was reported to have been digging in the district for some six weeks and, while making no effort to keep the secret to himself, he refused to divulge the locality. On 2nd December Mr F.R. Hunt came across him fossicking in a gully on Crown land near ?the old Cattle Company?s property?, about halfway between Hahndorf and Echunga, and in his presence Herberger struck his pick into a small nugget.

    The news spread quickly and many men rushed there and the majority found gold in small quantities. Within a few days about 100 prospective diggers arrived and erected tents, tried the ground in many places and carted the ?stuff? to a nearby waterhole, where washing was done in tin dishes. By 13 December the number of men on the field had been reduced to 18.

    The Hahndorf diggings were situated on a grassy flat traversed by a stream and bounded by lofty hills, excepting where it opened out into farm land. On the contrary, the Echunga diggings were in a gloomy tract of stringybark forest, with soil of the most sterile description and comparatively destitute of water.

    Over the years attempts made by the Hahndorf and National companies by way of ?puddling? were not successful and, accordingly, the digging population was attracted away to Jupiter Creek in 1868. However, they continued to be worked for many years and, in 1873, there is a report of a picnic held by the miners ?close to the present workings of the Sailor and Sawmill Gullies."

    As this decade came to an end Messrs Bassett & Squarey were working a silver-lead mine at the Tinpot, near Rochester, and "a sufficient amount of gold was found in the melted metal to cover all the charges attendant on its shipment to England."

    Into the 1860s

    In 1860 James Bust (sic) and his son were sinking a well about 12 feet away from the Nairne Creek and observed ?stuff? that looked like gold and:

    Twenty years later reports were circulated that an "El Dorado eclipsing anything before discovered in South Australia" was being worked by a proprietor and his son within half an hour?s ride from Nairne and, by 1889, the North Nairne Gold Mine was operating on Section 5301, Hundred of Kanmantoo, and held under a lease for 21 years with right of purchase at £25 per acre.

    In 1863 the Government entered the field of exploration again when an organised prospecting party was placed under the leadership of Mr E.H. Hargraves, the well-known discoverer of the first payable gold in New South Wales. The result was that he confirmed the observations of Mr Selwyn. At the Wheal Ellen Mine, near Mount Barker, he obtained some specimens showing gold - ?Ten or twelve shotty grains of gold clustered round a piece of ferruginous quartz" and concluded that "this is a very rare specimen; the first I have ever seen or heard of.?

    Behind Mount Lofty, at Stony Creek, he noted that all the gullies contained gold but, as they were invariably on private property, he suggested, seriously, that the settlers should combine and use sluices to operate on the entire surfaces of many of the hills. To this proposition an investigative reported proclaimed:

    The Adelaide Mine, on the Sixth Creek near Montacute, was discovered in the late 1840s and made a rather brilliant spurt in 1863 when a rich, though limited, deposit of gold was found in the gossan accompanying the copper ore, but on account of the ?hardness of the country? the workings were not carried on, but a few years later the shares were bought up by wealthy men with a view to working it again. However, operations were soon suspended and, ultimately, this freehold property was purchased by the Messrs Scott. In the early 1880s, the two brothers prospected over the ground and, with a good supply of water in the creek, ?five tons [of ore] were sold to the E. & A. Copper Company."

    In April 1894 Mr Robert Hall and a geologist, Mr George Edward, began prospecting on Mr Murray?s land immediately above Scott?s diggings and within a week discovered good gold and, later, land was acquired and a syndicate formed. Two years later the Talunga Goldfields Development Company was floated in London by Captain Treloar and it acquired seven sections containing 442 acres in the Hundred of Talunga and situated three miles north east of Blumberg - at the outset their operations were confined to what was known as Scott?s Reef. By November 1896 it was expected that ?two other mines will be working with London capital within a few weeks.... The great Talunga is the most advanced in the district where a new battery was nearing completion."

    In 1863 there was a report of a payable gold field being found at Woodside a ?few hundred yards beyond the township and near the residence of Mr Ferry? and Mr Charles Brown, one of the candidates in a former election in the Onkaparinga district, was believed to have obtained 20 small nuggets on the property. The Register sent a reporter to the scene of the ?rush? and:

    To this report the Editor responded and advised his readers that it was his duty:

    Late in December 1865 Mr Alfred Jones found a quartz deposit on the eastern slopes of the Bremer Ranges in the Hundred of Tungkillo, six miles to the east of Harrogate. Unaware of its value he gave specimens to Mr T.A. Woods who was struck with their similarity to some specimens he had in his possession from the Clunes Reef in Victoria After heeding advice from gentlemen, such as Mr Hargraves, the morning press in Adelaide declared that:

    The Mount Lily Mine, worked from 1866 (see note under heading above), was said to be near the old Victoria mine at Montacute and samples were brought to the city and, simultaneously, a prospectus was exhibited in Muirhead?s window in King William Street.

    The discovery of a "new quartz reef" was reported in 1866 on a property north west of Murray Bridge that was first mined as early as 1854 on Section 13, Hundred of Monarto:

    Mr Edward Morris found some ?very fine? gold in 1866 by sinking a shaft six feet in the banks of the Onkaparinga opposite his residence, while another party "met with success near the same place." In 1867, on Mr John Lang?s property, about a mile and a quarter from Meadows, two men sunk a hole about 35 feet deep and from the ?stuff? a yield of a pennyweight a tub was obtained and said to resemble ?fine Bendigo.?

    In August 1868 a rush commenced to Jupiter Creek on section 393, south west of Echunga, when about 1,000 men from Noarlunga, Willunga, McLaren Vale, Kangarilla, together with disgruntled workers from the Echunga diggings, descended upon the promised El Dorado:

    At one time as many as 2,000 persons were at work there, but, by the close of 1870, the number had dwindled to about 200, while, in the summer of 1870, 150 of the seceders found work in the bed of the River Onkaparinga, from which some 800 ounces were removed. Good surfacing was discovered about half a mile from the Wheatsheaf and led to the opening up of the Stirling reef - "an enterprise that promise[d] more satisfactory than attended undertakings at Jupiter Creek."

    The Stirling reef was about two miles south of a bridge (presumably Hack Bridge) on the Strathalbyn road and the first point where a battery was erected. It was classed, unhesitatingly, by Professor Uhlrich as a ?mullock?reef - that is, a bed of slaty material with ore between the faces of the stone. It was floated in May 1870 and an Adelaide company worked a five-head battery for 12 months without profit, but a party of tributers followed and did so well that another five-heads were erected. The whole mass of the formation had to be excavated in order to get the small gold-bearing veins and, as late as 1873, it was said that "at the Stirling Reef, Echunga, the enterprising tributor is still busy quarrying out the hill and putting it through his battery."

    In about 1867 gold was found in some refuse stone of copper ore from shafts and, as alluvial nuggets were also found on the property, the Sixth Creek Gold Mining was formed and commenced crushing operations in the neighbourhood of the old Victoria Mine at Montacute:

    Gold mining in the Barossa started in 1868 at Spike Gully, Yatta Hill, and some of the gullies were very rich and it was estimated that the first three year?s work produced £95,000 worth of gold. At the outset 4,000 persons were drawn to that field and, after exhausting the initial surface workings, they branched out into surrounding country, making fresh finds in all directions, particularly amongst the ?cement hills?.

    In October 1868 the works of the Echunga diggings were retarded by want of water in the creek and from the diggers trying new ground and also digging for water:

    In the same month a gold bearing quartz reef was discovered at Monalta on the property of the Hon. R.B. Andrews - ?we have seen a specimen which is thickly studded with the precious metal...?, said the Adelaide press, while in September 1869 a correspondent from Eden Valley advised that gold had been found on the edge of the Murray scrub about ten miles from the village. Later it was reported that the government intended to declare a gold field at the locality and that the Warden was making arrangements for the issue of licences and the settlement of claims. Subsequently, the South Rhine Gold Mining Company on the Murray Flats was wound up in July 1870 and the directors reported that they were ?much disappointed in the results of auriferous deposits made by Messrs Pavy & Company..."

    Of interest is the fact that, by the close of 1871, £500,000 worth of gold had been raised in the colony since the first rush in 1852 to Chapman Gully and this place, alone, yielded about half that total and, although embracing only an area of 40 to 50 acres, it gave permanent employment for many years to 30 or 40 diggers.

    Towards the close of 1869 the Palmer, or South Rhine, agitation commenced, but the results were not satisfactory (see above under "Gold Mining in the Hills in the 1840s"), while in 1870 the German Reef was discovered near Blumberg and a company formed. A few months later the Criterion Reef was found and an area of about eight miles on Bonney Flat were taken up under claims in the Cromer district, 14 km south-west of Williamstown, near the boundary of the Hundreds of Talunga and Para Wirra - the main body of ore was named Hannaford?s Reef and, although worked unsuccessfully, was taken up again in 1882.

    These finds led to the discovery of further reefs carrying rich gold patches and, for the next three years, attention was given to gold reefing, but the shows were run principally by Stock Exchange operators in Melbourne, while the Barossa goldfield, and the still more attractive district of Waukaringa in the Upper North, absorbed the attention of Adelaide investors:

    By the end of this decade depletion of the known alluvial bottoms, and the acceptance of the widely-held dictum that quartz reefing would not pay, nor be lasting to any great depths, caused interest in the occurrence of gold in the hills to evaporate and, accordingly, the land remained at rest for a short period, only to be reactivated by the onset of a depression in 1870.

    The copper developments in the Wallaroo district, and Far North, had absorbed the attention of Adelaide capitalists and, with each year, the conviction deepened that South Australia?s destiny was to be famous for copper, while the sister colonies held the prestige due to gold. The events that followed in the early decades of the 20th century were to uphold that contention!

    Prospecting in the 1870s

    As this decade opened the streets of Adelaide were clogged with men demanding work or food and, to alleviate the situation, it was asked why the ministry did not do what had been done twice before since the introduction of responsible government - that was to supply a labour test at some moderate distance from town. It had been shown that this had checked the evil of street meetings and demonstrations on previous occasions.

    But instead of this nothing was done by the authorities, with the exception that an illogical and somewhat irritating letter emanated from the Destitute Board. The government, however, "sat still with [its] usual masterly inactivity" until a number of unemployed in and around the city had increased to three or four hundred.

    By 1870 it was apparent that this situation had not improved and unemployment agitation assumed "new and more exciting" phases. On 28 February 1870 the Commissioner of Public Works offered, through a deputation, to employ those who wished to work in trenching the New Asylum paddock at piece work rates. This proposal did not satisfy the men at the time and, on the following Tuesday, a crowd "consisting chiefly of strong, healthy-looking, able-bodied labourers" gathered outside the Treasury Buildings in King William Street, adjoining the north-eastern corner of Victoria Square.

    It was soon evident that they were in an angry mood and twenty policemen were summoned and as they arrived the men invaded the building and "commenced ascending the staircase, shouting, howling and vowing vengeance upon the Government." The policemen formed a cordon and attempted to clear the passages when a number of public servants came to their assistance and "by sheer strength [they] succeeded in expelling labourers and the police indiscriminately, and then all the doors were securely bolted."

    Exasperated at the defeat of their attempt to gain the presence of the Ministers, the assemblage endeavoured to hustle the Commissioner of Public Works; the Commissioner of Police interposed and Mr Colton judiciously retired. Mr Hamilton, as a precautionary measure, then sent for a body of the mounted police. By midday there were over 200 labourers present together with a "large concourse of spectators" who jammed the footpaths avidly awaiting further developments.

    Finally, the men decided to rush the stores and about 100 of them "formed in rough order in the middle of the street" but with a sudden change of heart they "betook themselves to the vacant space on the Town Hall Acre where one of their number, taking his stand on a mud-cart, harangued them in language which evidently met with general approbation." He said that they were ready to work but that 1s.10d. (18 cents) a day was insufficient to meet the needs of themselves and families for it would barely suffice to buy food let alone rent, firewood and other necessaries.

    "Amidst general cheering he advised all pick and shovel men to get their tools, collect [sic] at one o'clock, and demand work or bread." The mob then dispersed and vowed to return in the afternoon. At 1.30 they gathered and marched towards the Treasury where "more than a score of policemen essayed to hold the steps against them" only to be pushed aside and "a most vigorous effort was made to drive into the Treasury door, which shook before the pressure brought to bear against it."

    A melee ensued, the police drew their truncheons and mounted troopers arrived at the gallop and "speedily cleared the pavement..." The men then reassembled "opposite the old and new Post-Office buildings"; stones were propelled and nearby shopkeepers put up their shutters, arrests were made and the fracas continued. Finally, order was restored by the police, aided and abetted by "peaceable citizens".

    Some of these men preferred to be their own masters and the untried country surrounding the most recent gold find on Ulooloo Creek attracted many of the unemployed while others, closer to home, tried their luck fossicking in the Mount Lofty Ranges. Accordingly,during 1870, 1,950 miners' rights were issued, 438 reefs registered, 10 crushing machines erected, 800 miners provided with employment and 10,500 ounces of gold raised and by July of that year the German Reef had conferred celebrity on Blumberg and, through zeal and perseverance, it had been "multiplied twenty-fold" and a roving reporter was more than enamoured with future prospects:

    The first Blumberg reef was discovered directly opposite the commencement of the Mount Pleasant branch of the north-eastern road and some four miles beyond Blumberg and, by July 1870, Mr Randell?s crushing battery was at work:

    The reef claims appear to have extended from Mount Pleasant to Mount Torrens, the principal ones being: Mount Pleasant - Nason?s, Enterprise and Perseverance; Blumberg - German Reef, Hannaford?s, Conlin?s, Italian and Hepburn; Mount Torrens - Dreadnought, Endeavour, Wilkie?s and Criterion.

    Mount Pleasant was not put out by its more sensational neighbours and it was reported that:

    Hundred of Talunga Sections 1287, 1288, 1280, etc., were situated a little over a mile south of Mount Pleasant; known as the Mount Pleasant Diggings two long gullies were worked for alluvial gold:

    In mid-1870 there was a small rush for claims on government land within a mile of the township of Mount Torrens and the first on the field was a Mr Ashton, a genuine digger, who bottomed the deepest hole at the Barossa and was one of the last to abandon the South Rhine. He pegged out a claim in the scrub adjoining Mr Dunn?s farm but, not having completed the formalities of taking possession, was ?jumped" by a party of local prospectors.

    At the same time the first meeting of shareholders in the Lady Edith Gold Mine, Mount Lofty, was held when it was advised that operations had been impeded by the want of water and, while 150 loads of wash dirt had been raised, a director, Mr Westcott, told anxious shareholders that he had no doubt "a rich reef would be found on the property."

    At Melville?s Rush near Williamstown a few holes in a line struck gold in November 1870 and, 14 miles south of the town of Yankalilla, Mr Mole, junior, and party located gold bearing quartz and six tons were sent to the Blumberg crusher:

    In August 1871 Mr Goddard and party were following up their find in Humbug Scrub when they came upon a ?rich surface patch?. Later, the property was acquired by the Hamlin Freehold Gold Sections Mining Co Ltd and the name "Hamlin" given to a village which it created for its workers when it purchased sections 3271-72, Hundred of Para Wirra in 1873, the grantee of which had been William Hamlin, a pound keeper of One Tree Hill, in 1861.

    By 1881 it was the site of ?ruined tenements?; its glory had departed and from being a busy mining centre it became the ?very dullest of dull rural villages.? Mr Goddard was the ?father" of the hamlet and conducted the surviving hotel and his duties were confined to opening the door in the morning, shutting it later on, and at eventide lighting the lantern which, placed over the bar door, served to show travellers, if any were to visit the Scrub, the locale of the place; he was to remember, fondly, that the Lady Alice mine had been the centre from which emerged many acres of other mining claims when the gold fever was at its height.

    In 1896 a syndicate received the right to mine for gold in this district and the party included Captain Tregonning and Messrs Turner, Haycroft, Lehmann, Holden, Frost and Pearson,. They secured leases over four sections, their last agreement being with Mr J.S. Harvey whose section adjoined Mr Shillabeer?s on the north.

    By February 1897 it was said that:

    In September 1871 James Scott, of Deloraine, discovered gold on Section 117, situated about one mile north west of the German Reef and a mile and a half from Mount Pleasant. He granted a right of search of the section to a Mr Smyth who was so successful that the owner gave the digger £75 to relinquish the right. After six week?s labour Mr Scott erected a puddling machine and obtained 60 ounces of gold including a 14 ounce nugget. About 1896 a syndicate took the property over and, within a few months, Captain Pearce obtained sole ownership and developed it with the assistance of Captain William Allen who, formerly, had charge of the Ivanhoe Mine at Kalgoorlie:

    In 1872 South Australia was visited by a scientist of high repute, namely, Professor Uhlrich of Victoria who was engaged upon a Government assignment of six weeks duration to inspect the mineral lands north of Port Augusta, but he also found time to visit the Barossa, Blumberg and Echunga fields and "there was some reason to suspect that his observations of Melbourne-owned properties in the Blumberg district were not of a pleasing character to the Victorian investors..?

    Of the localities where gold occurs with copper, the best known west of the River Onkaparinga was the Balhannah mine and opened at a time when copper mining attracted capital readily. The run of ore was not a long one and the original venturers abandoned the mine because it was evident that future ore supplies would have to be sought at greater depths which was a costly undertaking and one they preferred not to attempt. It was in March 1866 that Mr Edward Morris declared that he had obtained fine gold from a shaft about six feet deep on the banks of the Onkaparinga opposite his residence and the mine was worked from 1867 to 1876 when operations were discontinued.

    An Adelaide company reopened the mine at the end of 1881 and it took them eight months to dewater the workings and this all but absorbed the available capital. Machinery was purchased by way of bank overdraft, a metallurgist engaged, and as soon as he was able to get below he scrambled among the old workings and took samples. The results were not satisfactory to one of the shareholders who was also the financial backbone of the company. When he withdrew his support it was found that he had neglected to pay appropriate ?calls? and after an inglorious career that company went into liquidation without breaking a stone of ore.

    In 1883 it was ?forked" with a view to a restart, but nothing was done and the property was sold and machinery removed. Another find was reported in the Balhannah district in January 1887 when section 4107 owned by Mr Mount "gave up some rich specimens." Spasmodic attempts were made to reopen the mine, but all proved abortive but, in 1904, some American investors secured an option over it.

    Further afield, the private lands that stopped Hargrave?s exploration were subject to a mild alluvial rush along the spur referred to at Forest Range. Gold was first discovered there in 1854 and the Eclipse mine was promoted on the finding of bismuth ore showing some free gold. In respect of the Eclipse Gold Mine, in November 1871 a number of its directors took a pleasant drive through the Magill Gully, past Norton?s Summit and over the deep creek, where a detour of a mile led to Mr Biggs? wine shop.

    About a half mile further was the mine situated on a section of 260 acres belonging to Mr Peter Prankerd and three other gentlemen. Auriferous ore had been found there in 1870 and, after the discoverer, Captain Terrell, had worked it for a short time, it passed into the hands of a company. A crusher, formerly used at Lobethal, was erected and five head of stamps installed by Mr J.A. Whitfield of Adelaide. In 1888 a company was formed to work a reef known to exist on Mr James Love?s land at Forest Range but, although many thousands of pounds worth of alluvial gold had been won there, all attempts at lode mining ended in failure. Over the years this land was gone over time and again but it was not until 1931 that ?The Golden Hill? was discovered by Mr J. McGuire and three brothers, Messrs O., J. and H. Fox.

    At Mount Pleasant Mr Richardson was fossicking and in January 1872 was reported to have found ?a fine prospect last week":

    In the wake of this find an opinion was expressed that "there seems to be little necessity for an exodus to the Northern Territory in search for gold when it is found almost at our own doors by those who embark a little capital and enterprise in looking for it." Further, a few years later Mr Scott, of Mount Pleasant, got between 90 and 100 ounces in about ten days as the result of three "puddle-machines-full." On 24 November 1876, he leased the property to an English company when it became known as Scott?s Queen Victoria Mine. His earlier operations were confined solely to washing free gold from the surface while the reef itself was left intact and:

    In 1874 a government prospecting party commanded by Mr J.H. Biggs, the Goldfields Warden, sunk a number of holes at Blackwood Gully, about five miles south west of Meadows, and found gold in almost every one. Later the area was taken out as a claim and arrangements were made to work it on a large scale with a puddler or sluice. By 1886 twenty-five men were on this field and ore was being crushed at the New Era Mine at Woodside where "consideration was being given to an erection of a battery at the gully." In 1888 at Blackwood Gully a few small companies were operating while, in 1889 the "Paint Mines at Blackwood Gully" were being utilised:

    On Biggs Flat, adjacent to the middle reaches of the Onkaparinga River, alluvial gold was discovered in 1877 when a government prospecting party obtained it at depths varying from seven to 36 feet. Following this find there was a mild rush to the field and for some years prospectors obtained satisfactory returns. A superabundance of water, and the friable nature of the subsoil that caved in upon them and filled the shafts they had sunk, proved eventually to be an insuperable obstacle to progress and, as capital was not available for carrying on the work on a more extensive scale, the miners drifted away gradually. In 1909 the Onkaparinga Dredging and Mining Company commenced operations on this field.

    Reefing in the 1880s

    Early in 1880 at Craigdarroch Farm, between Woodside and Nairne, the owner, Mr Mitchell, was engaged in removing trees to extend the area for the plough and he used explosives to remove the large stumps. One day he found that he had laid bare a glittering tangle of quartz and gold worth £300. He was not one to cry his luck from his housetop so, after removing gold worth about £700, passed the further prosecution of the venture to a syndicate of twelve persons who included the two copper kings - Sir Thomas Elder and Mr Barr Smith. Sir John Colton was also a member. It was named the Woodside Goldmining Company and its first meeting was held on 16 July 1881 and a few weeks later Mr A. Johnston, of Oakbank, volunteered to superintend mining operations (his brother, James Johnston, was a director).

    In March 1881 at Woodside an ?experienced man? picked up a conglomerate stone with gold in it from his ploughed paddock that had been cropped for 20 years. Thereupon, he made a diligent search over the paddock and got £600 worth of gold out of it and, by July 1881, there was a general feeling in the colony that with "energy and capital the large district of South Australian territory would prove remunerative to gold miners", to which an observant correspondent retorted:

    This discovery was not the only one in that district for, in July 1881, Mr D. McCracken located a ?good reef? and with the help of a few Adelaide gentlemen it was opened up to an extent that justified them in asking the public for capital. Thus was established the Bird-in- the-Hand Mine which led ultimately to the discovery and opening up of other mines nearby.

    The discovery of this extensive reef at Woodside caused a revival of enterprise in the hills reefing districts and, despite that most of the Woodside lands were owned privately, a fair amount of capital was forthcoming and for some time that neighbourhood was the home of genuine mining. While these mines were at work the Government established a Geological Department of Mines to regulate the granting of subsidies to mining companies deserving of assistance.

    The dealings in Woodside mining scrip broke up the unsatisfactory assemblage of speculators calling themselves the Adelaide Stock Exchange and this led to the establishment of a "real exchange on a genuine basis." Names destined afterwards to become connected inseparably with the Broken Hill mines belonged to the Bird-in-the-Hand directorate and it was through this connection that many South Australians had an early and profitable interest in the great silver boom that reestablished the financial conditions of South Australia.

    The Bird-in-the-Hand Mines were located, mainly, on sections owned by the South Australian Company - the monopolists of the district - on the western face of the Hay Range and, towards the southern end, in property utilised for farming purposes for many years. The northernmost mine was the Two-in-a-Bush; the next Bird-in-the-Hand and then followed in order the Bird-in-Hand Extended, the Ridge, the Nest Egg, the Fountain Head and two or three other little prospecting claims of which, in 1882, Mr W. Thomas was the worker. In total, about 200 men were employed. The Bird-in-the-Hand mine was purchased by an English company, the Eukaby, in 1891, and nine weeks later closed down when the company went into liquidation through an adverse action in the English courts.

    The township of 'Reefton Heights' was surveyed on the mine's property but it appears that employees' houses were chiefly wooden structures and, today, none remain. The subdivision was promoted as follows:

    In mid-1881 a rumour spread in the Mount Pleasant district that Mr Peak, a farmer at Stony Creek, about three miles from the Mount, had washed out some rich specimens of gold in one of his paddocks. Messrs C.W. Hamilton and Mr F.W. Russack entered into negotiations with him and purchased the right to mine on the alleged auriferous land. Early in October 1881 they realised that, if the property was to be developed, more capital was necessary and thus the Penhryn Gold Mining Company was born - it was about a mile and a half from the German Reef.

    In April 1882, at Lobethal, gold was found near the surface on a reef and samples yielded 4 dwts. and 14 grs. to the ton which was considered sufficient to pay on this mine as it was so easy to work. At about the same time a quantity of quartz and ironstone was raised from two or three shafts.

    At Uraidla several reefs were found in the district and, in 1882, Mr Terrell came across some promising indications in a market garden belonging to Mr Squires. Two tons of ore were crushed with a yield of 1? ounces per ton. During the search the prospectors came across a black metal that proved to be tin and, within a few months, the Uraidla Gold and Tin Mining Company was floated and a meeting of shareholders held on 28 September 1882:

    In 1885 a prospective claim was found on Section 9, Hundred of Myponga, near the Meadows Creek (or Finniss River), and the government geologist opined that ?there are many likely looking points along the Finniss Creek which if prospected will probably be found to be auriferous" and by August 1885 two tons of ore had been crushed at Woodside. At Mount Torrens, Burton?s Mine, belonging to Messrs James Osborne and J.W. Blamey of Adelaide, was being worked by two men on a ?large ironstone reef containing very fine gold", while, nearby, Mr Hall was successful in a paddock adjoining Mr Schubert?s, where Mr Lloyd and partners were working.

    Watts Gully, near Mount Crawford, was opened up early in 1885 when a large number of men, who were doing nothing elsewhere, hastened to the field. Within a short time 200 of them had congregated and "two stores and three blacksmiths were in full swing?. Mr James Watts, the discoverer, secured a couple of reef claims and asserted that he had perfect faith in its wealth and predicted that more gold would be taken out of the gullies in the neighbourhood than could be imagined.

    Nearby, at Gumeracha in March 1885, a rush commenced to Dead Horse Gully which was a little less than two miles long and thickly wooded with honeysuckle. At the outset 50 claims were worked and:

    In her reminiscences the widow of the finder, Mrs Anna Maria Watts, recalled that he first found a 22 ounce nugget ?but 50 ounces was all he and his mates ever got out of the diggings":

    Mrs Watts stayed on with her crippled husband and five children. Like others on the field they lived in a tent and when the crowd thinned out she felt the need for a home, so she built a hut with her own hands, working every day for months. To keep the family going she went out washing, walked seven miles into Gumeracha, washed 27 dozen items for four shillings and walked back home. To augment her income she cut down gum trees and split them into posts and for 150 of them she received one pound. Her husband died in 1922 and with the aid of her eldest son she kept her home at Watts Gully and her interviewer concluded with the comment that:

    In April 1887 there were about 50 men working on a ?field? at Morialta and it was reported that they were ?all making wages? and:

    A rush was reported to ?Mr Marsh?s place? about a mile and a half from Oakbank in early 1887. Previously, in the same hill, a tunnel was put in but through want of capital it was not driven far enough to cut the reef:

    A few miles from Prospect Hill in the Hundred of Kuitpo on Section 292, and about 14 miles from the Blackwood Gully diggings, between 50 and 60 men were prospecting at Blackfellow Creek in 1887 and earning about 10 to 15 shillings each per week. By 1894 operations on a large scale were under way by an English company which erected elaborate works with a view to damming back sufficient water to enable them to sluice the ore for gold. Houses and buildings were erected from material cut and sawn on the property and it made three miles of road and culverts:

    By 1897, and after spending several thousands of pounds the supply of money from England ceased and, accordingly, work stopped but ?it was pleasing to know that another English company has been formed to carry on the enterprise.?

    At Houghton in 1887 fossicking was undertaken on Sir R. Ross?s ground where 50 men were at work and another 50 ?mooching about watching others pan off". Very little gold was obtained and that available was in such minute quantities that ?several old Teetulpians expressed their most profound contempt for the place?:

    A nugget weighing over three ounces was found at Gory?s Point, Forest Range, in April 1887 where the field presented a ?lively appearance? with scores of tents, a store, blacksmith?s shop and a cheap Jack:

    Early in 1888 the Mount Torrens Goldmining Company acquired a property worked previously as the Criterion and Captain Pfitzner from the New Era Mine at Woodside took command of operations. Small specimens were treated at the Dry Creek Smelting Works and gave a trace of silver, as well as a good return of gold. By 1894, owing to the "inability to save the fine gold", the mine was abandoned. Gowland?s Reef in the vicinity was worked from about 1893, while Burton?s Reef, situated within one mile of the cyanide works, had been acquired by Messrs Wilkinson & Harrison of Adelaide - ?the gold is very fine just such as the cyanide is intended to save.?

    At the end of the 1880s it was generally held that the district from Norton Summit to Balhannah and Woodside would prove to be a rich auriferous field and, for a time, it seemed to many optimists that a second Ballarat or Bendigo were on the eve of establishment. The Balhannah bismuth and copper mine flourished and mines at Woodside, Lobethal, Blumberg, Forest Range and other places produced gold in payable quantities:

    Towards the 20th Century

    In the early 1890s about 3,000 ounces were taken from an alluvial deposit near Uraidla while, close by, Mr Price Maurice held land between Forest Range and Montacute. In 1889 ?it was definitely ascertained that the precious metal existed in payable quantities on four of five blocks of the property" and, accordingly, Sections 73 to 77 inclusive were resumed by the government and, in July 1890, forty to fifty men assembled to peg off claims. Thieves' Gully was the site of the diggings and it gained that unenviable name from the fact that a quantity of gold had, from time to time, been removed by persons who had no legal claim to it.

    The road leading to the claim passed through land owned by Mr A Baum (sic - Boehm?) and he imposed a charge of two shillings for each vehicle that traversed it. A butcher set up business there to satisfy the wants of about 200 diggers while Mr Hughes, of Magill, undertook the local sale of the The Advertiser.

    These diggings, sometimes called "Forest Glen", were ?a three hour delightful drive over the hills? and a traveller reported that:

    Mr McTaggart held Section 2 of 700 acres at Kangarilla for many years and, in 1892, it was proclaimed as an alluvial goldfield and by February 1893 over 100 men had applied for mining rights. This was the third occasion on which fields were proclaimed under Section 17 of the Mining on Private Property Act. The first was when Mr Price Maurice?s land at Forest Range was thrown open to the public a few years before and the second when Mr Hough?s section at Echunga was dealt with similarly in 1892. Within a few weeks a number of men were leaving the field and:

    Within a week prospects were a little brighter when several small runs were discovered while on the field itself three stores, including the post office, remained to attend to the diggers? wants.

    During a period of intense depression in the 1890s a committee recommended that the unemployed should be drafted to the goldfields near the city and, in March 1894, 300 men attended a meeting following which 120 registered their names and gangs went to Blumberg, Jupiter Creek, Barossa and Glen Taggart, at Kangarilla. On the alluvial fields the results were not encouraging and after a short trial many of the less experienced men ?tried fresh woods and pastures new.? Many proved their worth, but a small minority abused the help afforded, while the government assisted the committee by conceding free railway passes to the men as far as Aldgate and Gawler.

    In April 1894 a "new Syndicate" went to work on Mr Thomas Dyer?s section in Uraidla, while three miles away gold visible in a stone was found on Mr Stacey?s land and, nearby, the commencement of cyanide works at Mount Torrens gave a fillip to mining in the ranges and was the direct cause of 200 men being employed as either a miners or carters.

    At Mylor in July 1895 William Bell and his son panned out three pounds weight of ?beautiful looking gold? and the local newspaper correspondent said:

    For many years it was thought that ?good gold was to be had within a short distance of Angaston? and, at the close of the 19th century, an alluvial find was made on Mr Johnston?s property, but it soon ran out. However, a report travelled to Victoria that a rich patch had been found four feet from the surface and a Victorian prospector, Mr B. Butler, visited South Australia to see if he could find the reef which was duly found and named the "Golden Gate", with Mr Walter Smith of Yalumba as one of the directors.


    An old adage suggests that "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick" and this aphorism must have been impressed deeply upon the minds of sharebrokers and all others interested in mining companies most familiar to South Australians. At the turn of the 20th century brokers "were eating their hearts out" and skilled men, who should have been mining, were doing almost anything to gain a livelihood.

    In the half-century or more that had passed since the first demonstration of the existence of auriferous strata in South Australia, not a single gold reef was - with perhaps a partial exception - tried by deep sinking worthy of the name. The face of the country was pock-marked with so-called shafts, some not deeper than postholes and upon these many thousands of pounds of privately owned and Government money were wasted. Indeed, it could be said without fear of contradiction that goldmining in South Australia had not really been tried.

    To this proposition a valid question might have been asked as to why this state of events persisted? The answer lay with those who ventured money into enterprises, for they were seen to be speculators rather than investors and partly, also, for the reason that mining on the Stock Exchange was usually given preference to mining on the land. Another element in the problem was the rapacity of some of the professional promoters who were likened "unto the fox that invited the stork to dine with him, but arranged the dishes so that his guest could take nothing, while he had everything."

    Indeed, many speculators in South Australia, who thought themselves pious and heartily despised racecourse gamblers, did not deem it wrong to take part in a scheme for manufacturing scrip and selling out to a confiding public, although they never took the slightest trouble to ascertain whether the mine was likely to be worth anything at all. Their despicable actions were as great offence against morality as the forgery of bank notes or the passing of valueless cheques.

    But despite all these evils fossicking in the hills was to continue well into the 20th century and received an unexpected impetus during the depression years of the 1930s when many unemployed men tried their luck throughout the ranges, for example:

    Advertiser, 18 January 1881, p. 6, 18 April 1882, p. 5, 5, 17, 19 & 21 July 1890, pp. 6, 5, 5 and 7, 9, 12, 20 and 22 March 1901, pp. 9, 6, 6 and 6, 14 October 1904, p. 8, 28 March 1907, p. 8, 21 January 1931, p. 8, 25 February 1931, p. 11, 8 & 17 September 1931, pp. 5 & 7, 26 September 1931, p. 4.

    Register, 8 April 1846, p. 3, 24 & 25 August 1852, pp. 3 & 2, 26 and 27 August 1852, pp. 2 and 3, 18 July 1854, p.3, 4, 7, 12 and 15 June 1855, pp. 2, 2, 2, and 2, 9 November 1855, p. 3, 13, 18 & 25 June 1856, pp. 3, 3 & 3, 21 July 1856, p. 2, 13 September 1856, p. 2, 7, 11 and 15 December 1858, pp. 2, 2 & 2, 29 December 1858, p. 2, 1 December 1859, p. 2.

    Register, 20 March 1860, p. 2, 8 and 26 August 1863, pp. 2 & 3, 13 January 1866, p. 2, 10 March 1866, p 2, 19 March 1866, page 3, 13 April 1867, p. 3, 28 October 1868, p. 2, 23 April 1869, p. 2, 31 May 1869, p. 2, 2 September 1869, p. 2.

    Register, 5 February 1870, p. 4, 29 June 1870, p. 5, 14 July 1870, p. 5, 20 and 21 July 1870, pp. 5 and 4, 10 November 1870, p. 5, 21 November 1870, p. 5, 20 January 1871, p. 5, 11 August 1871, p. 5, 8 September 1871, p. 2, 11 September 1871, p. 5, 10 November 1871, p. 5, 25 January 1872, p. 5, 28 September 1872, p. 5, 16 May 1873, p. 5, 14 March 1876, p. 6.

    Register, 24 February 1880, p. 5, 2, 16 and 23 July 1881, pp. 5, 5 and 1 (supp), 14, 16 and 18 March 1885, pp. 6, 24 October 1881, p. 6, 13 February 1882, p. 4, 20 June 1885, p. 5 & 7, 6 & 5, 12 August 1885, p. 5, 18 January 1887, p. 5, 20 August 1885, p. 6, 22 & 24 January 1887, pp. 5 & 7, 6 April 1887, p. 5, 4, 8, 22 and 27 April 1887, pp. 5, 5, 6 & 6, 24 May 1887, p. 6, 12 November 1887, p. 4, 3 February 1888, p. 6, 6 July 1888, p. 6, 18 March 1889, page 7f.

    Register, 22 July 1890, p. 7, 12 January 1893, p. 7, 17 & 25 February 1893, pp. 7 & 5, 31 May 1894, p. 6, 18 & 26 June 1894, pp. 4 and 6, 11 June 1894, p. 6, 28 September 1894, p. 6 23 & 24 January 1895, pp. 6 & 4, 11 June 1895, p. 5, 22 September 1896, p. 6, 9 November 1896, p. 3, 21 January 1897, p. 5, 1 February 1897, p. 7, 15 November 1897, p. 6, 6 December 1897, p. 7, 24 June 1899, p. 6, 13 January 1903, p. 4, 5, 6 & 7 November 1903, pp. 6, 6 and 6, 11 February 1904, p. 5.

    Observer, 3 and 10 January 1852, pp. 5 and 8, 24 and 31 May 1856, pp. 5 and 5, 19 July 1856, p. 1 (supp.), 9 August 1856, pp. 4 & 5, 2 June 1866, p. 4, 23 February 1867, p. 2, 24 and 31 October 1868, pp. 3 and 13, 23 July 1870, p. 12, 27 June 1874, p. 7, 19 March 1881, p. 486, 9 July 1881, p. 39, 23 July 1881, p. 8, 12 August 1882, p. 36, 29 June 1886, p. 5, 8 April 1887, p. 5.

    SA Gazette & Mining Journal, 12 January 1850, p. 2, Express & Telegraph, 10 May 1869, p. 3, 31 May 1894, p. 3, 5 November 1903, p. 1, The Mail, 1 July 1933, p. 7.

    Chronicle, 9 June 1866, p. 3, 5 September 1868, p. 15, 4 January 1873, p. 13 10 April 1880, p. 24, 7 October 1882, p. 16, 23 March 1889, p. 22, 27 July 1895, p. 22, 19 September 1896, p. 26, 30 March 1901, p, 33,,12 June 1909, p. 44

    Manning's Place Names of South Australia (see index under "gold".)

    General Notes

    "First SA Gold Mine" is in the Register on
    8 April 1846, page 3a,
    20 May 1846, page 3b,
    "The Gold of South Australia" in the SA Gazette & Mining Journal,
    12 January 1850, page 2d.

    "Goldmining in SA" by L.C.E. Gee is in the Register on
    22 September 1896, page 6e; also see
    8 February 1897, page 4f,
    24 May 1898, page 4g,
    4 July 1899, page 5h,
    21 August 1899, page 5c.
    A history of gold mining in SA in the form of a lecture by Mr L.C.E. Gee is reported in the Express,
    22 September 1896, page 4b.
    Biographical details are in the Register,
    6 February 1918, page 6g.

    "The Gold Companies" is the subject of diverse comment in the Register on
    12, 15, 23 and 28 January 1850, pages 3b, 3e, 2d and 3b,
    19 February 1850, page 2d.

    An 1850 sketch entitled "The Run for Gold" which was published "when John Calvert came to Adelaide to wash for gold" is reproduced in the Observer, 14 May 1904, page 25.

    "South Australian Gold-Fields" is in the Observer,
    3 and 10 January 1852, pages 5d and 8c.

    "The Alleged Gold Discoveries" is in the Observer,
    26 June 1852, page 5b.

    "Our Gold Fields" is in the Register,
    26 and 27 August 1852, pages 2e and 3c,
    23 September 1852, page 3e,
    "The Gold Fields Regulation Bill" on
    26 November 1852, page 2e,
    "Gold in South Australia" on
    18 July 1854, page 3b-c,
    "Search for Gold" on
    11 September 1854, pages 2d-4c,
    "The New Gold Field" on
    4, 7, 12 and 15 June 1855, pages 2d, 2h, 2e and 2g.

    "Have We a Goldfield" is in the Observer,
    24 and 31 May 1856, pages 5c and 5f,
    7 and 14 June 1856, pages 5f and 5h-6a-7h-1b (supp.),
    6, 7, 10, 14 and 27 June 1856, pages 2c, 2d, 2d, 2d and 2d,
    "The Search for Gold" on
    9 and 21 July 1856, pages 2e and 2f,
    9 August 1856, page 5e.

    A prosecution for "riotous conduct in Hindley Street, with spreading a false rumour of of the discovery of a goldfield, and also with threatening the life of..." is reported in the Observer, 9 August 1856, page 4b-e.

    "A New [Aboriginal] Claimant for the Gold Reward" is in the Register,
    13 September 1856, page 2c.

    "Quartz Crushing" is in the Observer,
    7 March 1857, page 6g.

    A lecture by Rev J.T. Woods on "The Probabilities of Gold in SA" is reproduced in the Register,
    3 March 1858, page 3a,
    27 March 1858, page 7g,
    "A New Gold Discovery" on
    2 June 1866, page 4d.

    "The South Australian Goldfields" is in the Register,
    29 December 1858, page 2b,
    "Gold in South Australia" on
    16 January 1866, page 2e,
    26 February 1866, page 2g,
    "Gold in South Australia" in the Express,
    5 December 1867, page 2a,
    "New Diggings" in the Chronicle,
    5 September 1868, page 15a.

    "The Search for Gold" is in the Register,
    30 March 1863, page 2g,
    2 April 1863, page 2d,
    20 November 1863, page 2g.

    Publicans' booths at goldfields are discussed in the Observer,
    24 and 31 October 1868, pages 3f and 13c,
    5 December 1868, pages 13d-16d,
    3 December 1868, page 3g.

    "South Australian Gold" is in the Register,
    1 January 1869, page 2g,
    2 January 1869, page 4f,
    "The Goldfields" in the Register,
    5 October 1869, page 2f.

    "Government Gold Diggers" is in the Register,
    11 March 1870, page 4f.

    "The Gold Fields of South Australia" is in the Advertiser,
    2 July 1870, page 3c,
    "The Goldfields" in the Observer,
    23 July 1870, page 12a,
    "Gold Prospecting" on
    13 August 1870, page 13f,
    "Gold-Field Regulations" on
    27 August 1870, page 2e,
    18 February 1871, page 3d.

    "South Australian Goldfields" is in the Register,
    5 October 1869, page 2f,
    1 July 1870, page 5e,
    20 and 22 October 1870, pages 4e,
    20 January 1871, page 5b,
    14 April 1871, page 4f,
    11 August 1871, page 5a,
    13 April 1872, page 4f,
    1 November 1872, page 7c,
    16 May 1873, page 5e.

    "The Development of Our Goldfields" is in the Register,
    22 October 1870, page 4e.

    "Gold in the Far North" is in the Observer,
    21 December 1872, page 3d.
    For information on Northern Territory goldfields in the early 1870s see Observer,
    31 May 1924, page 60d.

    Parliamentary Paper 196/1878 lists areas of land reserved from sale and selection because of gold mining and/or prospecting being carried out thereon.

    "Gold Mining in South Australia" is in the Observer,
    19 March 1881, page 486a,
    "The Auriferous Deposits of SA" on
    9 and 23 July 1881, pages 39e and 8b.

    A poem titled "The Gold Mines of SA" is in The Lantern
    5 May 1883, page 9.

    Also see Register,
    17 June 1884, page 4g,
    26 and 29 January 1886, pages 6d and 4f,
    25 August 1886, page 6a,
    13 October 1886, page 4f,
    10 November 1886, page 4e,
    12 November 1887, page 4h (early history of),
    3 February 1888, page 6d,
    23 and 24 January 1895, pages 6a and 4f.

    "Gold in South Australia" is in the Register,
    18 February 1881, page 4e,
    while gold prospecting in South Australia is reported upon on
    14 and 15 March 1881, pages 4d and 7c.

    "Geology and Gold Mining in SA" is in the Register,
    31 October 1881, page 4e.

    "The Gold Mines in the Hills" is in the Advertiser,
    18 April 1882, page 5f.
    A history of "Gold in the Hills" appears on
    9, 20 and 22 March 1901, pages 9a, 6a and 6a,
    5 April 1901, page 6a; also see
    5 November 1903, page 1g.

    A charge of "salting" a mine is reported upon in the Observer,
    8 July 1882, page 34a,
    "Another Mine Salted" in the Chronicle,
    30 March 1889, page 5f,
    "The Alleged Salting Case" is the Chronicle,
    6 April 1907, page 40b,
    "Salting a Gold Mine - Some Recollections" in the Advertiser,
    28 May 1910, page 19h.

    "To the Goldfields and Back - Through the North-East" is in the Advertiser,
    26 April 1881, page 5f.

    A letter from J.B. Austin headed "South Australia - A Gold Producing Country" is in the Register,
    9 May 1881, page 7f.

    "The Auriferous Districts of South Australia" is in the Register,
    2, 5 and 12 July 1881, pages 6e, 6a and 6c.

    The Bird in Hand Gold Mine is described in the Register,
    8 August 1882, page 6b.

    "Gold-Mining and Its Dangers" is in the Register,
    2 June 1885, page 4h.

    "Gold Mining in South Australia" is in the Register,
    3 February 1888, page 6d,
    11 February 1888, page 35d,
    "Our North-East Goldfields" on
    3 March 1888, page 36,
    "Gold Extraction in SA" on
    9 April 1892, page 14e.

    "Salted Quartz" is in the Register, 26 March 1889, page 5f.

    Sketches of "the new rush to Forest Dell" are in the Pictorial Australian
    in July 1890, pages 96-97.

    "Leaves From Memory's Book [Gold discovery at Yam Creek, NT]" is in the Register,
    30 December 1891, page 3f.

    "Gold in the North" is in the Register,
    15 August 1892, page 7h,
    10 September 1892 (supp.), page 1b,
    "Gold in South Australia" on
    11 January 1893, page 4f; also see
    29 November 1893, pages 4e-6b,
    "Our North-East Goldfields" on
    3, 4, 7 and 15 May 1894, pages 6a, 6b, 6b and 7c,
    30 July 1895, page 6f,
    13 August 1895, page 6e.

    "Unemployed as Gold Prospectors" is in the Express,
    31 May 1894, page 3e.

    "An Old Gold Prospector [W. Chapman] - Some Reminiscences" is in the Register,
    23 November 1895, page 7d.

    "Old Gold Mining Reminiscences" is in the Observer,
    19 September 1896, page 43c,
    "Gold Mining in the State" on
    5 September 1896, page 24e.

    "Goldmining in SA" by L.C.E. Gee is in the Register on
    22 September 1896, page 6e; also see
    8 February 1897, page 4f,
    24 May 1898, page 4g,
    4 July 1899, page 5h.

    "Old Goldmining Reminiscences" by J.M. Kelly is in the Register,
    14 September 1896, page 3b - "I found the first gold in Hamlin's Gully".

    "New and Old Gold Fevers" is in the Register,
    6 July 1899, page 4e,
    15 July 1899, page 24e.

    "Our Undeveloped Reefs" is in the Advertiser,
    27 December 1901, page 5g.

    Five weekly articles headed "Gold in the Hills" commence in the Chronicle,
    16 March 1901, page 33a.

    "The Glamour of Gold - A Lifelong Prospector", the reminiscences of James Lamb, is in the Register,
    26 August 1903, page 6f.

    Gold mining near Adelaide is discussed in the Register,
    5, 6 and 7 November 1903, pages 6c, 6e and 6g.
    14 November 1903, page 14a.

    "Electrical Ore-Finder - Experimenting With the Gold-Finder [includes sketches of apparatus]" is in the Register,
    25 July 1904, page 7d.

    "Neglected Wealth - Some Golden Opportunities" is in the Chronicle,
    31 March 1906, page 41d.

    "Sluicing for Gold - A Property Condemned" is in the Register,
    25 July 1906, page 8g.

    "A Bunch of Gold - In a Western Cave" is in the Observer,
    30 July 1910, page 43d.

    "Gold Boom of 20 Years Ago - Memoirs of a Rush" is in the Register,
    27 August 1923, page 9g,
    6 and 15 September 1923, pages 12g and 5d,
    1, 8, 16, 26 and 29 October 1923, pages 11a, 9a, 12b, 13c and 10e,
    6, 17 and 24 November 1923, pages 10e, 11g and 14g.

    "The Dead Man's Gold - An Old-Time Tragedy" is in the Observer,
    19 June 1926, page 43a,
    25 November 1926, page 6f.

    "Picnic Prospectors - Search for Gold in Hills" is in The Mail,
    2 July 1927, page 10c.

    "Big Push to Exploit Goldfields" is in The Mail,
    27 September 1930, page 3a,
    "Where Gold Lurks in Our Hills" on
    20 October 1934, page 7b.

    Mining - Choose again