Finding elusive mines on the Crooked River, Grant, Black Snake Creek,
Wentworth, and Normanby goldfields. Includes location maps for all the
Bullumwaal mines, and a copious collection about Deptford and its goldfields.
Now extended to cover mines of Victoria's North East.
These files arose from an interest in the Crooked River goldfield, and its "city", Mt. Pleasant (later Grant) in the Victorian High Country. Following the bushfires in the area in 2006-7, the authors were able to walk into areas that had been overgrown and inaccessible for decades.
As ALL THIS MATERIAL is under CONSTANT REVIEW, please do not extract files to other websites. Just link please. No authority to otherwise distribute this original material is given.
04 Jul 2017 Added "Harry Treasure, A Life Forged on King's Spur" (Upper Dargo, late 19th century)
14 Nov 2017 Added "Mines of the Upper Dargo", locating/referencing every known mine in that area.
Added Fred Sargent's reports on the reef mines of Harrietville and surrounding.
Introductory notes to read before downloading individual mine files. Contemporary accounts showing the Crooked River Goldfield in a not so romantic light.
Project: A series of documents aimed at pinpointing important mines of the Crooked River and surrounding goldfields, giving sufficient information to allow interested persons to find them. We share photographs of those sites taken during the rare window of opportunity when the bushfires of 2006-7 burned the area clean. A comprehensive and readable history of Grant and it's mines is found in Rob Christie's, "Victoria's Forgotten Goldfield", and is a recommended starting point.
Uncle Tom's mine, accessed off the Collingwood Spur Track.
Mountaineer mine and battery, difficult access, on Good Luck Creek
(Luck's All became Columbia then merged with Mountaineer, became Lone Hand)
Mines high on Victoria creek (Western Spur) inc Great Western mine
Red Rose mine and battery, mismarked on every map.
Eldorado and Britannia mines, shared a common battery on Eldorado creek
Good Hope mine. Well documented elsewhere, but worth a visit.
Traill's "Oro" mine (Grant), a later mine,virtually unknown. Unsafe.
Good Luck mine. High on Good Luck Spur. Including the Nelson
Geff Davis mine. A treat, and not too hard to access.
Normanby. A long drive and walk, but a lot of interest.
Union mines, just below Grant township include the Italian, the Vulcan.
The biggest mullock heap on this goldfield.
Warhawk, a lesson in greed and dishonesty.
Palmerston. Was in a picturesque location, but now very over-grown.
Glengarry. Litle to see, but a good example of a formed walking track.
Over three hours if walking up the track.
Mines of Black Snake Creek. Easy, but strenuous access to several
mines and battery. Inc Kong Meng, Queen Bee, Crinoline
Hub of the Mountaineer (Lone Hand) water wheel had been hidden under metres of blackberries prior to the bushfires. Visible for such a short time, now totally hidden again.
You may think this is a very uninterestng
picture. I'll let you think that. But then, you haven't seen what the dolly pot revealed!
Overlooking this beautiful waterfall close to the upper Palmerston adit we found several hut sites that would have enjoyed this view..
From left: Fred Sargent and Andrew Swift, mine mappers and historians who specialise in the mining areas of the Victorial High Country. Author of these notes, Peter Ward, right.
Gavin Keating who is responsible for almost all the photographs embedded in the accompanying documents, sitting by the entrance of the lower Palmerston adit..
Revision of an article originally submitted to the Gippsland Times regarding a trip up Good Hope creek after fires had burned it clear, and of damage by mudslides.
Project: Provide supplementary mine location information for the reefs of the Bullumwaal and Deptford districts, as a supplement to the mining notes contained within Keith Fairweather's book, "Bedrock, " and a resource for those researching the history and social history of these areas.
Maps, (including original maps) pictures and GPS locations of many of the Bullumwaal reefs. Purely a collection of reference materials for this important early East Gippsland goldfield.
A personal compilation of newspaper extracts, downloaded from the National Library of Australia, Newspapers Online, relating to reef mining at Bullumwaal, East Gippsland. Interesting background reading of nearly three hundred pages. As well as being a resource for those interested in Bullumwaal reefs, the extracts throw light on the social history of the township, and of the early history mining in the district generally. Still some editing to do.
Hibernia mine. Read and heed the warning contained within re. hidden shaft.
Wild Dogs. The included clipping in my note shows the chance of a dog attack has now moved from possible to real, and is something any walker in remote country must plan against. Readers with personal stories may like to provide material to add to this note.
Lower. A dog snapped from the "cruiser" alongside the Dargo road at Castleburn. Those descriptive words in Banjo Patterson's famous "Bush Christening" come to mind- "plump, healthy and stoutly conditioned."
Eureka. This is the Eureka mine of Tucker Creek, not the Eureka of Dargo River. Shorter walk, some steepness, but interesting. Traill involvement.
Rubbly (Hopeful). An easy walk off Union Spur track. A virtually unknown mine
Stirling, Dogtown and Ernestine sites. Not "high Country" Plenty of easy to access mining history.
Deer everywhere. This stag ambled along in front of the "Patrol" in the Grant Historic area as we drove towards Talbotville. A "grab" through the windscreen.
The Gippsland Times, of 13 Feb 1875 notes the deer as already being of plague proportions at Healsville.
The Garry Castle, Republic, Birregun. Again not high Country", but a relatively easy walk, and a mine well worth visiting.
Sawyer's mine. A small mine at head of Tierney's creek. Not High Country, but reasonably easy access to battery and workings.
Good Hope Battery. Includes photographic record of the damage caused to this site by flood debris. Large file to keep the best quality photographs
There were mines where Dane's Track crosses the Wentworth, but more importantly, an old homestead, "Camms Top Place", which still stands (just) and is a testament to a pioneering family whose son Denis Camm paid the ultimate price at Paschendale. This was the homestead of his youth.
A reference document on reef mining activity at Deptford, East Gippsland. Maps, and a comprehensive set of newspaper references that have a social history value as well as mining references. Includes a transcript of Horrie Donnolly's oral deposition with his early memories of life at Deptford in the early 1900's.
Because the PDF above loses some definition in the maps, you can download this Zip of the originals, with the maps in high definition.
My personal compilation of sequential "Gippsland Times" extracts relating to mining on the Crooked River, East Gippsland, for the period 1861 to 1890, as downloaded from the National Library of Australia Newspapers Online (TROVE). Interesting background reading of nearly six hundred pages. These are my personal study notes, and not all have their "scans" yet fully corrected, but most scans are now readable. A work in progress, and a very grateful public acknowledgment goes to the anonymous "Wendy" who had already corrected a large number of the earlier extracts.
Six sections of an early map is now added to allow you to have some idea of locations of mines alluded to. Not all are as legible as the one to right.
Fred Sargent's location map for almost every mine is now included
Project: Supplementary reading on the Crooked River Goldfield, and the township of Grant
Fern Hill mine. Opened by Traill Bros, on sold to a Mirboo North syndicate, who I speculate may have been after a quick turnover to overseas interests.
Globe battery and mine. Includes Prince of Wales, Rose of Australia
Glenora mine. Sits under McMillan's track, just before Bulltown Spur track.
Tubba Rubba (Tubbarubba) and Bulldog Creek goldfield, including a pointer to the mysterious Tuerong gold. A deviation from my "High Country" theme, but a small and interesting goldfield close to Melbourne that deserves some acknowledgment. The starting place for my lifelong interest in mining.
Victoria mine and Battery. Listed early as one of Grant's main mines, but
faded quickly. Battery was destroyed by fire but interesting artifacts and remains.
Stonework at the Victoria Battery
Time Will Tell mine, on Jungle Creek, reached off the Hibernia track. Involvement of Horatio Hartley who left Crooked River, returned to NZ, and dredged gold by the ton!
Nelson mine. Remote, Access via Good Luck Ridge, which was the earliest access track to Stonewall and Jeff Davis
A short commentary arising from a curious old letter passed on by a stamp collector. Franking on the rear indicating it passed through the Bulgaback PO. It immediately brought to mind the vision of a community, long gone, along the Bairnsdale to Dargo road, where only paddocks are to be seen today.
Project: A reflection canvassing life at Bulgaback and Castleburn, on the Bairnsdale to Dargo road in East Gippsland, in a period around the end of the 19th century, initiated by the finding an envelope addressed to "Miss Mary Donovan, c/o Bulgaback P.O.
Such a small bit of paper, such a big story!
The Bulgaback Post Office was located just above the Bulgaback Creek, on a now closed section of road, at Castleburn.
In the Christmas a wooden guide pulley directed the ropes lifting ore from the steeply descending stope as it followed the reef
Heavy rains following the bushfires of 2006-7 gouged the gully directly below the Beehive, exposing the previously buried remains of a portable steam engine.
Damage to historic machinery at the Good Hope battery site, caused by mud slides after the 2006/7 bush fires
Next are some of the lesser known mines of the Grant Historic Area, included to complete the historic record
The Luck's All, also worked as the Teddington and the Columbia
The Grimross, also worked as the Barnsfield and the Star of Hope
Tubba Rubba goldfield.
A look at two families, Nutchey and Ward, farming "Tuerong Park", "Tuerong", and "Hadlow" covering the years 1938 thru 1975. Includes notes of interest other families, especially Wilson researchers, with early maps and ownership details.
These notes put a human perspective into one era of its constantly changing ownership list. Those eulogising advertisements as far back as 1880 declaring Tuerong land to be "rich", "ideal for dairying" were, in fact, total falsehoods, real only to the purveying agents. The truth is, Tuerong land consists of the poorest of sandy, washed out podzols. This country has bankrupted more than it has prospered, even enlightened hard working families that knew farming. Instead of just an ownership list, meet Nutchey, Niall and Ward. And not to forget Ruddell, Wilson(s),Crook, Pitt, Matthews, Andrews, Dobie, Clark, Moore, Richardson, Paton, Edgar, and Kerton,
all genuine people who struggled with the money sink that was the Tuerong pre- emptive right.
In researching these notes, the location of the earliest huts on Tuerong needed resolving. I now suggest a location for Mrs Thomas' hut and aboriginal encampment, and argue a new location for the dwelling place of J B Wilson
There is commentary on the1890 proposed railway extension through Tuerong, and a whiff of suspicion that land speculation may have been the reason for the chosen route. This "center of the Peninsula" railway extension, Baxter's Flat to Merricks has been neglected by Peninsula historians, and deserves more study. This controversial
proposal set the location of Merricks well to the west of its actual position.
Includes a small original poem "Sheepsick and Hungry, Exhausted and Dry" touching on the lives of those who battled the Tuerong.
The original "Tuerong" (not "Tuerong Park") homestead as purchased by Ward from the Ken Niall estate. S.L.V photo.
23 Feb 17
Tuerong Park. A memorial to all those who broke their hearts on that “wretchedly poor” country that was Tuerong. And, a look at the "centre of Mornington Peninsula" rail extension. (large file)
My published notes may contain extracts from copyright material, and are provided for private study purposes only.
Tuerong Railway Station. Covering the highly controversial Baxter's Flat to Merricks railway extension, 1888-1902, an expansion of material in my Tuerong notes above. (30 meg)
The "down the center" of the Mornington Peninsula rail proposal envisioned a station at Tuerong, an extension so far unexplored by local historians.
Rev 1.5 26/05/16
A part of Mornington Peninsula's forgotten history. This extension was never built, but
was costed and submitted in the first tabling of the Railway Construction Bill of 1890.
Citizens of the Tuerong district were thrilled, others realised this was an unworkable solution to the Mornington Peninsula's needs.Taken from the bill in an unparlimentary manner, it was only finally abandoned in April 1902.
I set this research in terms of the corruption of the times, well expounded on in an Age editorial for 9 Oct 1888.
Note: 31 May 2016
The walk track to the Good Hope battery and No. 4 adit, is not maintained, and trees and slips have to be
negotiated. The track to the car park is badly overgrown, and you can expect to knock mirrors and scratch
paintwork on the way down. A very slippery patch exists on a sharp bend close to the car park.
I expect the blackberries to have engulfed the remains of the battery. In summary, you will have very little
enjoyment in visiting the Good Hope complex at this time.
Most sites mentioned in these notes are again overgrown and inaccessible
Brother Jonathan. Declared as first reef discovered on the Crooked River.
Bank of England. Early reef at Hogg Town, short lived.
Compilation #1 A compilation of lesser known mines, not large enough for a separate journal, but important in the historical record.
Compilation #2 Yet more of the leser known mines.
The Pioneer, earliest reef mine, close to Talbotville
Notes re location of early Protectorate related dwellings on "Tuerong" and "Tuerong Park / Estate"
These pages are extracted from the Nutchey and Ward file above and concern locating the hut of William Thomas, buildings of William Jackson Thomas, improvements on the 640 acre Tuerong "pre-emptive" right, home of J.B Wilson.
Harry Treasures personal recollections have already been used by several authors,
but here I put Harry's story in a context as should help bring the story alive to a next generation of family who will have no real concept of the “King Spur”, its grandeur, its hostility or its remoteness, nor of a time it held a busy mining community in which his father laboured with no benefit of City Capital. Includes a lot of interesting contemporary material, and a closer look at the George Treasure's mining ventures.
Includes "The Squatter's Daughter" (or "The Old Man stands at Bay"), a James Miller poem that Harry recited, and which contains a sobering description of the damage an Old Man Kangaroo can inflict.
The work of early newspaper correspondents is drawn upon,with their refreshing honesty. Early life at Noone's Halfway House was delightfully described by an early correspondent.
"After the piece de resistance (salt pork and damper) had been duly discussed, a bonne bouche was presented on a plate in the shape of a slice of "roley poley," on its passage to the Rev. gentleman, the "neat handed Phyllis" held the plate at too acute an angle, and the "duff" found its way to the ground. A scuffle then ensued between pigs, poultry and Phyllis, the latter ultimately triumphing. The eighteen stone attendant having rescued the mangled remains of the duff, lifted up her dress, made a dive for the lower rim of an old woollen petticoat she had on, making a liberal display of slipshod down at heel stockings in so doing, carefully wiped the now appetising morsel with it, dabbed it on the plate once more, and presented it to the astonished guest with the remark,
" pudden hasn't lost nothin; wouldn't let pigs beat I."
Harry Treasure. A life forged on King's Spur (Upper Dargo) (Large file, 62 Meg)
The dogs rushed in to seize his throat,
He squeezed them out of breath :
And ripping them from stem to stern,
He laid them stiff in death."
Extract from James Miller's "The Squatter's Daughter"
Greg Bloom photo.
"A Life Forged on King's Spur"
Notes produced by Fred Sargent, based on field work and research of both himself and that of fellow historian, Andrew Swift. Made available with permission, this is a valuable resource, and as far as I can find, the only comprehensive compilation of material on mines of the Upper Dargo. Covers Evening Star, Morning Star, Mammoth, Homeward Bound, and every other referenced mine on or about the Upper Dargo.
Reef Mines of the Upper Dargo
Mapping of the Golden Ridge mine by Fred Sargent
Happy Home battery site, illustrated by Andrew Swift
Locations of Golden King, Morning Star, and Eureka batteries precisely located by fieldwork of Fred Sargent and Andrew Swift .
"A report covering the reef mines (gold) in the Harrietville district, including the Mongrel Creek area at the head of Morse’s Creek, Smoko, the Alpine area from the head of the Kiewa to the head of the Dargo (Partial)". These notes have been produced by Fred Sargent, based on the field work and research of both himself and that of fellow historian, Andrew Swift. Made available with permission. The Champion, Blue Speck, Southern Cross, Good Hope (Harrietville), Chance and all known mines have been visited, mapped, and documented.
Reef Mines of Harrietville and surrounding districts Huge file, 280 Meg, 2100 p
"Unknown 4284" meticulously mapped by Fred Sargent.
As well as known mines, Fred has documented over 4000 mines located in Victoria's North East, for which no contemporary reference exists.
Fred Sargent compilation based on his field visits and research at
Stringer Ridge. (located between Stanley and Yackandandah) Includes the Pride and Stringer (Including the Pride, Stringer, Comäsino and Kangaroo reefs). The Caledonian, Topaz, Albion and Bangor Mosquito, Hayes’, South Pride, Craig’s, Folster’s, Crawford & Folster’s.
Reef mines of Stringer Ridge
Fred Sargent compilation based on his field visits and research covering reefs on the western side of the Dargo High Plains. Includes Golconda, Queen's Jubilee/Criterion, Ever Welcome, Cumberland, Little Venture
Right: Two dingo pups on the Merrijig Track, West of Bullumwaal, 2008. Fortunately
"Official advice" is that there are no pure bred dingoes in this area, and baiting programs will only be killing cross breds!
Mines of Victoria's North east. Fred Sargent's Research Reports.
Apart from the fieldwork and research Fred has conducted on the reef mines of the Crooked River, his passion has been to document reef mines of Victoria's North East. Currently residing in Myrtleford, Fred is continually updating his extensive research reports, which are now available for download below. Whilst Andrew Swift is not currently active in this field, portions of his earlier research have been incorporated into Fred's notes, making them a unique resource for those interested in Victoria's early mining history. As time, weather, and bulldozers quietly destroy our mining heritage, we are thankful for the work of Fred and Andrew for their "snapshot in time" of an industry that brought wealth and a diverse population to "the Colony"
Fred Sargent (left) and Andrew Swift at the "Fern Hill", Grant. Gavin Keating photograph.
Stoping in the middle adit, "Christmas Gift", Myrtleford
Reef mines of Thirteen, Twenty-five and Thirty Mile Creeks (Dargo High Plains)
Reef mines of Myrtleford Large file, 122 Meg, 100p
Reef mines of Wandiligong Large file, 215 Meg, 2700p
Cousin's battery, Bowman's Forest.
Source. Alpine Shire, Heritage Overlay Notes
Reef mines of Bowman's Forest Large file, 110 Meg, 1053p
Reef mines of Mt Elmo Large file, 80 Meg, 560p
Reef mines of the Buckland Large file, 80 Meg, 940p
Reef mines of Tallandoon Large file, 50 Meg, 535p
Reef mines of Bright Large file, 36 Meg
Reef mines of King River 12 Meg
Reef mines of Dorchap 15 Meg
Reef mines of Hillsborough 45 Meg
Reef mines of Hurdle Flat / Clear Creek 50 Meg
Reef mines of Eurobin-Porpunkah 24 Meg
Reef mines of Running Creek 28 Meg
Reef mines of Sandy Creek 27 Meg
Reef mines of Tawonga 5 Meg
Reef mines of Twist's Creek 87 Meg
Artifact, looking much like the hub for a wooden spoked water wheel at the Homeward Bound, Twist's Creek. Missing
when revisited in 2016!
Fred Sargent photo