Gold History In Australia

Gold Nuggety Nugget
Gold For Fools

Anecdotal History

Much of the information about the gold rush is anecdotal. Historical records exist about the major discoveries in Bathurst and Ophir.  It was a period of history when few records were kept and even those records were often incomplete. The majority of information about this period in the Araluen has been passed down orally from generation to generation. Much unearthed information is in danger now of being permanently lost. The 90 year olds of today are the last generation left who sat around and listened to the old stories instead of watching television, playing computer games or listening to ipods.

The existence of most of the mines in this area were never recorded by the Mines Department. The gold rushes are a rich and fascinating part of our history and were highlighted by the exploits and deeds of those pioneers. It is now up to us, their descendants, to preserve what is known of these important times.

There were many reports of gold in Australia prior to the 1840s but they were always suppressed by the Colonial Secretary or landowners because the powerful graziers believed a gold rush would cause the loss of all their cheap labour. The Australian Colonies were regarded as useful prisons for convicts, and a source of wheat and wool for mother England.

After the Ophir finds, miners turned to other areas such as the Araluen.

It was compulsory for all gold to be sold to the government or its agents, at the dictated price within 10 days of discovery. This law was put in place in an attempt to stop people taking gold out of the country, rather than it going to swell the coffers of mother England. The law was only repealed over a hundred years later by Prime Minister Geoff Whitlam (1972-75). The government also made all gold discoveries tax free in an attempt to encourage mining.

Further Reading