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Letters from the Turon

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Letters from the Turon Empty Letters from the Turon

Post  Guest on Wed May 09, 2012 1:27 pm

The following are extracts from the Maitland Mercury Newspaper 1852

The Turon River
A letter was received today from the Turon dated July 18, 1852 from a working man who left Sydney for the purpose of Gold seeking.
"I an glad to inform you that my efforts have been successful. I have been at work three weeks today,and have averaged 12s.6d. per day. The ground in some places yeilds a great deal more than in others.The Gold here is nearly all scale gold;as to Nuggets,I have not seen or heard of any weighing above one ounce.
There are several good holes farther up the creek,which have turned out well,and some persons are very lucky;one in particular,I heard from very good authority,who turned out 12 ounces of gold in one cradle load,and it is supposed that he has been working at that rate for several days. He was found out,and several who were already doing well flew away to the golden spot;but alas,the water will fail them. Twenty yards on each side of the place is good,but for some distance beyond the ground is not worth the trouble of washing.
Water is not obtainable within three or four miles,except at one small waterhole,and that is as thick with cradles as it can be,is very dirty,and Im affraid will fail shortly all together.
It is my opinion that the Turon is equal to California. The country is very healthy. We have sharp frosts,and have had very little rain. Twenty four hours of rain would do us no harm,though if there comes much it will be a bad job,as appearences on the river indicate very severe floods"


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Post  Guest on Wed May 09, 2012 1:59 pm

Turon-Neales Point,September 13, 1852
"This morning Mr Woodward started into Bathurst,with Eighty ounces of gold,procured from his claim at Golden Point,in six days. It is astonishing the quantity of gold that has been taken from this claim;and instead of working out it appears on the contrary to be getting better every week. He also sold a claim behind him,during the week,for 120 pounds. On our point the daily subsidence of the water is a considerable advantage,as the diggers are enabled to get deeper into their work;and I have not the slightest doubt that the bed diggings with us will prove very produdtive,as soon as we are enabled to sink to sufficient depth. Some of those working near the bank are already finding their account in doing so. All night the wind blew terrifically in sudden gusts,and three or four big trees were blown down in the bed of the river opposite us.The night was most uncomfortable one for any persons whose tent appeared to be at all open".


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Post  Guest on Wed May 09, 2012 2:27 pm

Turon River January 19 1852
"The channel of the river has been deepened at Golden Point and Thompsons bar,but such desultory operations do not seem to be attended with much success.As there is little chance of a combined action amongst the holders of bed claims equal to depening of the river,and the partial draining of some water holes,a continuance of dry weather is the only dependence for properly working the bed claims.
Before the rise of the river many of the bed claims on Monday last were turning out a great quantity of gold dust and nuggets. Today I heard a report that rich dry diggings had been discovered some miles up river. Many parties have started for them,but I could learn no particulars,so whether they turn out well,or prove to be another `Allan`s Brae`,I cannot say.
Townsends Claim on Ration Hill has been very prolific in its yeild of gold during last week. This claim adjoins that of Mr Campbells,formally Rangers and consequently forms one of a group of remarkably rich claims clustered together in one part of the hill. One day during the week,a single bagfull of earth,taken from a pocket of bedrock in a newly opened part of the claim,yeilded 32 ounces of gold. The daily yeild,besides,has been considerably above the usual average.
Having worked out our clain on Ration Hill,we have taken to one on the Beardys hill,which will pay us well for working till the water allows us to commence operations on a bed claim we have on the river. Most of the old holes are running out,and many which were firstrate a few weeks since,will now hardly pay for stripping.
Long-toms are coming into use on the river,they do more work than an ordinary cradle.
Washing tailings on the rich points is becoming very common,and many do a fair stroke at it. For the last two or three days we have had cold winds from the eastward in the evening,generally continuing through the night,and sensibly cooling the air. A great many people have lately been troubled with what is called the `Sandy Blight`,an affection of the eyes,extremely painfull and difficult to get over."

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Post  Guest on Thu May 10, 2012 10:28 am

Turon River- August 15, 1852
A man named William Welfare arrived in Sydney yesterday from the Turon. He worked 24 days,and obtained 69 ounces,at the hole next to Mr Norries party at Maitland point. He procured from two to five ounces every day,and on leaving sold his claim for 8 pounds. The following is his last week of work: Saturday 5 oz,Monday 5 oz, Tuesday 5 oz, Wednesday 4 1/2 oz, Thursday 3 1/2 oz, Friday 3 oz, being 26 ounces in six days worth 90 pounds.
Mr Edwin Hickey,in a letter from the Turon on Monday,says "We have now been five days at the Turon,and have been every day employed in exploring the river and its tributary creeks. We find that not only the dry gullies,but the very surface of the mountains,are filled with gold. Parties of three and four each are in very many places employed in digging on the sides of the mountains or in the dry gullies,and they average about five or six ounces a day to each party. You people of Sydney have no conception of what is being made here by individuals and parties.
Take for example,Mr John Wants party of six. Since we arrived here they have made from 16 to 22 ounces per day, from one large hole. Some men are making their pounds weight"

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Post  Guest on Thu May 10, 2012 11:02 am

Turon river- September 9,1852
Neales Point- Although many of the old holes on our point are fast working out,still the progressive working of the new ones shows that the golden wealth of this locality is as yet but very partially developed. On the bank behind the tents,we every day hear of one person or another having done a pretty stroke of business in a little way.
Today an old man named Blackman,and his Son,took out one of these holes upwards of ten ounces of gold,mostly in nuggets,one of which weighed 2 1/2 ounces,and another 2 1/4 ounces. Blackman,who appears to be but a poor man,states that he was driven out of one hole into another until he was glad to get in at this spot,where,however,he never expected to get anything more than a bare living.
The holes in the old bed of the river are mostly turning out but very indifferently,but it must be remembered that at present the top stuff only can be worked,for when you sink about about half-way through the clay the water comes in a prevents further operations.
I am firmly persuaded that when the bar can be worked down to bed rock,a larger quantity of gold than ever will be taken from it.
A great many are working into the bank from its base,and not a few of them are doing very well at it. As they go in,the vein appears to thicken,and eventually I have no doubt the bank workings will be found very proliffic. The gold found in the bank,both at its base and up behind the tents,is much more weighty and coarser than what has been taken out of the bed. I understand that Mr Hume`s party,who obtained 6lbs 7oz of gold at Munday point on Saturday,procured yesterday 4 1/2 lbs.

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Post  Guest on Thu May 10, 2012 11:56 am

Turon River- September 10, 1852
Very little news worth mentioning has reached me today. Blackman,who,as I informed you yesterday,obtained better than 10 ozs of gold,picked up a nugget today weighing 8oz 7 dwts. There is a slight portion of quartz intermixed with it. It is worthy of remark,that only a few days since Blackman would have sold this hole for Ten shillings,and he has now during yesterday and today picked out of it 60 pounds worth. This stroke of luck has put all our bank workers on the `qui viva`,and one man having a claim on the bank,and who has been out prospecting for the last two days,has begun to work it again,and says he would not take 60 pounds for it.

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Post  leadmagnet on Thu May 10, 2012 7:20 pm

Hi Gus, i had to reactivate my account just to say thanks, great reading, how do i go about getting the link to more letters

cheers steve

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Post  Guest on Fri May 11, 2012 9:44 am

Gday Steve,and thanks mate.
We always hear how rich the Victorian fields were,and many dont realise how rich Australias first goldfield really was.
Try this link:
http://newspapers.nla.gov.au

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Post  Guest on Fri May 11, 2012 10:06 am

Turon River
Neales Point-October 4,1852
Every time I visit Golden Point I am much struck with the progress of the diggings there,which have been carried on with a degree of energy and vigour highly credible at this early stage of our gold digging era. The labour that has been expended on some of the bank diggings has been immense,and many of the claims have proven highly profitable. A person named Hoolahan has a claim there from which he is reported to have taken one thousand pounds worth of gold(167 oz at 6 pounds per oz). Other claims,from which still larger sums have been taken,have been so often brought before the notice of the public that it would only be superfluous to mention them again.
At Little Oakey Creek, two men from Campbelltown,named Creiner and Franklin,obtained a nugget today weighing twenty one ounces and a quarter. Close by them,Jamison and Burn,also from Campbelltown,struck upon a nest of nuggets, fifty four in number,the largest weighing an ounce. The number of diggers down the river is fast increasing,and I understand it is in contemplation to erect a Police station on some eligible spot there.
The river at Golden Point is getting much impeded by the Tailings from different Cradles at work there. A notice has been issuded by the Commissioners requiring all parties working between the crossing place at Erskine Point and Sofala Point to assist in clearing the tailings from the river,and the cradles are to be worked a short distance from the river,and with the tail of each towards the bank.

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Post  leadmagnet on Fri May 11, 2012 2:06 pm

Bloody excellent Gus, many thanks again

cheers steve Very Happy

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Post  Rwork on Wed May 16, 2012 3:00 pm

Good post Gus, i have placed a link onto another forum which leads to your story.

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Post  leadmagnet on Wed May 16, 2012 4:23 pm

Hi Rwork, was thinking of doing the same myself, but wasnt sure how to do it

Cheers steve {turon hippy] Very Happy

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Post  Guest on Thu May 17, 2012 9:45 am

Turon river, October 6, 1851
The wind blew tremendously last night,with heavy rain,which has continued at intervals all day. An Oak tree was blown down during the night,but fortunately did no mischief.A regular rush took place to a range just above us this morning,and it was all very speedily marked out. This range is about fifty feet above river level,and was so quickly occupied in consequence of two or three small nuggets being found close to the surface at the top of the range.
Every day small pieces of coarse gold are being found in the bed of the river here,as parties are enabled to sink lower.It is raining fast at four oclock this afternoon,with every prospect of continuance.

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Post  Guest on Thu May 17, 2012 10:02 am

Turon river
February 3,1853
I have been informed by a party recently from the Turon,that there has been considerable addition to the number of diggers on that river within the last few weeks. The majority are doing well,and the various (water) races are advancing rapidly towards completion. A strong party have undertaken to cut through Lucky Point (the lucky point tunnel diversion),who are said to be well provided with capital,and lack neither the skill nor energy requisite to carry out such an important operation. At Palmers Oakey an auriferous reef has been discovered,and the miners there are doing well also.
Quartz mining at Clear creek is progressing most favourably.There is a large body of men employed on and about the reef,and all appear to be satisfied with the progress they are making. If the attention of those who have sufficient means at their disposal to enable them to enter into quartz mining operations could be directed to the country on the south bank of the Turon,it is certain many valuable reefs would be discovered.Quartz prospecting is neither the labour of an hour nor of a day,and requires great practical experience,and an exercise of patience and perserverance in an eminent degree;but the discovery of a payable reef would amply compensate a prospecting party for twelve months labour,if the weather would only prove favourable for the next three or four months.

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Post  Guest on Thu May 17, 2012 10:28 am

The Turon
February 18, 1852
The first indications of gold digging now show themselves some seven or eight miles nearer Bathurst than formally. The Wattle Flat,a table land stretching from the Wyagden to the Turon ranges,is intersected in various directions by chains of ponds or waterholes. Upon these,small bands of diggers,numbering from eight to a dozen,are rocking their cradles until the waters of the Turon have subsided sufficiently to allow the bed claims to be worked.
Mr Whites Stations,we percieve,above the head of Oakey Creek the larger,are pretty closely begirt with Turonites,the earth which they are washing (a white pipe clay),being carted a couple of miles,and not infrequently in rented vehicles. Their earnings,so far as we could ascertain,are generally moderate-what are termed good wages,and a few make more. An ounce to a couple of ounces per party of three or four men each day;sometimes more,often less,is about the average yeild of these diggings.
But as the waterholes,although wel filled,are distant from each other,and do not therefore present much frontage,a dense digging population could not find employment on the Wattle Flat,and it is pretty evident that if the tailings are allowed to accumulate in the usual fashion about the brinks of these pools,that a few floods will fill them up,and render the land useless either for digging or pastoral purposes.
Sheep Station Point,as an exception to the rule,begins to look brisker than usual. A large body of diggers are congregated about the river bed-working,some knee deep,others almost up to the middle in water,and the greater portion doing very well. The labour,however,is excessively severe,and very trying to the constitution. Excavation is of course impossible,the stuff upon which they are employed being the loose drift matter at the bottom of the river which has been washed down by floods.This they scoop out and throw into their cradles,which are placed as close as possible to the waters edge,and thus,for the present,carry on a very labourous but not less remunerative occupation.

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