Paradise Creek / River Feb 8-10

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Re: Paradise Creek / River Feb 8-10

Post by Philski » Sat Feb 07, 2015 1:25 am

This article describes the Paradise River Goldfield as it happened in 1881. The Paradise River goldfield was the largest in the district after middletons Creek and Lucy was worked out. Half the population of miners where employed there.


From a recent visitor to the West Coast we have obtained some particulars of the Corinna goldfields which may be of interest to our readers In speaking of Corinna, the site of the Government store on the North bank of the Pieman, some 15 miles from its mouth, is testament, and this will no doubt be the site of a real future township, as while vessels can come up to the river this far, it has hitherto proved the most central position that could have been selected for the straggling and constantly shifting gold-mining population. It was upon Brown's Plain, seven miles north of the store,that gold was first discovered in this district by A John Brown in 1879, and this was followed by the rush at Middleton's Creek (a tributary of the Savage River), which lies west of the store then came the Donaldson rush, west again of the Savage goldfield; and then the Badger Creek rush.

All these goldfields were in the aggregate a large quantity of gold was taken out, but The difficulty of obtaining provisions, the absence of any reliable depot for supplies, anti the one or two periods of famine terminating in a spell of downright starvation, thinned down the a number of diggers till even the hardiest gave in, and were preparing to abandon the locality. The cry which had been raised that the Government should establish a store met, through the energy of Mr D. F. Scott, with a favourable correspondent, and though we still consider the principle acted upon was wrong. And that it established a very unwise precedent, it must be admitted it has achieved the result aimed at, and through careful and economical management fell has not proved a loss to the Government. It was established in 1881 and though the miners were slow in regaining confluence, their numbers have steadily gained from seven in March last to sixty at the present time.

West of the Donaldson (towards the sea coast) no payable gold has been discovered, Although prospects have been obtained in a few creeks tried, but the miners do not seem to think the country in that direction worth prospecting. When the alluvial' was worked out about the Savage River the prospectors turned eastward again, and after working out the Whyte River. Then passed on to the Lucy and Paradise Rivers, where the present workings are now principally situated. All these streams are tributaries of the Pieman the River of which, by the way, the residents consider the native name of Royenrine, ought to be adopted.

The workings on all are of the the same character, namely, in the creeks and gullies running down to the main stream, the gold deposits being very patchy, and though some good "pockets" have been struck, not more than wages has been made on the average, yet some, indeed, having only made "tucker." The to Lucy Falls into the Pieman about four miles East of the Government store, and the work. commence about four miles inland, and four miles further. The principal deposits worked along it are at St. Dizier's hi Creek, Spur's Creek, and a flat upon which several parties are employed. The gold obtained is of the usual high quality in of Corinna gold, but is less waterworn than that from the Savage goldfield, and more In compact, but the nuggets obtained are not so large, one of half an ounce being the largest informant could hear of.

Striking off from the Lucy track four miles from the Pieman, in an easterly direction, the Paradise goldfield is so reached. This goldfield was discovered after several weeks prospecting by Thos. Wright, and now employs nearly half the total population of the district, but it is becoming nearly exhausted. Upon the Lucy goldfield an area of quartz has been obtained, and some of the miners contemplate trying the terraces. It is the general opinion of the miners, most of whom are experienced men from the other colonies, that all the posits yet worked have been merely the outer edge, as it were, of the gold-bearing country, and that further search will result in the discovery of reefs or deep leads, the latter seeing strongly fancied. The Lucy River rises in the Meredith Range, towards which many believe the head quarters of the gold lie, but the heavy scrub, the swant of tracks, and the fact that the present law, which does not grant a prospecting area is under five miles from it known discovery, proevents a prospector who spends time and labour in discovering a new field from obtaining any better claim than those who rush in after he had done all the hard work, all not as hindrances to nd prospecting to any considerable extent. , it stay be mentioned that Wright was close upon three months prospecting and cutting tracks through the heavy scrub to open country before he discovered the Paradise goldfield, which now employs 30 men, yet was only able to secure one man's ground, or the area as those who kept an eye on his where to abouts, and came in as soon as they found teYe had struck gold.e* Upon Brown's Plain two parties intend to prospect for a deep lead-which there is reason to believe exists-if they can secure some concession from the Commissioner it case of success, but not if they are to have no greatest share than those who will merely shepherd them till they have proved the ground. A Hobart Association have spent a little money in prospecting on the plain for a reef, but with.Io out success up to the present. The country here is principally a quartz wash on the surface in with slate bottom. Upon the Elizabeth Range,on at the Savage River goldfield, The Corinna Prospecting Association have taken out a protee to. tios order for quartz, and have struck the outcrop of a reef. There is no gold visible in the stone, but gold can be obtained in the rubble, and the affair is believed to be worth testing.

Upon the south bank of the Pieman, opposite the Corinna, there are no indication of payable deposits.
up the 'Pieman in a creek on the southern side running into it; locally known no Hangman Gully, a little gold has been found, but the result of operations here gave the Locality a bad name, and very little prospecting has been done, though there are one or two creeks higher up on that side which might carry payable. Above twelve miles up the Pieman from Corinna, the north bank, the Lefroy Prospecting Association have taken up an area upon which prospecting has been carried on for some time past. A tunnel has been driven into the hill, and several leaders have been cut of likely-looking stone, but carrying no gold, though in the creek below some of the best looking reef gold yet obtained in the district has been taken out. A blank then occurs in the known deposit till the Long Plain is reached, 17 miles from Corinna and 24 from Mount Bischoff, and here a Hobart association are prospecting for a reef. It is the opinion of many experienced miners that ultimately the gold deposits will be found to extend from the Long Plain to the goldfields beyond Corinna, but at a considerable depth.

Our informant paid a flying visit to the Heemskirk fields, but is not inclined to give a particular opinion of any of the claims. He considers there are many valuable lodes there-which will ultimately prove remunerative, butit will cost a good deal to develop them, and leconfesses that the difference between the nncounts in the public press, and the actualreality in the amount of work done and theprospects visible to the casual observer ewas verystriking. It appeared too, as.if the directors of some of the companies, imagined that their claims would in some mysterious manner develop themselves in course of time, as the parsimonious manner in which their mining managers have been treated in the matter of stores and even of tools precludes the idea of developing them by mining operations. In this respect some of the claims managed in Victoria show a marked contrast, .and a leaf might with advantage be taken out of' their book, and time management of the- Empress Victoria is especially spoken of as deserving commendation.. In order to save the freight end cost of. packing from Macquarie Harbour, items which have fallen very heavily upon some companies, the Empress Victoria have obtained' a little steamer to convey their stores from Macquarie to Trial Harbour, aego making a. boan from the claim down to Trial Harbour, and if- the, Government do not make a jetty at Trial Harbour, they are prepared to execute this work themselves, believing that such works, which are necessary to the development of their'property, must prove in the end remunerative. Such enterprise as this,which reminds one of what the Mount Bischoff company had to undertake to secure the development of their valuable mine, deserves every recommendation.

It stands out in marked contrast to the conduct of those who do nothing themselves but call on the Government to do everything for their benefit. With regard' to the important matter of tracks, our informant believes that Mr Hall is the right man for the work, that he possesses the confidence of those most interested, and that were lowed more discretionary power and 'were legs hampered be able to give general satisfaction. The expenditure of the last vote for the track from Waratah to Corinna (41 miles) have been entrusted to him,and if left alone he will be able to make the present foot truck into a good horse track. The foot track from' Corinna to Mount Heemskirk (25 miles) made by him has been likened to across-cut saw by some people, but the natural difficulties of the route were very great, and the worst pinches have already been. toned down considerably by Mr Hall, who is confident that, if allowed the man, can make it happen. A good horse track on the present route. There has been some talk of making. a track from Waratah to Corinna via the Meredith Range,but though on paper it would be shorter than the present route, those acquainted with the country state it would cross so many spurs that it would practically he longer, and would certainly be far. more tedious than the present route, which only needs widening and improving to meet all requirements.

source: Examiner (1881)
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Re: Paradise Creek / River Feb 8-10

Post by Philski » Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:36 pm

This second article mentions many interesting insights into the way of life back then in this area. Mr Lambie of middletons creek for instance would have to be related to Senator Jacky Lambie. He was from Hobart.

The problems of mail delivery and some shenanigans in Corinna. Blackguards Hill was an area of disrepute! and more info on the fields,,

please excuse the typos and spelling mistakes below. Ive only started on the first bit.

January 1882
From our own Correspondent.
In my last I omitted to chronicle tho arrival of Mr, Gaffney, under the new mail contract. He made a good trip to this plaoe, with a heavy mail, and on the return journey made the run from Heemskirk to Waratah in two days. How is this for our track ? If the contractor keeps np to time in the future, as he did on the initiatory trip, we will have no oaose of complaint. I think that some alteration should be made in the arrival and departure of the mails, especially in connection with Corinna. Your correspondent at Heemskirk can speak with more authority with reference to that plaoe. The mail for Corinna should reach there not later than 4 or 5 p.m. on every Saturday ; des*patched for Heemskirk on Monday, leave there Wednesday, arrive Corinna Friday 4 p.m., close same day 5 p.m., and leave for Waratah on Saturday morning. This matter needs only to be brought under the notice of Mr. Douglas, to effort a reformation to suit the convenience of the West Coast public.
Apropos of the mail, we have not yet received. The Tasmanian Mail of December 31. I présame ithas been forwarded per s.S. Amy, which vessel has not yet pat in an appearance either at Boat Harbour
or Corinna,
The ketch Welcome Home crossed the bar on
Wednesday morning. The bar was then as calm as the proverbial mill-pond, but yesterday the weather Changed, and the little vessel was observed to run for Macquarie for shelter.
It is on dU that Mr. and Mrs. Tooker, of Waratah,are to purchase the, Government store at Corinna,and to combine store keeping with a hotel, etc I hope they will be successful in the venture, although in the present character of the field, there is not mnoh inducement to put capital into business.
By the way, the post office at Corinna should be made a sorting office. The West Coast population are of a shifting character, and are to-day at Heems-kirk, to-morrow at Corinna. The postmistress atI Waratah cannot be expected to' know that John
Smitb, who waa last at Heemskirk, is now 'atCorinna, and naturally places his letter in the formermailbag, with the result that Smith loses his mailfor a fortnight. Travellers through frequently callat the Corinna post offioe, and ask for their letters,but the Heemskirk mailbag is to them sealed ; the,postmaster deolines to undertake the responsibilityof opening it, and a tramp back'to the .tin districtis the rf»ultH-24 infles for a letter! ' '" <'""'.
1 Mr, Savage is "going to " start on an addition to
his hotel, and is " speaking of " patting on sawyers >to cat the necessary timber.
Mr. J. Foster has laid the foundation for a bouse
of accommodation, on the bank of the Corinna, op-posite the Government store. As bil good ladyand her family kept an exoellent bouse at theHeads, travellers to and from Heemskirk willhave a guarantee of their comfort being attended to.
The Don Trading Co. are obtaining pine from abed on the south side of the Corinna River, mid-way between the Government depot and the SavageRiver. Mr. Danoe and party have arrived to outpine for Captain Reid, of the Amy.
Mr. Hairs work on the traek is highly spoken of.Those who some time ago spoke of the track as im-practicable for hones, and in fact unfitted for foottravellers, are loudest in their commendations of
Mr. Hall's work. While tracks of this character ,are to be cut on the coast Mr. Hall should beretained. He has proved that with money he canmake a good road where others have said no trafficcould pass over.
Speaking of tracks brings me to that grand under-
taking, the road from Macquarie to Heemskirk,,where Mr. Clay and party are to spend £5,000somehow, I will ask any man connected with,Heemskirk, will a horse be able to carry a loadeddray over the road, after the £5,000 are expended ?I say No! and osn produoe men to testify thesame. The £5,000 might as well be thrown intoSwan Basin, for all the good it will do on the Maaquarie-Heemskirk road. Yon will be able to use paok
horses upon it ; granted ; but the days of pack-horses,for such a distance are passing, and if any road is tobe carried to Macquarie, give ns a tramroad, ornaught ! The £5,000 to be expended on Clay'swork would represent over two years' interest onthe money required for a tramroad. Then, again,the drayroad from the Montagu Co.'s ground toTrial Harbour is completed ; the Harbour is acces-sible the greater portion of the year-one man saidto me it is only rarely you cannot get in-and untilthe permanence of Heemskirk is ascertained (whena tramroad would require to be construotod), TrialHarbour will be the port for the tin minea. TheGovernment are doing all they can for the distriot«and it is a pity that they were not better advised on
this matter.
I am sorry to chronicle the introduction oflarrikinism at Corinna. A Hobart prospectingparty were camped near the Government depot,and during their absenoe at the store their tent wasentered, the tea, sugar, and provisions destroyed,olothes tossed in the bush, tools hidden, and tentrazed. The originators of this senseless and mis-chievous freak aro suspected. We don't want arepetition of Blackguard Hill. If so, the spirit ofthe old 37-miIo camp is still alive, and tar andfeathers are now procurable in the district.
The appointment of a Registrar of Goldfields andMineral Lands for Corinna is requisite. It is unfair tothe Government storekeeper tobe compelled to per-form the dnties, Dummyism is increasing, and theGovernment shonld afford every facility to stamp itout. This would in a great measure be done by,compelling all claims, gold or other minerals, to beregistered locally.
> Mr. Alford is about to put up a store at LongPlain, near the track being cat by Messrs. Hughesand Buokner, to the Savage River, This traokshould cut the river about four miles above BadgerCreek, and then run across country a few miles, Ihave heard that it is to go only to Badger Creek,but to that locality there is already a prospectingtraok, cut by Mr. G. Johnson. Tho establishmentof Alford'* store will bave the effect of drawing themajority of diggers to Long Plain and locality, acountry which is considered worth attention. Thisis the quarter I have previously advooated packingprovisions to, in order to give the place a trial, batno one had sufficient enterprise to make the ventureuntil a population had been drawn to the distriot,
and a trade made for them by the establishment ofthe Government store. We speak of Tasmanianenterprise, bat in anything but aharebroking tbereare'few men amongst us who will speculate one shillingwithout they Bee that twenty will flow at once into,their pockets.
There are other localities where an expendituremay be judiciously made upon traok cutting.The season is advancing, and advantage should betaken at onoe of the weather to open up Cut the tracks while the men are onthe field. Do not wait till the wet weather clearsthem oat, but give tbem facilities at once to testoonntry considered as likely looking, and theymay perhaps drop upon something more permanentthan the present " gully raking."
It ia strange that witb all our fossiolcing we have'not yet dropped upon the matrix of the gold, butold miners «tate it is to be found, although it long ere the sound of the stampers will bo heard.The country is so thiok that prospecting for reefsis rendered most difficult, and my impression isthat accident will uncover the first gold-bearing
The work on the area of the Hobart Deep LeadProspecting Association bns ended. The party of'seven, who were prospecting the ground, had driventwo tunnels, aggregating 400ft., 100ft. of whiohwere timbered. The work took only seven weeks,and the party are to bo complimented for the des-patch tbey used. I regrot, however, that the resultwas not aB anticipated, but the people in the neigh-bourhood are still sanguine that a lead exists onBrown Plain. Messrs. Crotty, Harvey and Co.have been permitted to take up a lease of 20 acres,to prospect for an alluvial deposit of gold. Theground selected is that on whioh, under a protectionarea of 50 acres, Messrs. Lambie and Harvey, for aHobart company, were prospooting for some t'rao
I note that applications bave boen made for leasesof 20, 10, and 5 acres alluvial respectively. Two ofthem ara for the terraces, but taking the result ofa recent application those cannot be granted. Afriend of mine, resident hero, whose businoBS calledhim to Hobart some months since, told me thatthere was a great deal of excitement with referenceto our goldfield. Thero is really nothing to warrantit. Interested parties have exaggerated alluvialworkings for speoulativo purposes ; the result willbe tho anticipations of confiding shareholdnrs willnot be realised when aotiial work is entered on, andon the principle "onco bit twico shy," the dupes willnot again speculate upon tho district, no matterhow good the venturo may prove. The placereqnires some mocoy spent upon prospooting, but
let shareholders enter into tho associations notunder a statement that thoy are at once to obtaindividends, but understand that their £10 or £20may not return to their pockets.
Mr. EvanB, of the Otago Prospecting Association,is returning per Amy with tools and materials toprospeot hiB prnteotion area for a quartz roof.
Driving is being continued on the Lefroy Co.'sarea, Upper Corinna, but as yet without result.
,The open ground on the fall from MeredithRanee to the Whyte River is being looked at.
Alluvial workings about the same as previously
Captain Stanley has passed through, having visited
Heemskirk and Corinna.
Mr. Stoyons.the newly appointod manager of theLatrobe Tin Mino, and Mr. Blair, of the PionoorProspecting Association, and Mr. C. Curtain and
party, representing a Hobart association, pro- .oceded to the Hoads yesterday. The last-namedparty are en route to Heemskirk.
The weather has been very severe, and as I writethe rain is falling in torrents.
Of provisions thero is a good supply, thanks to
the Government.
The ketch Welcome Home found a waif on thebeach at Circular Head, in the shape of a paddlofrom a punt, whioh was carried out to sea whenthe schooner Robert Burns left this place last year.This will be of interest to mariners, as showing the
?et of the current.

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Re: Paradise Creek / River Feb 8-10

Post by drystone » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:16 pm

thanks Philski!
Snippets of history like this are brilliant: it really helps to "put flesh on the bones" of the place and give an idea of what country was explored and when. Often extremely trying and desperate conditions with thick scrub, weeks of rain and no food to be found.
We modern day "explorers" can only get a taste of what the early blokes did. Mind you, the gold was easier to find in the creeks back then(!)

Articles often turn up name and places that might be of interest.
for instance, who has heard of the rush at Badger Creek??

If one has time, searching the TROVE national library/news archive if worthwhile: some good info in there ;)

Speaking of which, any info forthcoming from the recent expedition to Paradise Creek??

Any shiny stuff? How low were water levels? How bad were the march flies?


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Re: Paradise Creek / River Feb 8-10

Post by Philski » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:36 am


The creek has been cleaned up (dredged) i found part of a wetsuit etc. And very little gold is left in the creek itself. The bed is smooth and clean with many pot holes, but non contained any sizable gold.

Approx 1/2 gram of gold was found with the SDC2300. The largest about a caraway seed size. the smallest a 1mm flake.

Paradise Creek and river itself are awesome places geologically. But have been worked out and not worth the trip down. There are some terraces that may be productive but more gold to be found more easily in other areas.

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Re: Paradise Creek / River Feb 8-10

Post by Dazza » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:47 pm

Hi Phillip , wow I was expecting you lot to do ok down there ,was surprised to hear it has been dredged but not shocked ,as a few blokes in such a remote area could get a dredge in there and go for it ,they must have known it would have to of been worth the exercise, what a bummer , anyway I still hope you all had a good trip in and the weather was good ,we just got back from craying got 16 size had a ball, hopefully I can catch up with you lot next trip , cheers dazza.

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Re: Paradise Creek / River Feb 8-10

Post by mfdes » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:14 pm

Hi everyone,
Thanks for the articles, Phil, I hadn't seen them before I met you guys at Pieman Dam.
Anyway, it was an interesting part of the State, but as Phil said, not much gold left there. We walked from the junction of Paradise and Tandy Creeks to the Paradise River, and then down to the big bend in the river. I found three small pieces in Paradise Creek with the SDC2300, the smallest about the size of a celery seed! All up about 0.5 g. You can see them on the bottom left of the picture.
Corinna Gold.jpg
No luck in the river itself. The big bend below the creek had some good looking potholes, but any I dug into had been previously cleaned out, and only tiny bits of flour gold were found.
Thanks to Fox, Phil and Ron for the good company!
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Re: Paradise Creek / River Feb 8-10

Post by Philski » Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:25 am

Hi Drystone.
This site is even better than trove for imagery and still covers many important Tasmanian mining and prospecting snippets.

awesome gold too :) Miguel

I managed to get the video to work and uploaded it to youtube and it it looks like there is more gold in that leader.

Some of the hardships and joys encountered on the field the year before.

[From our Special Reporter.]
Tuesday 3 August 1880
The Pieman goldfields are at the present time virtually in a state of famine. Several of the diggers who had the forethought and the necessary funds, anticipating a repetition of the scarcity of1879, laid in an extra stock of provisions early in the winter, but for all that they have now not more than a month's supplies of flour, beef, and tea. The men who have all along been making poor wages or only " tucker" are in great straits, and will not be able to hold out longer than a week. They, and in fact, almost all here, declare that if provisions are not shortly on the ground, it is their intention to clear out, and never return to a place  where two years in succession the stores have been allowed to run short, and themselves placed consequently in a condition bordering on starvation. I visited the stores the other day, and at Mr. Savage's found nothing in the edible line but a little tinned fish and herrings, tea and jam, and at Messrs Matthews and Allwright's a small quantity salt beef, weevily biscuit, tea, lollies, tinned fish—not an ounce of sugar in either place. The supplies named will be sold out in a few days, and if Mr. Savage is not soon here with a cargo there will be a general stampede from the diggings. Since penning the foregoing I paid another visit to the stores, and enjoyed the rare luxury of a piece of  fresh mutton. Mr. Matthews and his partner had,soon after the diggings started, brought a number of sheep to the Pieman, which were turned out atthe Heads. A number were killed, and the carcases sold, but some 25 got away inland, and were running wild until the other day, when Mr. Matthews sent a party out, who captured and brought in 20 of the animals (being all that could be found), and slaughtered four of their number. The sheep, which, when brought to the place, were in low condition, appeared to have thrived well on the scanty herbage of the West Coast, for when weighed the four slaughtered averaged 72lb.The meat was brought up to the stores, and quite a rush was made to secure cuts, but Mr. Matthews had the carcases apportioned so that every one could have a supply, and the diggers, who had fared for about l8 months on "salt mahogany" and bacon, bore off their purchases with great gratification. The meat was disposed of at 7d. a lb. Today several more carcases will be brought up, and, with the sheep remaining at the Heads, there will be about three weeks' supply of fresh meat for the field. Flour and sugar is now the great drawback ; but I saw Mr. G. Webster, of the Heads, the other day, and he informed me he would pack a quantity of these lines from Messrs. Conrad and Langdon's stores at the Henty, if the diggers here pay him. The cost of packing will bring the flour up to 5½d. or 6d. A pound, and sugar to 8½d. or 9d. ; but I believe this will be given for, say a month, if the miner shave a guarantee the vessel with supplies for the local stores will arrive by that time. For meat,after the whole of the sheep have been despatched,I scarcely know how we shall manage. Last famine there was great slaughter amongst the badgers, which then commanded 12s. apiece, and very few are now left in close proximity to the fields. We had expected a Mount Bischoff grazier through with a head or two of stock, but the track is not yet in a condition for bringing cattle through. They might be brought as far as Long or Brown Plains, or even to 37Mile Camp, but, in the absence of a track from the latter place, they could not proceed further. I think, however, if any of the butchers at the Mount will, having previously forwarded an intimation to the Pieman per mail man, send a couple of bullocks through, and slaughter them at 37Mile Camp, they will have no lack of customers, and will obtain a good profit in their venture. It is to the interest of
the business people of Bischoff—a place that will always be the great highway to the West Coast — that the diggers now on the ground should continue here ; and I trust that even only on the principle of looking after No. 1, they will organise and adopt measures for immediate relief. Government should undoubtedly give as mall subsidy, if required, to afford assistance to a famine struck population, seeing that if the track from Bischoff had been completed long since, the present state of things could have been prevented.

I had intended suggesting in this letter the advisableness of Government establishing a store at the Pieman, but Mr. T. B. Moore, in a well written letter to The Tasmanian Mail, has "taken the wind out of my sails." His idea is an excellent one in a place like this, where continued supplies can not be relied upon. I am not an advocate of a Government entering into store keeping in opposition to private enterprise, but believe that until a field in an out of the way place is thoroughly settled, and good private stores on the ground, Government should supply the requirements of the diggers. They would be at no loss, and, in fact, in the long run would gain by the transaction. A steamer could be chartered, stores sent to the place with a trustworthy man in charge, and the goods sold at a rate to clear cost and expenses. The money now spent in subsidies during famine time would pay the freight of goods round to the coast and be reimbursed, and the miners here and elsewhere would have a guarantee of constant supplies. In a very short time the whole of the district could be properly prospected, theories would be tested, and if, as is considered by practical men, " something very good" is met with, there would be a settled population.
I started on 11th inst. from McCavaston's Creek  to visit the Donaldson and Badger Creek fields, via Middleton's Creek and the stores. The creek has not yet received a visit from the track cutters, and its condition is daily becoming worse. An attempt was made lately to improve it in places, but what is wanted is to carry the route from a leading spur at the head of Sailor Jack's Gully to the Pieman. Following the sides of the creek can only be accomplished by zigzagging the track, a far from desirable course, when a good route of a shorter distance is available. Arriving at the store, I laid in a stock of the very meagre provisions obtainable, and started for the Donaldson along the spur of the Mount bearing that name, calling en route on Messrs. Evert and
Webber, whose hut is two miles distant from the Pieman. Half a mile further on came to Sunday Creek,where there are two huts, one occupied by Messrs. Peter Hunter and Stephen Stacks, and the other by Mr. David Owen. By invitation I stayed at the hut of the last named, and next day visited the ground in the locality. The original prospectors of the Donaldson diggings were Messrs. T. B. Moore and J. Forster, who in June, 1879, set to work in Sunday Creek, obtaining a very payable return. Two months after they stuck their picks into the creek they had plenty of company,and Sunday Creek, its tributaries, and the other streams in the vicinity were carrying a number of men. In Sunday Creek the gold was of a fine scaly description, and commanding the highest price of any obtained at the Pieman. The mineral was obtained in a bottom, apparently of decomposed limestone, discoloured by the action of iron pyrites,a great deal of which is met with in cleaning up. After the prospectors left the ground two parties set in, and ultimately P. Hunter and S. Stacks set to work. After getting a little in the banks of the creek, which, by the way, is worked wide all the distance up, the party decided to test the terraces. The dam put up by the prospectors was repaired,and its height increased, rendering it the best on the whole goldfield. A start was then made ground sluicing the terraces near the commencement of the prospectors' claim, the head race having to be
carried a considerable distance. There was no depth of wash—hard white cement—so that in four weeks a considerable quantity of stuff was put through. It, however, gave only 2½oz. for the one man's work. The two continued the race right on until they found the bottom falling, and then met with a well defined terrace, deepening as they cut into the hill. Cutting further up the creek  they found the bottom again rising, giving them a terrace,however, 30ft. wide and about 6f. deep, showing  satisfactory prospects. Below the wash is a thin layer of decomposed vegetable matter upon a limestone bottom. The water was brought on a little higher than before and ground sluicing started. At the time of my visit they had been seven weeks at work, and intended to clean up in three weeks or a month. The party believe that their work will prove remunerative, and in that case the terraces at the Donaldson will have a number of diggers upon them shortly. On the hill above the terrace where P. Hunter and his mate are at work is a large flat, into which the first named intends sinking a prospecting hole at an early date. When in the hut enjoying the hospitality of the two mates they informed me that their hut was prostrated by a tree which fell during the storm of the 9th inst. A number of large trees around the camp had been fallen by themselves for fear of accident, but one, a sassafras, caught in descending
the boughs of a myrtle, As both trees had a tendency to fall down hill, away from the camp, the inmates did not further trouble themselves about it. But during the storm alluded to, the sassafras was lifted from the branch into which it had cradled,and thrown on to the hut, and when the diggers returned from work a deplorable wreck met their view. However, they set to work and effected a clearance, and since succeeded in making themselves comfortable again. At this camp I was astonished to find a clock giving its homelike tick tick. This is the companion of Mr. Hunter's travels everywhere, and in shifting camp finds a safe resting place in the tea billy. Mr. Hunter has a canine companion, named Tito Kowaru, of the bloodhound and retriever breed, which possesses an astonishing degree of intelligence. It is the medium by which messages are sent to adjoining camps, and Tito will take a borrowed newspaper to the owner,and bring another in exchange, etc., as if to the manner born. The dog has been taught a number of tricks : to march like a soldier, beg, waltz,smoke, etc., and proud he is of his attainments. Inthe afternoon I visited D. Owen's workings, in Guthrie's Creek, a tributary of the Savage. This creek paid Guthrie's party most handsomely, and good returns have been obtained since by several parties from the banks. Owen is not obtaining much of the precious metal, but is hopeful of doing so. Further down the creek I came across H. Evert and F. Webber, who were at work in a blind gully leading into the main creek. The party had obtained good prospects, but the absence of water was a drawback to setting in. Not to be deterred,they set to work and brought in a sluice head from another creek, almost a mile distant, and are now at work with satisfactory results. The same party had tried the terraces in Guthrie's, but abandoned it on account of their being insufficient water to ground sluice, by which process alone will terrace work pay. On the previous night, during a heavy gale, the hut in which these diggers live was partially destroyed by a tree which was blown down. They were in bed asleep at the time, and were awakened by the crash. The tree, fortunately for them, was caught in its descent by another, and fell across the centre of the roof of the hut. Their escape was miraculous. Diggers in pitching on a permanent camping ground should be careful to choose a spot where there are but a few trees. This,however, is difficult on the West Coast, where the country is so heavily timbered, but they should atall events clear off the heavy timber around them for a considerable distance, as a preventative to accident. I have noticed after a heavy rain the huge myrtle trees, which do not possess taproots,falling in every direction. Remained with Mr. Owen another night, and in the morning took the track for Badger Creek ; passed through a thick
scrub for some distance, and came upon the divide of the Savage and Donaldson rivers, crossing several small streams and ascending and descending the now historical Flat Top—erroneously called Long Back. The spur, over which I passed, was of quartzite and covered with button grass. Stretching away to my right, I could seethe Meredith Range, with Meredith Peak at its north end, and Mount Cleveland standing out to the northward of the latter. On my left lay the Norfolk Ranges, with hills of button grass and thickly scrubbed gullies intervening. Descending Long Back, the route lay through marshy plains,intersected with small creeks, on either side of which grow the tea tree and bauera, until at about eight miles from the Pieman I reach the spot where the track was tapped by the Circular Head route, completed a few months ago by Mr. C. P. Sprent, the well known surveyor, at the cost of Government. Passed over a burnt spur, again coming upon marshy country, and three or four miles' travelling from the junction of the two tracks brought me to the camping ground of Messrs. T. B.Moore and P. Harvey, and M. Sedgman and W. Smith. Here I was most hospitably received, and next day visited the claims. Not far from the camp, T. Moore and P. Harvey have recommenced working on the ground they had in hand last winter. At that time they worked the best of the creek out and started on a prospecting tour;returned in May last, and set to work in their claim on what was the old bed of the creek. Your readers will remember that the gold here, as elsewhere on the West Coast, was found in patches. This is accounted for by the fact that after the gold had been deposited the sides of the creek had been undermined by the action of water, and fallen into the channel. The water had then made for itself a fresh course,and hence the patchy nature of the creek. The party I have already named tried the bank of the creek in several places to discover the run of gold,and ultimately attained a sufficiently good prospect to warrant setting in. As they intended to ground sluice, the bringing on of water was a considerable difficulty, and they had to proceed up the creek about five men's ground distant, and carried a head race through thick scrub on to the ground. They put through a quantity of stuff, and after a month cleaned up, but the result was not satisfactory. They afterwards prospected further in where the ground made towards the creek, and have now set to work fully expecting a fair result. On the claim below Moore and Co's., J.  Gill is at work on the old bed. After ground sluicing for seven weeks he cleaned up, but the yield was not satisfactory. He will,however, follow the bed to its junction with the creek, in the hope of striking the run. Four men's ground below the last mentioned claim M. Sedgman and W. Smith are employed. For the past three months they had been ground sluicing alongside the watercourse, but did not make anything worth speaking of. They have gone higher into the bank into apparently the old bed of the creek, and the prospect obtained in the the dish warrants their expecting good dividends. This party had to carry their race a distance of over three men's ground to allow them a fall, and stiff work they had, having in one part to cut a tunnel through the conglomerate rock. The Badger Creek goldfield was discovered towards the close of September, 1879, by W. Davis, who, with M. Sedgman and F. Pink, set to work in a tributary of the main creek. Soon afterwards C. Lynch and J. Hayes tried the main creek, and started on good prospects, and a very short time elapsed before a rush set in. Several of the diggers did remarkably well, but others scarcely cleared their store bills,the creek being of a patchy character. The gold obtained in this creek was chiefly of a coarse character. When work was in full swing there were 36 men on the field, and as it was thought the good yields would continue some time negotiations were entered into for packing provisions from the stores, a distance of about 12 miles. Mr. Thomas Martin offered to make a pack track if each of the diggers on the ground paid him 10s. ; and these terms being agreed to Mr. Martin put on men, and with his own assistance a good track, considering the natural disadvantages of the country was completed. The wages alone of the three men employed by Mr. Martin amounted to £20, and to bring the horses from the Heads he incurred a further expenditure to make a track from the banks of the Pieman,opposite the stores. When the horses were brought up the river, and preparations made for swimming them across, the news arrived of the discovery, up the Pieman, of reef specimens, and the prospects obtained by " Sydney Tom," in one of the creeks.A rush was made from the Badger, and when Sydney Tom's creek was "duffered out," most of the men left the field, or tried creeks elsewhere. The result was that but few of the diggers kept their contract with the maker of the track, who obtained only £3 10s. for his work. The loss was rather a serious one to Mr. Martin, especially as he had to employ labour. It will be remembered that a sum of money was voted by Government to take the Circular Head track from the Arthur River to the Pieman. In carrying out the work,Mr. Sprent tapped the Badger Creek track at a distance of about eight miles to the river, and no further expenditure of Government money was necessitated. I should think, therefore,that out of the residue of the sum voted for the through track, Mr. Martin should receive some compensation for that portion formed at his expense and included in the Government track. After leaving the workings at Badger Creek, Mr. Moore kindly piloted me on the route to the workings at Harvey Creek, distant about four miles. The course of Badger Creek was followed for some distance, and we then struck into the scrub, until half a mile brought us again to the Badger, which we crossed at the lower workings, a locality where a great deal of iridosmium was found. Here I saw a novel substitute for bellows, made by Axel Trendahl. It consisted of a portion of the trunk of a tree fern with the heart scooped out. At one end a valve was placed, and in the centre of the fern a nozzle of tin leading to the bed of the forge was inserted. To supply the requisite blast a piece of wood bound round at the end with cloth was inserted, and worked pump fashion, and the claim holders were thus enabled to point their picks as well as those supplied with the more expensive appliances. Leaving Mr. Moore I followed the track to Harvey Creek, passing through a network of horizontal, cut into here and there, to allow of a passage,and the diggers who travel the route with a load on their shoulders must find it a most annoying and dispiriting track. Arriving at my destination, the first party I came across were Messrs. Lawrence and Cornelius Harvey. The creek was found by the latter, about four or five months ago, and soon after starting a yield of 5oz, a week was maintained for five weeks. Since then good wages have been made. The bottom in this creek is limestone and hard clay,discoloured with pyrites. In the crevices of the limestone, some good gold, chiefly of a fine character, was obtained. There was very little stripping to do in this creek, and consequently the party were able to run over a great deal of ground in a brief period. The party, having washed up to where their claim joined J. Brown's, have now started into a tributary leading into the main creek,near their old working. A dam has been put up,and from the prospects already given, they have some
remunerative work before them.

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Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:04 am

Re: Paradise Creek / River Feb 8-10

Post by acfish » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:28 am

Good job guys, nice to see a few nuggets there.
Looks like the SDC is a winner over west, compact and no cords makes it a winner in the scrub.

I have used a mates in victoria and would highly recommend it.
May need to borrow it from him as i recon he will be busy with his new GPZ for a bit.


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