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Gold Discoveries 1855 to 1934

Posted by on March 3, 2012

1855 – Two nuggets, one 145 ozs. 5 dwt., the other 140 ozs. were found at a depth of 20 ft.

1856 – 281 ozs found in shallow ground by an undisclosed finder.


  • Henry Davey named the huge nugget he found at “The Shoots” Jones’ Creek on 11 th July, “Schlemm”. The nuggett which weighed 538 ozs.5 dwt. was located only three feet underground.
  • 15th September. A short distance from Thomson and Turnbull’s well established store two nuggets were unearthed. One weighed 62 ozs. and the other 58 ozs. Both were found in shallow ground.


  • March. A 52 lb. nugget was found at “Secret Hill”.
  • October. Three men working a puddler found a 25 lb. nugget within a foot of the surface. The nugget was sold at the Inglewood Bank of Australasia for £1,190 and was described as pure gold.

1867 26th January. – Vaughan and party struck a rich leader which yielded £1,700 worth of gold.


  • September – Henry Davey, the discoverer of the ‘Schlemm’ nugget in 1857 had more luck at ‘The Shoots Gully’ with the unearthing of a 45 oz. piece of gold in shallow ground.
  • November – A 20 oz. nugget found at the lower end of Jones’ Creek was sold at Dunolly. The nugget was reported to be close to Calder’s Reef.

1874  News Years Eve – A splendid nugget containing 43 ozs. of pure gold was a bonanza for its finders, Captain Bragg and T. Robinson, two very old residents on the Creek. The nugget was unearthed near the Post Office at Waanyarra.


  • 7th January – Joseph Tyson and party were the discoverers of an 82 oz. nugget at Specimen Gully. The nugget was found at a depth of 14 ft.
  • March – A nugget found in shallow ground at Jones’ Creek weighed 34 ozs. 1 0 dwt. Two others weighing 36 ozs. and 26 ozs. were found in ‘Specimen Gully’.
  • September – Two old fossickers found an 1 1 oz. 3 dwt. nugget in comparatively new ground six foot from the surface. The nugget was sold to Thomson and Cornrie, Storekeepers at Tamagulla.
  • 22nd December – At a depth of 13 feet Robinson and Methven had two good finds. The nuggets weighing 48 and 32 ounces were found at one of the best yieldmg places in that year – ‘Specimen Gully’.

1876  December – More finds at “Specimen Gully”. A 43 oz. nugget was found at a depth of 26 fl

1885 – March. At the Bank of Victoria in Dunolly this month a 12 oz. 17 dwt. nugget from Waanyarra was sold.

1887 – July. A 2 lb. weight was unearthed at Gourley’s reef.


  • 23rd July. Imadoe Jerold found a 46 oz. 6 dwt. nugget at a depth of 14 feet.
  • 22nd December. John Pearce and John McEvoy, who had been puddling for some time in an alluvial gully at Waanyarra found a 99 oz. 2 dwt. nugget. The gully, which had been worked in the early days of the diggings, had been famous for its large nuggets. The nugget which was found on bedrock of soft slate, about 6 ft. from the surface, was a solid piece of gold, waterworn and of irregular shape. It was also coated in parts with iron and contained small particles of ironstone and quartz.

1895 – Christmas Eve. At ‘Secret Hill’ in old ground, H. Raven and J. Gourley found two “small specks” totalling 53/4 ozs in weight.

1896 – ‘Secret Hill’ produced £20 worth of gold for A. Gourley and M. Flynn.

1903 – Waanyarra Rush.

  • Baker’s Orchard yielded 56 ozs. of gold found at 20 ft
  • Smith and Mason, Pallot, Hertinann and party bottomed at 26 feet and got 5Oozs, 51 ozs. and 70 ozs respectively, while Taig, Rymer and Storer found 106 ozs. Two feet above bedrock at 26 ft.
  • January – Donohue brothers bottomed at 15 ft., 20 chains west of their previous claim, and got a 20 oz. nugget. Hancock brothers got a 15 oz. piece in Mr. Montaigne’s paddock.
  • February 24 – Lancaster and party got a nugget weighing 80 ozs and Connolly and Clarridge one of 12 ozs. The next day Smith and party found two nuggets, one weighing 50 ozs. and the other 40 ozs.
  • March 31 -A party of Waanyarra diggers sold £100 worth of gold in Tarnagulla, and nuggets weighing 27 ozs., 15 ozs. and 5 ozs. were found at Waanyarra by undisclosed diggers.
  • June – Jarry and Baker discovered 2 ozs. of gold, but greater discoveries were being made at the rush. C. DeSantis and party 27 ozs. at 26 ft.
  • Lockett and Scholes 27 ozs. at 26 fL
  • J. Connolly and party 44 ozs. and 26 ozs. at 26 ft.
  • E. Williamson 29 ozs. at 26 ft.

1904. 22ndApril-Haywood and party produced a 9Oozs. nugget from a shaft they sunk in Baker’s Orchard. The gold was found at a depth of 20 ft.

1906 – The Poseidon Rush.

  • 8th December. ‘The Poseidon Nugget’ was unearthed in the Parish of Waanyarra. The huge nugget weighed 95 3 ozs. gross and 703 ozs. net. Woodall and party found the nugget 10 inches underground, 2 inches above bedrock with much quartz. This find began the last of the big rushes to the area.

1887 – The Jubilee Reef – 19th July.

120 shares at £10 each had been taken out to work the Jubilee Reef Co. at Waanyarra. Work had begun on the Jubilee mine. By March 1888 the shaft had reached 73 feet. The sinking was hard but the water level had not increased. By April the shaft had reached 97 feet and had been timbered. There was much water which was kept down with one horse and a whip bucket. A changing room had been built for the men. Reef mining and quartz crushing was also carried out at Waanyarra.

1867 saw several groups trying ground in the Canadian and Anglesea reefs but alluvial mining was more common. Several attempts were made to open the quartz reefs in the Jones’ Creek neighbourhood but were unsuccessful although in some instances some very rich stone had been obtained. A 2 lb. weight had been taken from Gourley’s Reef in July, 1887.

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