Old Cottage - Sofala NSW

Bev Woodman

Valentine, Australia

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1509 views as of 5th November 2011

Just one of the many old cottages scattered amongst the mullock heaps along the Turon River near Sofala NSW. Gold was first recorded as being discovered in Australia in 1823 by James McBrien (a Government Surveyor) at the junction of the Eusdale Creek and the Fish River but nothing further came of this. That same year a Bathurst convict also found gold while working on the chain gang however his overseer dismissed it as being something ‘stolen’. In 1839, Count Paul Strzelecki located small amounts of gold at Hartley Vale in the Blue Mountains. This news was kept quiet because of the fear of mutiny by the convict community. There were other finds in 1841 by a Scottish clergyman, The Rev W B Clarke but again he was asked to keep the news quiet … and then Hugh MacGregor a shepherd from Inverness … etc. It wasn’t until 1851 that Edward Hargraves was credited with finding gold at Ophir on the Turon River however history initially omitted to tell the true story that it was actually James Lister, James Tom & William Tom Jnr who had actually found the gold although Hargraves could be credited with showing them how to ‘cradle for gold’ – a technique he had learnt in the Californian Gold Fields. The gold rush then followed the Turon River before spreading far and wide. Sofala is one such town along the river that sprung up during this era and remains today, almost untouched by the outside world.

Artwork Comments

  • jadeast
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  • Tate6
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