Shotover claim struck
Meghan Hawkes’ condensed Thames’ 150 years blog.
It is now just a week since the field was thrown open to prospectors.
Diggers stake out their claims and are soon steadily at work. Many are new to mining, but there are several ‘old hands’ from Bendigo and elsewhere.
Those who do not have tents build whares.
There is a moderate supply of wood, and the flat on which the prospectors are working is full of peach trees.
Wild pigs run through the gullies.
Provisions are plentiful and more supplies are expected by the return steamer from Auckland.
There are now five stores but a shoemaker is needed as well as a blacksmith to point the picks. Mr Eyre is surveying the site of the township, which has been named Shortland.
Several vessels over the past few days have brought an addition of about 75 diggers increasing the population to around 260.
The weather is dreadful. All the shafts are from 10 to 12 ft in water and some of the claims cannot be bailed out with buckets.
At 5am on 10 August three men set out for the Kuranui Creek under the cover of darkness.
One of them will strike the gold that makes the Thames and another will take the credit. They name their claim the Shotover.
To read the full version go to http://www.firstyearthamesgoldfield.co.nz/