FIRST YEAR ON THE THAMES GOLDFIELD 1867 -1868
August 28 to September 3, 1867
Despite almost two months of rain and the slow progress, a feeling of satisfaction at times prevails on the diggings.
A number of miners are coming and going and the same may be said of small coasting craft.
There are now between 400 and 500 men on the ground but it is believed men from the West Coast are needed before any results will be seen.
By now at Shortland Town 56 business allotments have been taken up and 129 miner’s rights issued.
The near incessant rain has left the roads muddy bogs and the entrances to buildings are layered with ti tree and fern.
Shortland Town can boast of about 20 weatherboarded houses.
Men known in the southern goldfields as the ‘right sort’ have begun to arrive.
They don’t remain in the township looking around them, but start right away to prospect with the intention of settling in and giving the ground a trial.
Diggers are also leaving Coromandel for the Thames to try their luck.
Arrangements with the Maori for opening more ground at the Thames have been complicated and tedious.
Dudley Eyre, surveyor, is at work one afternoon near the beach at the landing place, Shortland Town.
He hears a great disturbance and goes to see what it is about.
He sees two Maori men holding a Maori woman. Europeans gather round crying ‘‘Shame!’’
This scuffle will have a significant effect on the Thames goldfields.
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