Building boom in Shortland
Provides a condensed version of her blog marking the 150 year anniversary of the Thames goldfields.
Week 13 23 October to 29 October, 1867
The steamer Gemini leaves Shortland Town with the Superintendent of Auckland on board on his way to attempt to open the Upper Thames for gold mining.
The Gemini is the first steamer to ever enter the Thames (Waihou) River. The Superintendent proposes that on this happy occasion three cheers should be given for Queen Victoria. Things are dull at Wangarei (Whangarei) where work is scarce, no money is stirring and business is very low.
It is hoped the Thames diggings will improve matters - a great many have left for there already.
Thomas Munro, a shipping reporter, leaves his tent on the Karaka Flat and is later found drowned in a small creek - the second death on the Thames goldfield.
There is marked growth in Shortland Town. A fortnight ago there were not 20 wooden structures - now there are upwards of 50. An iron building of considerable dimensions has been erected; it will be known as the British and used as a music hall.
Blacksmiths, carpenters and shoemakers are doing well. There are some hundreds of tons of stone lying at the claims waiting for machinery.
A spur bordering on Tararu Point is new ground - several claims have been pegged off there, giving employment to some of the more recent arrivals.
A Berdan works in the yard behind the Shortland Hotel. The men bring their quartz in small quantities to be tested and from day break until dark there is a continual thump, thump and rolling of the machine.
To read the full version go to http://www.firstyearthamesgoldfield.co.nz.