Build­ing boom in Short­land

Pro­vides a con­densed ver­sion of her blog mark­ing the 150 year an­niver­sary of the Thames gold­fields.

Hauraki Herald - - OUT & ABOUT -

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.

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