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THE DISCOVERER OF GOLDEN
(FßOM A CORRESPONDENT.)
Tiie following particulars respecting the career of Mr. B. N. Colreavy, the discoverer of Golden Valley, may not be without inter- est at a time when the country at and around that locality ia attracting so much attention : -Bernard Norbert Colreavy, the discoverer of Golden Valley, is a native of Ireland, but arrived in Tasmania when he was six years old. Shortly afterwards his parents remov- ed to New South Wales, and settled iu the Hawkesbury district, near Sydney, whcro his father resumed his original occnpation as a farmer. From this period until he reached
his majority, Mr. Colreavy patiently toiled j through the apprenticeship of a trade which, | from its sedentary nature, was in but ill |
accord with his natural tastes and am- bition to roam ; and now arrived the taming point of his life, when he was to exchange the apron and tools of the craftsman for the digger's pick with its chequered legacy of toil, suffering, ex- citement, and joy. In 1857, tho rosh to Port Curtis (Queensland) broke ont, and it was on this field he received his baptism as a.digger. The history of the Port Curtis rush, in its main features, reads not unlike tho his tory of our Kimberley Goldfield. Mr. Colreavy landed at Rockhampton, from Sydney, is the old steamship Eagle (Captain Cottier com- manding) only to find crowds cf disappointed
i and furious diggers deserting the workings. I Thc Captain's lifo was throatcuod for con I vcying fresh adventurers to thc field, instoad Iof publishing in Sydney thc warning news of
its failuro, and lawless acts were averted only by thc Goldfields Commissioner con- cluding arrangements with the Captain for thé return passage to Sydney of all the men on the field, both with and without means. In the face of ali this discouragement, Mr. Colreavy determined to test the value of tho reports by personal experience. Gold was found, and, for years aftewards, Canoona proved a payable field. The gold discovery had been in tho first instance, exaggerated, and consequent upon this, the field was rushed by inexperienced people who were easily disheartened by report, and who left the scene of their dreams of wealth without putting a pick into the ground.
In the long interval that separates the visit to Port Curtis from the discovery of Golden Valley, the name of many an old diggings will creep in, of cherished and familiar mem- ory to the Australian digger, perhaps recall- ing to recollection the picturesque re- mains of old workiags, whims, and shafts now silent and deserted, tottering in decay the monuments of many a stirring opcode. Not long after the Port Curtis cat istrophe, Mr. Colreavy, who now began to co.-uidcr himself a person of some experience in quartz an'.i gold, found himself on the way to the Snowy River Goldfield (New South Wales), a locality which, owing to its altitude, enjoye, or suffers from, a clim ato somewhat akin to that of the North of Scotland ; but, before reaching his destination, news arrived, while eu route, of tho discovery of rich alluvial gold at Lambing Flat, in thc same colony, aud, with true digaer-liko inconsistency, ho turned from tho now to go to the newer field. Hore an encouraging share of thc golden metal fell to his dish. Lambing Flat is memorable in the histovy of Australian goldfiels for the great riots, which occurred there in 1862, of the diggers against the authorities, and as being the scone of one of the earliest, if not the first, disputes be Ítween the European and Chinese diggers.
A detachment of Marines, despatched to the field to retore order, distinguished them- selves by refusing to act against the Euro pean diggers. The Chinese revenged them- selves by first polluting and afterwards des- troying the source of the water supply. Then followed the formation of tho Vigilauco Committee to preserve order, (ho enrolment of the diggers into bands, the drum that beat the assembly, tho banner that boro the Btrange device, "No Chinese!", the parade, the attack on Chinatown, and the expulsion of tho hated Celestial from Lambing Flat These and the riots that followed with thc
police, which resulted in loss of lifo and . wounds, and tho ultimate triumph of tho ! diggers, are matters of history perhaps not ; so widely known that they will not boar
allusion to here. j I The following year (1863), the Lachlan ; : Goldfield (N.S.W.) was discovered, where, ¡ i within a very short time after the discovery,
there was a population on the the field of 30,000 persons ; and from there, in the same year, Mr. Colreavy proceeded to
the Macquarie Uiver (N.S.W.) to prospect j for gold and diamonds, and was re- warded with a fair measure of success. Next year, 1864, the Peak Down (Queens- land) rush broke out. Thc port of lauding was Rockhampton, On his previous visit to this port, during the Port Curtis rush, a shepherd's bark hut was the sole and solitary sign of urban life. Wow, Rockhampton is a populous aud fine-looking town. On the
Peak Downs, he worked, with a varying for. 1 tune for two years, till 1866, when the great
West Coast rush of New Zealand broke ont., This rich field kept him, and its many thon sands from all climes, busy for four years, when the year 1870, announced tho discovery of the precious metal at Gympie. Hero he was fortunate in obtaining a rich share of the alluvial gold at first discovered on this field, but left previous to tho opening up of rich auriferous reefs, which arc now tho commer- cial backbone of that important town. The Cape River (Queensland), which lies some hundreds of miles further north, was the next field visited, where he opened up some rich quarta reefs ; and then, steering to the southward some 200 miles, be reaehod Ra- venswood (Queensland), which bc prospected with some success for alluvial gold. Mount Wyatt (Queensland) was thc next eruption, 1872, where ho scttlod himself down for a time. Very shortly after this, a rush broke out at the Gilbert Ranges (Qnccnslaud), but for the first time in bis digging career, be resisted tho enticements of a now El Dorado, aud remained at Mount Wyatt- Herc he secured extensivo claims for puddling, and erected tho first puddling machine OB the field, which afterwards, in that locality, be came a widespread industry.
While recruiting his health, gold was dis- covered at Gulgong, about 160 miles from Sydicey, and once moro hfl was trying bis fortune in a healthy, civilized place. And now came tho announcement of Charters Towers (Q.), 1874, near Ravenswood, where bo had been before, and now one of ibo
richest, if not the richest goldfield (quartz j reefs) in the world. The journey was made 1 ovorland through the interior with saddle j and pack horses. The perils and hardships
of such an expedition were very groat, as ! the route lay far beyond the outsido limits of sheep and cattle stations, aud hostile
natives and flooded rivers were no triflinj i obstacles to encounter and overcome. Tb j distance traversed was over 1000 miles
and the journey occupiod several months
j but, in safety at last, Charters Tower
? was reached. He stayed, however, but ¡ j short time at what is now the Great Northen Goldfield, and determined to re visit the Cap River district, where he had met with pre VÍOU8 success. Here he found alluvial gold and worked alone for several weeks until tb
j hostility of the blacks became so much : j matter of real danrer that concealment wa:
na longer possible. He then confided th< j secret conditionally to a ftw until his interest! i were securely protected, when ,the|dis'ooveri
j was mado generally known. At thc close o: j the year 1874, tbe discovery of the celebrates
Palmer River Goldfield was reported by J. V j Mulligan aud party, who washed 106oz. ii j six weeks. As Charters ,Towers, as far as i alluvial gold is concerned, had been some
what a failure, and thc other fields wer , quiet, a great, rush from all parts streamec
in the direction of the new discovery. Th< Cape River was distant only about 300 milei to the southward of the Palmer, so that Mr, Colreavy was soon cn route, and amongst th« his pegs in on the new field ; and hero he the first to drive remained for two years, obtaining a fair average share of tho nuggets and dust, His health again breaking down, he was com- pelled to return to Sydney, but ho had been there barely two months before gold dis- coveries of extraordinary richness were reported at Sandy and Oakey Creeks (tribu- taries of the Palmer). After a visit to this locality, ho returned homo to Windsor, N.S. W. Six months afterwards, he was on his way to thc Coleman River, situated about 300 miles north of Cooktown (Q). This rush proved a failure, and ho now returned to Sydney to embark for tho Pieman River and the Lisle gold discoveries iu Tasmania. The winter wcathor, however, of this climate, proved too severo for a Queensland constitution, and ho was compelled once more to return to his ol¿ home in Windsor. Tho Hodgkinson goldfield, 1878, situated about 140 miles from Cairus, (C¿), was shortly afterwards reported. Hore he remained some time, and held tho pros- pecting claim ' Aurora.' Then, just when old diggers were beginning to think-for there had been a lull in mining matters-that tho rieb alluvial field was become a thing ot the past in Australia, came iu 18ä0 the startling announcement of Temora, N.S.W., a piece of scrubby country which men had walked over hundreds of times, never dreaming of its underground wealth. Temora was visited, hut soon forsaken iu favor of another new dis- covery, the Bermagui j'situitad on tho sea beach, about 160 miles south of Sydney, where rich gold was found. Thou came tho news of Mount Brown, N.Ö.W., iu Wà2, iu
I the far interior. The journey to thie field was accomplished with saddle and pack horses,
and the distance covered was over 800 miles. Two years were spent on this field with un- varying good fortune. His next expedition was directed to the Barrier Banges, Silver- ton, N S.W., in 1883, to prospect for silver and galen i. In this, he met with fair success, but left before thc gre lt discovery of silver at Broken Hill, with thc intention of seeking fresh fields in Western Australia. He arrived in Western Australia in 1884, and made arrangements to proceed to Kimberley, but through'a difficulty in the transport of horses, the proposed expedition fell through. For two years he remained in business at Perth, until appointed to the leadership of the Go- vernment Prospecting Expedition to Yilgarn in August of last year. The history of that expedition and its result are probably still sufficiently fresh in the public mind not to require re-capitalation here. One result, however, of this expedition remains to |be touched up&n briefly. The limited time al- lowed the prospecting party was insufficient to achieve successful results ; but sufficiently long to convince him of the existence of auriferous country in the Eastern districts especially in thc face of a genuine, though as yet otherwise unimportant, discovery of another party. He then proceeded to organise a private party, and in company with Mr. H. Huggins, left Northam for the East on the 1st December, 1S87. Arrived on the field, he proceeded to examine that portion of Yilgarn country which time had not previously per- mitted, and, after a few weeks close prospect- ing, came to tho conclusion that payable gold would never be found in the Yilgarn hills, there being iu his opinion, too much " Yilgarn," which is the native nauio for the black stone so abundant in and cbaractcristic of that local- ity. Ho now directed his attention to the southward, aid on the 30th Decombor, 1887, discovered tho " Kathleen " reef, Golden Val- ley, and on tho 12th January, 1888, the "Edith" rosf (Huggins'). Before risking tho new discovery to tho tender mercies of the ' Tomahawk Brigade," the " Judith " claim to thc southward, the " Horgan " and " Ma- rion" claims to the south and north respec- tively on the " Edith " liuo of reef, and on tho " Kathleen " line, the " Scott " on the ¡ north, and "Thc Waterhall Company," on thc
! south wore all secured.
Tho more democratic the House of Com- mons becomes, says the London Shindard, thc greater number it includes of representa- tive sporting men. Bowers, cricketers, racing, and hunting men aro all crowding in m ev«jr greater crowds.