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Buildings: Burra Dugouts

Many workers flocked to Burra in the 1840s and 1850s to work at the Burra Burra Monster Mine. As a result of the lack of available accommodation, primitive dwellings were constructed in the banks of Burra Creek. Known as miner's dugouts, they are basically a hole dug into the side of the creek with a roof on top. It was cheap for the miners to live here because if they built anywhere else on the Burra lease, they had to pay rent to the mining company. The 1851 census documented that approximately 1,880 of the town's population of 4,400 lived in the dugouts. Although recent archaeological work has found that some dugouts had white-washed walls and glass windows, conditions were still damp and often unsanitary contributing to epidemics of typhus and smallpox.

Miners' Dugouts, Burra
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