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Engine house, Echunga
Title : Engine house, Echunga Engine house, Echunga
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Creator : Martin, M.J., artist
Source : PRG 550/1/6
Date of creation : 1866
Format : Artwork
Dimensions : 160 x 215 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
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Description :

The engine house building on the Echunga gold diggings, a pencil sketch by MJ Martin.

After William Chapman discovered a small amount of gold in 1852. Echunga was declared the first gold field in South Australia. Many of the colony's men had left to find their fortune on the Victorian gold fields. However some gold was found in South Australia by a small number of miners, perhaps a thousand at Echunga. A reward had been offered to those who could persuade South Australians to remain but Chapman did not receive this because he was accused of faking the discovery.

One Adelaide newspaper reported that 'The gold runs large, and is found in such quantities as not only to remunerate amply the search for it, but to offer the strongest inducement for an exploration'. Local businesses profited from the influx of miners, many of whom brought families and lived in tents at Chapman's Gully.

"Dunn & Son had two stores on the field and sold their goods at very moderate prices. After the issue of more than a thousand licences and nearly $40,000 worth of gold the diggings were almost deserted by the end of the year. Early in January 1853 gold was discovered at Bells Hill. This led to another, but much smaller rush". (Echunga, South Australian History).

Coverage year : 1866
Period : 1852-1883
Place : Echunga
Region : Mt Lofty Ranges and Eastern Plain
Further reading :

Bagshaw, J. A. Mines and mining, Echunga 1919

Blake, L. J. Gold escort Melbourne : Hawthorn Press, 1971

Hocking, G. Gold: a pictorial history of the Australian gold rush, Rowville, Vic: Five Mile Press, 2006, c2000

Passmore, R. J. The Echunga goldfield 1959

Schmaal, E.J. There's gold in them thar hills 1974

Stone, D. I. Life on the Australian goldfields Carlton, Vic. ; [Sydney] : Methuen of Australia, [1976]

Internet links :

The Australian gold rush: stories from Australia's culture and recreation portal

Echunga, South Australian history

Gold! Victorian Cultural Collaboration

Sovereign Hill Ballarat Australia

Victoria gold rush Wikipedia



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