This being the largest goldfield in the colony— if the number of miners constitute the greatness of a field—your readers will be anxious to hear some- thing on mining matters. Its great extent, with the absence of a gold receiving office (shame on the Government), renders the task of giving re- liable information very difficult ; but during the past week new finds have been very few. Holes in the fifty-feet wet sinking (but few indeed) have touched gold, but being wet, it will be some time ere it be ascertained as being worthy of the name of a lead, or patches here and there. Parties were not a little astonished a day or two ago at our bottoming claims at twenty and twenty-five feet, dry ground, in the middle of the fifty-feet wet sink- ing! Some of this shallow ground yielded good prospects. The rush now is nearly down to the Burnt Creek. Much gold "must" be the result of so much labor, if it even lie in patches " few and far between." But I am still of opinion the present population must find an outlet from this field—it cannot support them ; and the greatness of the final crash is every day increased by numerous arrivals.
A peremptory rule should be introduced into the new code compelling openings to be left every few hundred yards in streets on the goldfields, for general traffic. Here, one street is two miles long ; it runs parallel with the creek, and betwixt it and a large portion of the diggings the stores are close to each other, as if ground were as dear as in Melbourne, and only by them can a carter find a "right of way. " This causes much inconvenience, and should be avoided in all future rushes. It is not too late for the Local Court to add such a rule to their code.
Our creek is nearly dried up. If miners would join hands and build some half-dozen dams, they might catch enough water this season yet to carry them well into summer ; its want will ultimately banish them from this field. Such dams could be made in a day or two if parties combined with a will, really paternal Government might deem it good policy to attend to such matters.
The activity of our few police here is most praise-worthy. There are only ten or a dozen, and on Monday fourteen prisoners were tried for various light-fingered offences. This is only the beginning.— Herald.
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
September 24th, 1856.
We of Dunolly appear about to commence taking a part in the all-absorbing matter of the day— electioneering. Mr M'Donogh was announced by the bellman to express his political opinions at the Golden Age Hotel this evening. I should think he might as well spare himself the trouble, for, as you said the other day, the Loddon is too full already." But the " ubiquitous " M'Donogh must create some excitement, and what period so happy as the present?
The portion of the diggings attracting most attention just now is that known as the Wet Diggings. Sinking is going on very briskly, and shepherding does not seem to prevail quite so much as formerly. In wandering yesterday through this lead, I examined some of the washing stuff and discovered gold pretty freely here and there. The richest stuff appears to be a sort of brown cement, something like that at Epsom, in your neighborhood. I should say the stuff I looked at would average an ounce to the tub.
The lead appears to have divided into two distinct runs ; the one following a ridge, on which the sinking is shallow, (about 24 to 30 feet) and the other to the left, following the flat. The former holes are nearly dry, and I was informed by one party he obtained 4 ozs. from the bottom of his hole, the washing stuff running 18 inches or two feet thick. Several holes immediately round him, forming a cluster, are also paying. The peculiarity of the ground seems to be, that there is a patch of very large quartz boulders in this spot, while in shicer ground the stones run much smaller. The washing stuff is the strangest I ever saw, being in digger phraseology termed " mullock," a conglomerate of sand, pipeclay, slate, and immense stones, jumbled up together— stuff, indeed, which it is next to impossible to puddle at all properly. The other run, branching off to the left, is very wet, and to make it worse, the most shepherding prevails here. Some, however, are persevering, and seem determined to see the bottom by some means.
I think these parties who battle thus with all difficulties, should have some privilege if in bottoming they meet with any gold, they should be allowed a larger claim. I was speaking with one of the parties who sunk first and prospected some of this new ground. He said that not only had he no double claim, but his single claim was infringed on ; he had been to the Commissioner and he had promised several times to settle it,but had not fulfilled his word.
A claim is being sunk in the road, at present used as a thoroughfare in front of a store. A lead is supposed to run here ; this hole will in a measure test the fact.
Some parties I know who have tried sinking for a long time who went into an old hole, and obtained a very good prospect. The only plan seems to be here to drive out all the ground.
Two rushes have taken place in the ranges towards Jones's Creek. I cannot, however, hear of any brilliant results.
I heard of a nice specimen being found at Jones's Creek, two pounds weight. The gold in the quartz seems to be heavy when it is struck, but severely tries the patience and pocket before it does turn up.
Those who are thinking of paying a visit to Dunolly, must come prepared with pluck to enter into the wet sinking, for that seems to be the principal attraction here. Those who don't like this sort of work, had better stay where they are.
Amusements are still on the increase, and the rival bells with their respective criers— who do the best to cry one another down— quite an amusement in itself.
A theatre is in course of erection nearly opposite the Criterion Hotel, in which the Montezuma Company, from Ballaarat, are to appear on Monday next. Messrs. Leeman and Gibson, of Bendigo notoriety ; are engaged at Elliot's Hotel, and from the applause and frequent encores that greet them they are as great favorites here as at the old Shamrock.
Weather cold and uncomfortable. Business dull, considering the population.
1865 Phillip Chauncey , District Surveyor, and his wife, Susan, had a son.
1899 A SUSPICIOUS DEATH. DUNOLLY, Sunday. An inquest was begun at the hospital to- day before Mr. Leader, P.M., and a jury concerning the death of Edward Wilson, otherwise Benson, who died on Saturday from a fracture of the spine received at Bealiba on August 10. Mr. J H. Wolfenden, L.R.C.S., resident surgeon of the Dunolly Hospital, deposed that considerable violence must have been used to cause the fracture, as deceased was a powerful young man. Mr. J. Cookson, M.B., gave evidence that the cause of death was septic absorption, the result of paralysis through a fracture of the spine. The coroner adjourned the inquest, till next Saturday.
1920 Passengers on the Mildura train were delayed at Dunolly for over two hours as the cylinder of the steam engine blew out, word was sent to Maryborough but it took two hours to reach Dunolly.