176 pages, 6 maps, 85 black and white photographs, limp cover
The Golden South tells the story of the Araluen, Bellís Creek and Majorís Creek goldfields in southern New South Wales. Between 1858 and 1875 Araluen was one of the leading goldfields in New South Wales, and from 1900 to 1920 it was the stateís largest gold dredging centre, with a production record and longevity surpassed by few other alluvial gold fields in Australia. Majorís Creek was one of the major gold mining centre in New South Wales in the early 1850s gold rushes. In a similar fashion to Bungonia to Braidwood the book provides a unique perspective on Australian mining history, focusing on mining typologies, technologies and the role of the Chinese miners. Particular attention was given to the environmental effects of mining on the landscape.
Notwithstanding the importance of these goldfields, they have, with a few notable exceptions, almost entirely escaped the notice of historians. Almost all the gullies and creeks on the three fields, including the whole length of Araluen Creek, Majorís Creek and Bellís creek, and a large part of the Deua River, were mined. The Golden South captures this ebb and flow of activity and the rise and fall of the mining communities.
The Golden South was the fourth in a series of books by the author on mining communities in southern New South Wales. Of these books only The Golden South is still in print. The Golden South was based on an environmental and heritage study of the Araluen Catchment area which was sponsored by the Upper Deua Landcare Group. Publication was assisted with funding from the Lower South Coast Catchment Management Committee and the Royal Australian Historical Society.
© Barry McGowan