The Glint of Gold at Beechworth

Tom Tansey lived in Beechworth during the 1930s.  He lived in Camp St and when he walked to the end of the street it was just a hop, step and jump  to Reidy Creek where the photo shows Tom, on the left,  indulging in his hobby of sluicing for gold with his friend Rex Thompson.  His hobby might have been fishing when he lived in Traralgon but now it was the search for gold.

Tom was looking for alluvial gold in the creek bed or trapped in the fissures in the rocks.  After filling his barrow with soil and rocks he would then use water to wash away the relatively lighter soil and leave behind particles of gold. For this he  could either use a small round pan   or  a larger sluice.  They both did the same job of separating the heavier gold from the lighter soil – the sluice just coped with larger quantities.  Alas, Tom didn’t make his fortune.

These two images from the State Library of Victoria show miners using the two methods.

And finally an image of three miners  from a Beechworth History page   to complement  this week’s theme image of three miners out fishing which Sepia Saturday had used.  These three look as though they were having a fine old time.

Go to the links on  Sepia Saturday for more tall tales and true  of miners and anglers

12 thoughts on “The Glint of Gold at Beechworth

  1. jofeath

    You could say those men were fishing for gold when they were sluicing, looking for anything they may have caught in their pans, and that last photo is perfect, despite the lack of rods.


  2. cassmob

    Sure looks like those last blokes had given up fishing for gold other than perhaps Fourex Gold, but then again they’re Victorians 🙂 Sluicing for gold would require even more patience and determination than family history with much less likelihood of success.


  3. Wendy

    Images of people panning for gold always make me a little sad. I know they were hopeful of striking it rich, but that seemed rarely to happen. I hope Tom made a little money for his efforts though.


  4. Mike Brubaker

    A terrific post and match for the theme photo! I have read several histories of the Gold Rush in California and the Yukon, but know nothing about Australia’s so I will have to look for a suitable book.



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