Gold at Three Hut Point (Gordon) - Hoax or true?

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mfdes
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Gold at Three Hut Point (Gordon) - Hoax or true?

Postby mfdes » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:52 am

As I was trawling through Trove (as you do), I came across old reports of gold having been found at Three Hut Point (now Gordon, in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel). There was rampant speculation that it was all a hoax and someone had brought in some nuggets from Ballarat and pretended they found them at Gordon.
Links to one of the stories about it:
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/2246255?searchTerm=three%20hut%20point%20gold&searchLimits=l-advstate=Tasmania
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/36290904?searchTerm=three%20hut%20point%20gold&searchLimits=l-advstate=Tasmania
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/8778311?searchTerm=gold%20nugget%20huon&searchLimits=l-advstate=Tasmania

Now, if it wasn't because Gordon is but a stone's throw from Woodbridge and Cygnet, both known gold areas, I would be very likely to dismiss it as a hoax as well. However I'm having my doubts. Much of the area is dolerite, and most likely barren. However geological maps have areas of sandstone, and the old reports mention abundant quartz in the holes. Keep in mind this is VERY early on (1854) and experienced prospectors were probably few and far between. Perhaps there are unmapped areas of syenite porphyry or mineralisation in the area?

Another explanation is that perhaps the nuggets were got further north or west, in the known goldfields around Cygnet, and the term "Three Hut Point" was being used very loosely. If we look at the Hobart Town Courier for the 12 Dec 1854, the talk turns to much better known areas: Lymington, Cradoc, etc.

Link: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/2246849?searchTerm=%22three%20hut%20point%22%20gold&searchLimits=l-advstate=Tasmania

Thoughts?

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Philski
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Re: Gold at Three Hut Point (Gordon) - Hoax or true?

Postby Philski » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:57 pm

Hi Miguel

I would say its most likely a hoax set up to keep more people from leaving the state to try their luck at the Victorian goldfields. There was a fair bit of government propaganda and some truth flying around about so many people in Victoria the chances of finding gold there where diminishing. And, people would be better off staying at home.

That area was extensively prospected early in the search for coal and the nuggets found all came from a foot or two of the surface. And, being mostly found by the constabulary and a pensioners boy, all kinds of inducements could have been offered. Later on people like Thureau also visited the area and made no mention of it. Its not in any government documents before or after and i cant i find any mention of it any other place. The area at the time did not have its own permanent police at the time according to wages paid in the Van Diemens land almanac.

in 1877 the Ketch Priscilla with Captain Benbow at the helm was carrying some of the states most successful ever prospectors. And stopped at Three huts point to drop of a family of farmers and they even landed on the beach to play skittles with some of the locals and stayed overnight. They paid 10 pounds each for the trip to Macquarie harbor with 8 months food on board Con. Lynch, Tom Currie, Jim Lenahan, George Bell, William Warburton, and Mark Ireland. Donnelly was in the Pieman the season before and Mark Ireland was hoping Donnelly's provisions and rations left on the west coast would see him though with what he had 2 months worth of food. If there was any truth to it, they would have had a look for sure.

BUT,,,, there is gold to the West and North of the area. so 'perhaps,,,But,,

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