Mining in the Upper Murray

Upper Murray Gold Rush

In the 1850s, migrants from across the world came to Australia in mass to join the frenzy to find gold and other precious metals.

A gold rush at Kiandra in the heart of the Snowy Mountians was in full swing in 1859-60 and many hopeful miners from other gold fields flocked to the area from all directions. Many coming from the west traversed the Upper Murray countryside before reaching Kiandra.

The discovery of gold and tin in the Upper Murray during this time, enticed miners to stay in the area.

Some people ventured to Tooma for local disposits of gold, especially after the Kiandra gold rush, although gold remained elusive, some miners found rubies and sapphires, albeit in small quantities.

The Tumbarumba region attracted many miners as well and the town took shape as the 1850s & 60s progressed. There still remains a number of fine examples of nineteenth century architecture around the streets of Tumbarumba.

From the late 1860s, significant tin deposits were located around Koetong which brought many newcombers to the Walwa and Koetong areas. Tin was mined in Koetong for many years with the number of tin miners fluctuating with the price of tin.

During 1870s & 80s, gold strikes at Mt. Elliot and along the Thowgla and Bullocky's creeks in the Thowgla Valley brought more prospectors to the district.

As word spread, many families ventured into the isolated hils and valleys of the Upper Murray. Businesses supplying the necessary goods and services to the mining camps and new farming settlers, were set up along the main route to the Thowgla gold fields.

Significant gold deposits were discovered at Mt Elliot, in view of the Corryong town limits. Many miners, who had been working hard to uncover tin lodes at Mt. Cudgewa and around Keotong and Walwa at the time, moved camp to Mt. Elliot in the hopes of striking it lucky.

In a very short time period, over 100,000 pounds worth of gold was taken from this gold field.

It is believed that the tailings taken from these mining activities paved the main street of Corryong.

The crucial timing of this local mining boom and the introduction of the land selection acts was pivotal in the development of the  Corryong township.

By 1900, however, interest in the gold field had waned, signalling another gold rush was over.

Gold Mining in Upper Thowgla c. 1880s
Gold Mining in Upper Thowgla c. 1880s

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