GOLD MINING HUTS IN THE KIANDRA AREA

 

Gold was first discovered in Pollock's Gully in Kiandra in November 1859. The Nine Mile gold deposit was discovered on 15 March 1860 and within one month the Sydney Morning Herald reported about 800 to 1,000 persons were at this new gold find on the southern limit of the Kiandra field. Wonderful yields of alluvial gold were initially obtained and the gold was traced back upstream along the Nine Mile Creek to a point where it disappeared under the basalt. Photo No.1 shows the various types of gold deposits at Kiandra. Deposit Types 2 and 3 occurred at several locations, including in the Nine Mile Creek and also within 2km of the Kiandra village.

The vast majority of Kiandra's total gold production had been mined by 1910 with the number of miners declining from 270 men in 1900 to about 20 men in 1910. The last year in which a significant amount of gold was mined was 1922, with 22 miners in work. In the 1920's, some gold was still being won to the south of Kiandra by small parties of miners and prospectors, whose huts have been used as shelter by passing ski tourers. In between his various ski trips, Bill Hughes was one of these gold miners. The gold mining huts near Kiandra, used by ski tourers past and present, include Four Mile (built in 1937), Elaine Mine (1925), Broken Dam (1927) and the Nine Mile (1890).

The Four Mile Hut is 4km south-south-east of Selwyn Quarry on the Four Mile Creek (Deposit Type 3) which yielded great quantities of coarse gold in the 1860's. The small hut currently there was built in 1937 and all traces of older huts have disappeared. The Elaine Hut is located about 2km south-south-east from the Four Mile Hut and was built in 1925 by the Hughes Brothers as a base from which to tunnel towards a deep lead (Deposit Type 2). Mining in the Elaine Mine area ceased in the 1960's and little remains of the buildings that once stood there. About 2km south-east of the Elaine Mine is the Broken Dam Hut that was built in 1927, or possibly earlier, and rebuilt in 2007 after accidentally burning to the ground in 1998. South of the Broken Dam Hut is the location of the Nine Mile Gold Diggings and the Nine Mile Hut, where Bill Hughes had cached food supplies for the 1927 Schlink Kiandra to Kosciusko Hotel crossing. The mine workings are still visible, but all huts were derelict by 1953 and none had been rebuilt by 2013.