Sunday, 19 October 2008

John CONDRON strikes it rich

This item from The Evening Post (Wellington, New Zealand), Monday December 31, 1906

Striking It Rich
The Poseidon Rush

Outlying the main Poseidon rush, and almost on the eastern outskirts of the pegged-in ground is situated the claim in which the 960oz nugget was recently unearthed within 2ft of the surface. The story of the acquirement of the lease by the four partners is one of romance (writes a special representative of the Argus). Scarcely five weeks ago two Newbridge miners, John Condron and Samuel Woodall, walked to Poseidon. They pegged out adjacent claims on the easterly limits of the rush, and then decided to amalgamate their interests. George Brooks, who had previously worked as a mate with Condron, joined the party, but still no success was met with. About three weeks ago Robert Woods, a Woodstock resident, who follows mining at Bendigo, purchased a one-sixth share in the claim from Condron and Brooks for £5, but after three days' work he said he would rather go back to a regular job, and he sold his share to a new-comer, Frederick Eva, for £2 10s. That share is now worth £500. Condron and party continued work, and they sent about 17 loads to the puddling machine, for the return of 28dwt of gold. Then the lucky day arrived. At half-past 3 on Tuesday afternoon, when all attention was centred in the discovery of a 373oz nugget by Williamson and Stevenson, in an adjoining claim, Woodall started to pick from the surface. At a depth of 15in his pick struck a hard substance, and he beckoned to Condron. "There's something here, Jack," he exclaimed. "Stand behind me." Condron did so, and when Woodall placed the point of his pick underneath the surface the nugget rolled out on to the bottom at their feet. Condron, as he lifted the gold, exclaimed, "Oh, here's a beauty!" but Woodall simply stared at the treasure speechless. Then the crowd gathered. The nugget was embedded in dark dry clay, and as it fell from its bed it weighed 97lb avirdupois. It measured 15in in length, about 7in across, and had a thickness of from 4in to 5in. According to its size, it should have weighed more than it did, and it was evident that it contained a fair proportion of quartz.

The Poseidon gold rush took place in central Victoria, Australia, between 1906 and about 1912. The above article was found on the New Zealand website, PapersPast ( I have no knowledge at present of what happened to John Condron and his new-found wealth: if you do, please let me know!

1 comment:

Michael Thompson said...

I received some further information on this story, and some pictures, from a descendant of Frederick EVA, one of the miners who found the Poseidon nugget. I hope to include these in a new post in the future.