Author(s): Dr Kae Lewis
Goldrush to the Thames: New Zealand 1867 - 1869 Until now, little was known about who the miners were that came to the Thames during the early days of the gold rush in 1867. Still less was known about how they went about finding gold high in the ranges behind the Thames township. They flocked in, firstly from Auckland and then from all parts of New Zealand and the wider world beyond. Before long, there were thousands of hard-working diggers frantically excavating a vast network of underground tunnels, seeking those elusive quartz leaders and reefs that contained the gold. Some struck gold bonanzas and were set for life, others burrowed for months in barren earth and spent all their savings just trying to keep themselves from starvation. This book documents almost all of the early claims in Thames, Tararu, Puriri and Tapu from 1867 to 1869 and is designed to link with the online database of Miner's Rights and claims in the "Goldrush Online" website at www.KaeLewis.com. The book describes the individual workings on each claim and the methods used to find and retrieve the gold. It goes a long way towards answering the questions: Who were the diggers? Where were their claims? How did they find the gold? Did they find any? However, this book is much more than a collection of claim names. It is largely based on contemporary reports and stories from people on the goldfields. Some sources are archived letters and diaries while much of it comes from contemporary newspaper articles. The language in newspapers of that era is difficult for modern readers to wade through but skilful editing, interspersed with explanations, makes this book quite readable and fascinating while at the same time it is an important reference book documenting the life of the miners at Thames during the goldrush era of 1867-69. Numerous photographs and detailed maps add colour and detail.