The Argus at KellyGang 16/8/1860
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ARGUS
Sir-I have read with great interest the reports of the Government prospecting party on the Dargo, waiting patiently for the time when they would arrive at my old claim on that river, and find that others had been before them. They have at length reached it, though even now they do not seem to know where they are, and the country around is a perfect terra incognita to them. I will take the liberty of giving you, in a few words, the history of the diggings on the Dargo, for diggings there have been, though their existence appears to have been ignored. In the early part of 1858 I commenced working there. Before our party began operations the river had been more or less prospected for many miles, both up and down, and four miners had opened and partially worked a claim, which we afterwards wrought out. After we had begun, another party opened a claim four miles below us, and there was scarcely a week afterwards, for months, in which prospectors were not at work at various points above and below us.
When our claim was worked out, we prospected for some months the Cobungra (a river emptying itself into the Mitta Mitta, on the other side of the dividing range, between the Dargo and the waters flowing into the Murray), but subsequently returned to the Dargo, to which there had been in the mean- time a rush, where we opened a claim, 15 miles below the main body of the diggers, being, in fact, the one, to which Mr Howitt alludes, as that where "water had been brought over a ridge from a branch creek." This claim we also worked out, following the gold into the river, so far as it was payable, nearly, if not quite, half way across. We subsequently prospected the claim a mile lower down, and found payable prospects, but, owing to circumstances, did not work it, though one of my mates afterwards accompanied the party out who did, and I, unavled? to go myself, gave them every information in my power.
I will now furnish you, in advance of Mr Howitt's report, with a sketch of what he will find in his progress up. In the first place, he is greatly mistaken, I think, in his estimate of the distance to the source of the river. Following the "windings" of the stream, he will find it a very long 40 miles indeed. About 11 miles from the second claim to which he came, the road by the river being an exceedingly difficult one - he will find on the left-hand side of the river a race cut, and claim opened, but not worked, as the prospects ran out; and four miles above this, again, he will come on hut after hut, and claim after claim. He will find the ruins of a store, saw-pits, gardens, &c, with a beaten path for pack-horses loading through portions of two stations to the Livingstone Creek. Four miles higher up, by a fearfully bad rood, he will arrive at the claim upon which we were first engaged, above which I know of no regular workings, though the country has; been prospected by us, and others, for miles. Some of the holes may have been filled up by floods, yet he will doubtless find many indications of the presence of man.
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