Time for the heavy machinery


One of the last Victorian gold rushes, the Rutherglen diggings followed deep alluvial leads - extracting gold from wash dirt brought up from the ancient riverbeds deep underground.

Rich quartz reefs were also discovered and quartz was carted by bullock dray to the crushing machines at Chiltern.

By the end of 1860 17 deep leads and seven quartz reefs had been found.

The scale of operations grew with the introduction of new technologies including electrical haulage and underground elevators were developed in response to the vast amounts of groundwater which needed to be pumped from the mines before the gold could be extracted from the wash dirt.