Full Record

The Asburton Gold Discovery Calls The Road from York to Yilgarn The North-West Goldfields
Record no:
30 June 1890
'The Road from York to Yilgarn' is an incomplete Letter to the Editor. The article is torn along a fold line making one line of a sentence indecipherable.
Kept:Press clippings book 1, p. 33



The Government Resident returned from an official visit yesterday.  Going
to the new find Mr Hare travelled via the Fortesque and Robe Rivers.  He

calculated the distance at not far short of 350 miles.  On the road he
passed several teams, loaded with provisions, proceeding to the field,
and, when within a short distance of the find, he met about a dozen
disappointed diggers returning.  After having stopped on the field two or
three days, he returned home across the Hamersley Range.  He estimates the
distance by this route at about 240 miles, which distance he accomplished
in nine days.  The day after his arrival about forty diggers assembled at
the Court House to hear his report.  Mr Hare, in addressing them, said
that good gold had been found in one gully, but up to his departure no
other find had been made.  He calculated that about 2000 ounces had been
obtained, including one fifty ounce nugget, that had been unearthed a few
days before his arrival.  It was reported on the fields that colours had
been obtained on the road up from Onslow.  Provisions were scarce, but
teams were on the road up from Roebourne.  His advice to diggers was to
wait quiet till there was  news of another find, because the already
discovered ground was more than occupied.  He calculated, at the lowest
estimate, that three hundred men were on the field.

There are now only about two dozen men left at Nyullagine, the chief spot
being Grant's Gully.  It is reported that they are doing well, and that
some of them are obtaining over an ounce a day.

Roebourne, June 16.


Name   No. Amt. Date
Caledonian GM Co …. 9th 1d July 9



SIR, — The road from York to the Yilgarn goldfields is in a bad state,
owing to the teams being driven singly, together with the wagon wheels
having narrow tires, and bearing overloaded burdens, which have cut up the
road, in the forest land, into deep ruts, rendering it in many parts
almost impassable; consequently the poor horses are some cases made to
suffer, through being poorly fed, and being badly driven over this muddy
and heavy road.  When travelling to the fields a short time since, I
passed to dead horses, and another left to die.  Some persons who are not
acquainted with the condition of the road, are apt, regardless of the
strength of their team, to overload their wagons, and the result is either
a break down, or the loss of one or two horses.  The road in many parts
require to be opened wider.  Where it passes through forest and dense
thickets, it does not afford room for the driver to walk by the side of
his team.  It will require about £500 to widen the narrow parts, and fill
in the ruts, to render it fit for horses being driven double, and in some
cases it is necessary to drive three horses abreast, when large boilers
have to be taken to the field.  But this road cannot be kept in a good
travelling condition, until the ruts are filled in, and the narrow places
made wider, when all teams should be compelled by law to be driven double.
 Another very important matter should also be enforced, and that is, that
no heavy laden wagon be allowed upon the road with wheels having less than
four inch tires, and a … have not less than six inch tires. [Note: this
sentence is incomplete.  It is comprised of a newspaper article that has
been torn along a fold, thereby making an entire line of the sentence
indecipherable.] Waggons [sic]would have run lighter by not cutting into
the ground, and it would be much easier for the horses.  A large waggon
[sic], with a six inch tire, drawn by three horses abreast and four in
length, would take any reasonable load, not exceeding 7 or 8 tons, without
damaging the road, if the horses were well fed and properly driven.  Some
teams are sent to work upon this road, which are not supplied with corn
enough to keep up their strength, consequently they become thin and boney
[sic] and their shoulders become sore.  I have seen some poor animals with
half the length of their shoulders in a dreadful raw state, and these poor
things are tied to a tree, exposed to the cold stormy blast of a long
winter night without any covering.  Horse rugs are only made use of for
the teamster’s bedding, while the poor horses are left shivering in the
cold, which renders them unfit for the next day's work.  These are the
evils from which troubles come, when we often hear of goods being left on
the road through the poor horses being unable to pull the load any further
— the result of bad management and a bad road.
Yours etc.,



SIR, — In the WESTERN MAIL, June 14th, is a long article on the above
subject, from information apparently supplied by Mr A. Argles, from which
appears that Mr Argle’s own claim on the Mallina field "consists of 25
acres of land, being 12,000 feet long, by 500 feet wide" or 240 acres of
ground.  Now as the Goldfields Regulations expressly state that one man's
ground on a quartz reefing field, shall consist of "50 feet on the line of
reef, by 400 feet in width," and that such ground may be worked half-
handed until declared payable, one is naturally inclined to ask, has Mr
Argle’s claim, since he took it up, being continuously worked by 120 men,
and as the crushing is stated to have reached so high as 5 oz. to the ton,
which one may conclude to be payable (mines on the Queensland and
Victorian goldfields pay regular dividends on a yield of less than 1/2 oz
to the ton) is it now being worked by 240 men as by law required, and, if
not, why not?  If the requisite number of hands are not being employed on
it, at the present time, a large portion of the claim is "jumpable" and
should, in common fairness, be granted to the first applicants, instead of
being, as it probably will be, floated off in a succession of "Pups" for
the benefit of Sydney, and other speculators on the other side.  The
miners in this colony generally, and at the Nor'-West in particular, would
much like to know under what exceptional circumstances Mr A. Argles has
been favoured with such an enormous slice of what, by his own showing, is
the richest quartz reef in all West Australia, and which at the present
time, as the Egina, Pilbarra, and Nullagine fields are abandoned, and the
Ashburton declared a failure, would prove a great boon to numbers of
miners and others, who must otherwise become the unemployed of that
district.  Perhaps the Administrator, the Minister for Lands, or the
Warden of the Pilbarra goldfields, will kindly afford the public a little
information on this subject.
Yours, &c.,
York, June 17.
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