A 35 – Year Endeavour: Bendigo’s Rise and Shine Sluicing Syndicate

TitleA 35 – Year Endeavour: Bendigo’s Rise and Shine Sluicing Syndicate
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsCarpenter, L. W.
JournalAustralasian Historical Archaeology
Volume30
Issue1
Start Page5
Pagination13
Date Published02/2012
Abstract

An enduring legacy of the Central Otago gold rush is the network of water races crossing the landscape. Lacking the romance of schist cottage ruins or hint of enterprise inherent in herringbone tailings, mullock heaps and dredging tailings, these watercourses are unremarkable except for their potential re-use for irrigation. But the employment and judicious use of water was critical to the development of gold claims, when self-taught hydraulic engineers organised, financed and built water races to open alluvial mining areas. The Rise and Shine syndicate worked their sluicing claim in Bendigo Creek’s headwaters for 35 years and changed the fortunes of the Bendigo Gully gold field. Examination of the syndicate and its archaeology reveals a group of miners who developed a profitable claim, built a community and proved adept at employing their water resource in a way that confounds popular tourism-oriented depictions of the gold rush as rootless men in ephemeral towns.