Ore What! A Portrait of the People of Hill End

Ore What! A Portrait of the People of Hill End

Author
Peter Adams
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‘Ore What!’: The township of Hill End, 80 km west of Bathurst, was (and still is) a gold mining town with a population today of around 120 permanent residents.

Once the scene in the 1870’s of all sorts of skullduggery, at its peak Hill End boasted a population of 7000 residents: Prospectors, miners, Chinese opium dens, bush rangers, tradespeople, sly-grog makers, twenty-seven pubs, four brothels and an oyster bar gave the town a reputation and legends that exists today.

The town’s claim to fame came on the evening of 19th October 1872 when the Bayers-Holtermann nugget was unearthed. Weighing in at 630 pounds, this matrix of gold would today be valued at around 12 million dollars. It is still the largest single lump of gold ever discovered in the world.

Hill End’s fortunes waned along with the ore, but the yarns and urban myths continue today, related in Peter’s book ‘Ore What!’ by those for whom Hill End is home.