The Mountain Maid Mine of David Pont

 

David Pont Miner's pick (photographed 20181115)
David Pont’s mining pick – Coffs Harbour Regional Museum collection

David Pont was a Glenreagh-based man who married Charlotte Shipman in 1889 [1], and passed away in 1936. [2]

His main claim to fame was his “Mountain Maid” mine, which was the principal mine in the brief-lived Lower Orara goldfield. [3]  The mine produced £20,000 of gold. [2]

While the Lower Bucca goldfield existed for only a few years from 1896, the village which sprang-up next to it, lasted well into the 20th century as an agricultural service centre, which included a school, store, hotel, and Mechanics’ Institute (School of Arts) at various stages.

The mining data sheet for the “Mountain Maid” mine (held by Coffs Harbour Regional Museum) gives a location of 0751E 6402N, which places the mine 200 metres south of the village.

MountainMaidMineMap

The Upper Orara goldfield (the Beacon Mines) also produced a village at the same time, but this Beacon Village was dismantled in the months after the Beacon company pulled the plug in 1899.

The Beacon Village was up in the scrub; the Lower Bucca Village was down on the plain.

PontArticle1
UPS AND DOWNS. (1929, February 8). Coffs Harbour Advocate (NSW : 1907 – 1942; 1946 – 1954), p. 2.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article185716446

This miner’s pick reminds us of how hard life was before mechanisation.

Australia’s gold-miners in the 1800s were known as “diggers”, because that’s what they did. Dig.

See David Pont’s miner’s pick at the Coffs Harbour Regional Museum.

References

  1. Glenreagh – A Town of Promise by Elizabeth Webb, 2001, p.30
  2. PERSONAL (1936, July 31). Coffs Harbour Advocate (NSW : 1907 – 1942; 1946 – 1954), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article189058870
  3. THE MINES AT CORAMBA, BUCCA CREEK AND CORINDA. (1896, August 18). Clarence and Richmond Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1889 – 1915), p. 5. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61312939

 

Acknowledgement

Volunteer Geoff Watts November 2018

 

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