From the first discovery of gold in 1852, and with two mines still operating, the Harrietville goldfield has an impressive record of over 160 years of continuous gold production.
After the initial phase of alluvial mining in the rivers and creeks, the rich quartz reefs in the surrounding hills were soon exposed. The Rose Of Australia reef was the first to be worked in 1860 closely followed by the Rose, Thistle and Shamrock and several other rich reefs.
The heydays of the field were from the 1890s up till the early 1920s when English finance companys invested large amounts of money.
Several dredges worked on the upper reaches of the Ovens River in the early 1900s but the mother of them all was the mighty Tronoh Dredge. This dredge operated between 1942 and 1954 and was the largest dredge in the Southern hemisphere, weighing in at over 5000 tons.
Today the hills around Harrietville are a treasure trove of old abandoned mining sites containing relics ranging from rusty shovels to complete stamp batterys.
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