Historical information

Reproduced on p31 of 'Pioneers & Painters'

Was destroyed in 1962 bushfire. Now Peter Franks Reserve, St Andrews

On Friday 29th (August 1919) …, the Hon. S. Barnes, M. L. A., Minister of Mines, accompanied by Mr W. Everard, M.L.A., Mr. V. Dickson, secretary for Mines, and Mr. Merrin, Chief Mining Inspector, visited Smith's Gully for the purpose of opening, the new Government battery which has recently been erected. The party arrived punctually at 12.30, and was received by an assemblage of about 200 residents, including, those representing local prospecting and mining interests. At the mill house the Minister wished prosperity to mining on the old Queenstown field, and, in a few appropriate remarks, gave the battery the name of St. Andrew's. Then, as the stamps began to fall, three hearty cheers were given by the gathering. ….. The Queenstown field, dating back to the early sixties, might be regarded as a link that took them back to the Augustine age of gold mining in Victoria…From 1868 to 1918 the total yield of gold from the field was 274,606 fine oz. It might be that here, as elsewhere, deeper prospecting would give new life to the Queenstown goldfield. The miners of Queenstown, who through long year's had never lost faith in the possibilities of the field, felt that the purpose for which they were that day marked the beginning of a new era in the history of local reefing. …. The new mill is situated on the bank of the creek opposite the Queenstown Cemetery, and consists of a five head battery (Berdan pan) and 12 h.p. portable steam engine housed in a spacious structure of wood and iron. A concrete weir across the creek provides a good water supply, and all the necessary pumps, settling dams, etc., have been installed. Later on, should circumstances warrant it, it is pro-posed to erect Wilfley tables for concentrates.
Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser and Diamond Creek Valley Advocate, Friday 5 September 1919, page 3


This photo forms part of a collection of photographs gathered by the Shire of Eltham for their centenary project book,"Pioneers and Painters: 100 years of the Shire of Eltham" by Alan Marshall (1971). The collection of over 500 images is held in partnership between Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library (Eltham Library) and is now formally known as the 'The Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection.'
It is significant in being the first community sourced collection representing the places and people of the Shire's first one hundred years.

Physical description

Digital image
4 x 5 inch B&W Neg
Print 20 x 25 (2)