Company's Dam with Flour Mill in the Background ~ 1900.

Company's Dam with Flour Mill in the Background ~ 1900.

David Alexander Collection


  • Phil Spencer on 2014-May-02 11:27:59 Phil Spencer said

    DG explained this to me approx as follows (apols for errors)
    This dam was constructed by the Poverty Reef company to collect their pumped-out mine water to use for bulk treatment of the old alluvial workings up and down the main creek. This never eventuated, and in time the bank of the dam morphed into King Street.
    (The Drainage Channel behind the fence I think) was constructed earlier by 1872 when the Borough Council had had enough with the boggy morass of the Sandy Creek area and called for tenders to build a drain from Wayman street to Welsh street. This was a major public work, perhaps the biggest job the council ever commissioned. The contract was completed very satisfactorily by local contractor Andrew Keogh, who would in due course become Daniel Duggan's father in law. Keogh was also a Murphys Creek farmer. The Mill is another story.
  • Phil Spencer on 2014-May-02 13:39:45 Phil Spencer said

    Further to above, DG advises the dam was constructed in 1860 and the drainage channel 1872. The drainage channel was behind the far fence, not the one on the left which runs along King Street. The Mining lease was, before this post card circa 1905-1910, that was kept by Clara Harwood, sold to the Council and turned into a park so maybe named as Tarnagulla Lake, complete with yabbies and fish. I (Phil) recall this area all under water in floods in late 50's/ early 60's, and the dam disappeared totally after then I think. More recently (1990's?) the lane beside the Drain was named Sandy Creek Lane, in memory of the creek and original name of the Town. David G further advises "the building to the right of the flour mill, .. was constructed by W.M. Davies as a sharebroker's office, and it was in use as an accountant's office for Edward Rosman by the time of the 1882 flour mill explosion. By the time of this postcard, it had been absorbed into Thomas Comrie's flour mill complex."
  • Phil Spencer on 2014-May-02 15:59:28 Phil Spencer said

    Further comment from DG: “The company didn't 'sell' the dam to the council. They forfeited it when their lease expired and, being public land, the council simply had it gazetted as a park...Keogh's storm water channel eventually tidied up the drainage, and then the Council progressively began to have the park levelled off, although this took years and years because of the extent of the gold workings. Even today, there are cave-ins in the park as the old workings about ten feet or so down collapse. ... Not many people are aware that the matching waste land south of Victoria Park and between Poverty and Wayman Streets is also a gazetted park. This park is called Empire Park, although it has never been developed and is still full of old digger holes and so on."

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