Ophir Goldfields - Orange

William Tom (1791-1883) was a farmer in the Orange area when he met Edward Hargraves in February 1851, when Hargraves visited his property. Hargraves had just found grains of gold in Summer Hill Creek and was anxious to prospect for more in the Orange area. He showed William Tom Jr (1823-1904) how to build a cradle and, together with his brothers James and Henry, William used this to search for gold along the creek. Eventually they found as much as 16 grains of gold in one day. When they found nuggets weighing four ounces they wrote to Hargraves who hurried back and named the field Ophir. By then Hargraves had written to the 'Sydney Morning Herald' describing his finds and in May described specific areas where gold existed. By 15 May over 300 diggers were at work at Ophir and the Australian gold rushes had begun.

Ophir Goldfields - Orange Ophir Goldfields - Orange Ophir Goldfields - Orange Ophir Goldfields - Orange

Ophir Reserve is the site of Australia's first payable goldfield which was discovered in 1851.
Activities in this area commenced in the 1880's and have continued to the present day. A mine still operates on the Bluff Hill avove the picnic area.
Close to this Site there is a 3 to 4 metres wide terrace which is the remains of the creekside tramway which was used to transport ore from the Bluff tunnels for processing at the Bluff stamper.
The Bluff tunnel was used to transfer mined rock from shafts on the Bluff Hill above to the tramway at its entrance.

Ophir Goldfields - Orange
 
Ophir Goldfields - Orange
 
Ophir Goldfields - Orange
 
Ophir Goldfields - Orange
 
Ophir Reserve is the site of Australia's first payable goldfield which was discovered in 1851. Ophir Reserve is the site of Australia's first payable goldfield which was discovered in 1851.   Ophir Reserve is the site of Australia's first payable goldfield which was discovered in 1851.

Source: powerhouse museum information board