Eldorado

Eldorado

Eldorado, Victoria, AustrAlia

The Name Eldorado

Captain William Baker, a Royal Navy man, was borne in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, arrived in Australia at Sydney in 1837. Captain Baker purchased land at Goulburne, but in 1840 moved south to the Ovens District and settlrd on a run. He successfully applied for the name of his run to be ElDorado.

The name ElDorado relates to a fictitious country abounding in gold, believed by the Spaniards and Sir Walter Raleigh to exist upon the upper reaches of the Amazon.

Gold was not discovered in the region until 1852, so Captain Baker was either a fortune teller,  or believed he had found his own pot of gold with has farm.

The Dredge

The Eldorado dredge squats like a huge metal monster on a lake of its own making near Reedy Creek. Its engines are dead and its body is slowly rotting away, but its sheer size is amazing.

The dredge is on the left, about one kilometre before the township. Watch for the sign. There are picnic facilities on the bank overlooking the dredge.

The dredge is an incongruous relic of the days when men would go to any lengths to rip precious metals out of the earth. The gold seekers came to Eldorado in the 1850s, working their way downstream from Beechworth, looking for the gold in the deep leads - the ancient, goldbearing watercourses that, over long periods of time, became buried deep underground.

The Miners of the North British Mine 1925. Courtesy of DSE.Digging down to the deep leads was a costly, dangerous and heartbreaking experience. It often involved pumping out huge quantities of water to get to the gold. 

There was a disaster at Eldorado in 1895 when a mine flooded and six men were killed.

Getting There

Continue past the Vine Hotel for about 200 metres and take the road which veers to the left. Eldorado is about 10 minutes drive from here.

The dredge is on the left, about one kilometre before the township. Watch for the sign. There are picnic facilities on the bank overlooking the dredge.

 

PHOTOS: Herb Goonan   WORDS: Tourism InternetParkweb


 



Craig Thorne

Shepparton, Australia