Victoria has a rich history of gold mining: it’s not uncommon for us to come across historic artifacts and workings. Surprisingly, some of the old equipment is still in use today!
One of the most engaging and enjoyable ways for us to do research is listening to anecdotal accounts from local residents, learning about their personal and family history in the area, the industry and Victoria. Recently, one such meeting brought to light the history of the big steel headframe of the old Daylesford Ajax mine: The local recalled that his father used to work in the mine, and he remembered a time as a child when the area now covered in bush and parkland was a large industrial site!
It’s hard to imagine now the quiet parkland was once full of headframes, gold processing plants, and support service industries bustling with industrial activity; an area where he often played amongst those buildings, mullock heaps, and mines. A testament to Nature, current day shows little remains. The many shafts have been covered over, the buildings are gone, and thick vegetation covers the scattered remnants.
His fondest memory was of the mine workers, including his father posing for a photo sitting on and around the mighty Ajax headframe. How surprising to find that very same head frame is alive and well, found operating at the Deborah Gold Museum in Bendigo!