In my quest to find the earliest photo of Mount Bischoff after mining commenced in the early 1870s, I came across some wood engraving prints published in the Illustrated Australian News in 1881.
At this time it had been just ten years since James (Philosopher) Smith first discovered a rich deposit of tin ore near the summit of Mount Bischoff, that by 1881, Waratah was already well and truly established with a population of around 1,400. How remarkable it is to see the transformation that had taken place, from the few dozens workers mentioned in my previous post to a workforce of 300.
It was probably just as well the Government wasted no time in marking off and proclaiming the township of Waratah after claims were made to mine in the vicinity of Mount Bischoff.
1. The white face
The mounds in view on the right are the refuse or tailings which overlies the stream tin. These tailings contain a large percentage of tin, and are crushed prior to being sluiced. The huts in the foreground are the residences of the men employed in the face.
2. THE DRESSING SHEDS
The tin, after being sluiced, is dressed in these sheds and later sent to another destination to be smelted. The largest building in the background is the Mechanics Institute.
3. THE TOWNSHIP OF WARATAH
The township of Waratah, which had risen owing to the discovery of tin. The bridge in the foreground crosses the Waratah Creek, the sluices on the side of the bridge being for the purpose of conveying water from a dam placed at a high elevation to the township.
4. THE SLAUGHTER YARD FACE
This face is a continuation of the celebrated brown face, and like its fellow, yielded a large quantity of very rich ore. The face is cut away wholesale and is taken direct to the sluice boxes, where the ore is sluiced and is then taken to the dressing sheds.
5. VIEW FROM THE TOP OF BROWN FACE
The above gives a view of the tramways coming from the Brown and Slaughter Yard faces. Each tram crosses a dam on piles and runs down to the shed from where the stuff descends to the sluice boxes. The houses in the far distance comprise the township of Waratah, which was surrounded by forest in every direction. The prominent hill in the distance is Mount Ramsey, from where a water supply is obtained from springs on the brown face in such quantities that no less than 36 sluices are supplied by it.