Gold Mine on Gatacre

Gatacre gold rush

In the early days of Ladysmith we never had the fancy pavement we now enjoy. Dirt, mud when it rained, and tree stumps everywhere were the order of the day. But, we did have lots of hotels, with bars. The sort of thing that Gold Rush stories are made of. Folks would sit around and talk about the big gold rushes and opportunities that they presented. Usually the more “libation” the better the story would get.

One day in 1908 someone going down Gatacre Street noticed something that glittered. The world “Gold” spread through the town. The entire street was excavated looking for the elusive metal. Everyone wanted in on the action.

Turns out the owner of the Jones Hotel (now the Black Nugget Museum) had cleaned a gilt-edged mirror. The water was just tossed out on the street. It contained traces of gold that triggered the big gold boom.

So much for our Gold Rush.