THE WELCOME NUGGET.
On the evening of the 9th June 1858, the night shift men
at work on the Red Hill mine came on a monster nugget. It took then half
an hour to haul it to the service.
After a file and scrubbing brush had
been well used, they saw a huge irregular lump of waterworn, honeycombed
gold about 20 inches long, 13 inches broad and 8 inches thick.
was thick and shaped like a horse’s head. To this thick end was a narrow
neck about 4 inches in circumference. Then it widened out again. It was
99.6 pure gold. The luck party of 22 Cornishmen had sunk to 190 feet and
had already found nuggets of various sizes up to 45 ozs.
When this monster was weighed it was 2,217 ozs. The lucky finders called
it the Welcome Nugget and exhibited it for some days, in aid of the Hospital
Witkowski Brothers bought it for 10,050 pounds and after exhibiting
it to crowds of people in Melbourne, sent it to London where it was shown
at the Crystal Palace till November, 1859, when it was melted down and
made into sovereigns.
A granite monolith, on the corner of Mair and Humffray Streets Ballarat
marks the site of the finding of this monster nugget.