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Lost Gold : the 100-year search for the gold reef of Northwest Nelson

Author: Paul Bensemann
Publisher: Nelson, New Zealand : Craig Potton Publishing, 2013.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
As a young man in the mid-1970s, Paul Bensemann was told an archetypal 'lost gold' story by his neighbour, a tobacco farmer in the Motueka Valley on the edge of what is now Kahurangi National Park. The story concerned an old prospector who had found a huge exposed gold reef, shining in the sun, deep in the mountain wilderness of Northwest Nelson. Just before he died, the prospector drew a map, and to Paul's  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Paul Bensemann
ISBN: 9781927213001 1927213002
OCLC Number: 861763472
Description: 243 pages : illustrations (some colour), colour maps ; 24 cm
Contents: That stage of fatigue and hunger when no one spoke --
Unbounded enthusiasm and vigour --
Storm clouds were gathering all round --
You could see the gold glistening in the quartz --
My object is largely to do some prospecting --
I hope Simkin is not going to play false to us --
None of us ever want to see Heart Lake again --
I should like you to be in at the death --
Turtley going reefing --
Candle burning kept us warm --
I knew that map off by heart --
Read and burn --
20 mates, 41 trips, Barr Rock --
Epilogue.
Responsibility: Paul Bensemann.

Abstract:

As a young man in the mid-1970s, Paul Bensemann was told an archetypal 'lost gold' story by his neighbour, a tobacco farmer in the Motueka Valley on the edge of what is now Kahurangi National Park. The story concerned an old prospector who had found a huge exposed gold reef, shining in the sun, deep in the mountain wilderness of Northwest Nelson. Just before he died, the prospector drew a map, and to Paul's amazement his neighbour then produced the old, tatty, hand-drawn map, which had been handed down to him from his father. Since that meeting Paul has spent over 30 years trying to unravel this untold story, linking many different characters and their often obsessive and always secretive efforts to find this very New Zealand treasure. The search for the reef was originally triggered by Government geologists who reported finding a huge reef in the 1880s. It has since been pursued by many different prospectors, from bushmen on the West Coast to F.G. Gibbs, a prominent early Nelson identity. Lost Gold follows the many twists and turns of this 105-year-old story, and tries to explain why the reef has never been rediscovered. But in the end, whether or not the reef exists is only part of the story, and perhaps the bigger treasure here is the real tale of men in pursuit of their own El Dorado.

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