On this day …….. 4th of August 1860
The ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ reports that gold has been found at Lambing Flat, later the scene of Australia’s largest anti-Chinese riots. The region surrounding present-day town of Young in the central southwest of New South Wales was first settled by pioneers seeking good grazing land for their stock. “Burrangong Station”, owned by J.White, was the first station beyond Sydney and the Bathurst area to be included on a colonial map. Burrangong Station included a large area for sheltering ewes during lambing: this became known as Lambing Flat. Towards the end of June 1870, a stockman camped at Lambing Flat noted how the countryside resembled the gold-bearing geography of established goldfields. Washing a few shovelfuls of dirt in a billy, he was rewarded with numerous gold flecks. The Lambing Flat goldfields were subsequently announced in the Sydney Morning Herald on 4 August 1860. At the height of its popularity, the rich alluvial gold deposits attracted a population of around 20 000. While most of the diggers were from other parts of Australia, many migrants came from Europe and North America. Around 1000 miners were Chinese, and they soon became the target of violence from the “white” diggers. Due to unfounded suspicion and mistrust of the Chinese miners, within one year, Lambing Flat was to become infamous, not so much for the gold, but for being the scene of violent anti-Chinese riots.