ARROWTOWN AND THE FIRST GOLD WARDEN, LOWTHER BROAD.
Edited by Kae Lewis
Lowther Broad was appointed as the Gold Warden and Resident Magistrate at Arrowtown by the end of 1863.
Otago Witness, 3 September 1864:
Under date of the 20th August, Mr Lowther Broad, Warden of the Arrow Gold Field, estimates the population of his district at 1100, of whom 900 are miners. He says:- Since my last report I have visited the southernmost portion of this district, following the Kawarau River to its junction with the Roaring Meg. At the Gentle Annie Burn, there are two or three parties of miners at work, and judging from the facts of their having applied for extended claims, and that head races are being made at no inconsiderable expense, I am led to the conclusion that they are quite satisfied with the ground, and probably have been quietly making a very good thing out of the ground which is almost untried. The high terraces of the Kawarau are attracting more miners weekly, and whenever a head of water can be brought on to the spot, the returns are good, indeed there can be little doubt that the whole area is auriferous.
WARDEN'S REPORT, ARROWTOWN. 31st December, 1864.
by Mr Warden Lowther Broad
QUANTITY OF GOLD FORWARDED PER ESCORT
The quantity of gold forwarded to Dunedin by the escort during the past year amounts to 28,085 oz which, averaging the mining population at 800, would give 35 oz per man - equal to an income of £183 15s per annum, or £3 8s 9d per week per man; but it must be borne in mind that the number of ounces sent per escort by no means represents the total yield of the district, for whilst many hundred ounces have been taken to towm by private hands and a considerable amount is still retained by the miners, the whole of the yields from the Cardrona portion of this district (which may be fairly estimated at 100 ozs per week) have gone to swell the Dunstan escorts. The Custom's duty on the gold forwarded by escort from the Arrow River during 1864 amounts to £3510 12s 6d.
On the 1st July the mining population was estimated at 783. At that time there were 29 water races in the district (exclusive of tail races) carrying 92 heads of water, and measuring 4860 chains in length. The cost of construction was, perhaps, far in excess of the market value of the races, which I think might be very moderately estimated at £6000. There were also 27 water wheels, 55 pumps, 1 quartz machine, 160 sluice boxes and 10 hydraulic machines, valued together ar £4635 which would make the market value of machinery and appliances in the Arrow District on 1st July 1864 amount to £10,635.
The number of miners now in the Arrow District may be reckoned at 750. The head races have increased in number during the last six months, and there are now 62, carrying 147 sluice heads of water, and measuring 7347 chains in length. The value may be moderately estimated at £9300. There has also been an increase in the number of wheels, hydraulic machines, pumps, sluice boxes, &c., which I now value at £5635, which will bring the total market value of machinery and appliances up to £14,935, showing an increase during the last six months of £4300.
Many of the claims on the river have been worked out during the year, but there is still a considerable number of miners engaged in stream workings. The yields from this class of claims have, in the majority of instances, been exceedingly good, although of course there are some isolated instances where disappointment has been experienced. I am of the opinion that the river workings will eventually fall into the hands of large co-operative companies, either under the Leasing Regulations or as extended claims; parcelled out thus into large areas the river will be both profitable and thoroughly worked, while a settled and steady population will be secured for the Province.
There can be no doubt that the permanent prosperity of the Arrow depends in a very great measure upon the terrace claims, and it is therefore gratifying to know that there is a very extensive area of terrace ground which has been proved payable. At the Twelve-Mile there is a kind of tier of terraces all of which are believed to be payably auferous; but as the lower terraces are being worked at present, it necessarily follows that the higher range must be left until the creek and lower terrace claims are worked out, as the water and tailings from the higher terraces would effectually stop all work below. I have been confidently informed by several miners in this locality that they have at least ten years' work before them. At the Eight-Mile, men are working on the summits of rugged hills which can hardly be called terraces; good wages are being made, and there is almost an unlimited extent of ground, the only serious drawback in this place being the difficulty of getting water on to the ground. A large race, however, is in course of construction from the head of Eight Mile Creek, which will meet the difficulty to some extent. Prospects more than ordinarily good have been obtained from the terraces on the south side of the Arrow River, about two miles from the township; and here, as elsewhere, the area of available ground appears to be very extensive. The terraces at Bracken's and New Chum Gullies have contributed their quota to our escorts during the past year, and there is every indication of their increasing their contributions very materially during the ensuing twelve months.
Twenty-four applications have been received during the year for agricultural areas, and 280 acres are actually under cultivation. The crops consist principally of oats, barley, and potatoes, but the growth of garden produce has not been neglected, and vegetables of all kinds are procurable at reasonable rates. Messrs Robertson and Co are about to erect a flour mill on Hayes Creek, about a mile from Arrowtown; and I have no doubt that next season several hundred acres will be put down in wheat.
Arrowtown contains at the present time nineteen wholesale and retail stores and shops, ten hotels and several private dwellings. The population is about 200. The improvement which has taken place in the appearance of the town is very noticeable. The main street has been levelled and macadamised, and pathways formed on either side. Calico is rapidly succumbing to wood and iron, and some really good buildings of the latter class have been erected, which would be no disgrace to the metropolis.
COURTS - WARDEN'S AND RESIDENT MAGISTRATES'
Two hundred and thirty-two cases have been heard during the year in Arrow Court House (exclusive of criminal offenses) and one hundred and twenty one Wardens' cases have been heard on the field.
The average weekly attendence at the Arrowtown school is seventeen. The school was established by voluntary contributions, assisted by a Government grant in aid, and is in every way a perfect success. The progress made by the pupils must be highly satisfactory to the parents, while it reflects the highest credit on their teacher.
In conclusion I may remark that the progress which this district has made and will still make, is attributable in no small degree to the enterprising spirit of the inhabitants of the town, and the unflagging energy with which the miners have carried on their arduous operations.
I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
(Published in the Otago Witness 3 February 1865)
REMOVAL OF THE WARDEN
Published in the Otago Witness 6 January 1865.
A report having reached Arrowtown on Monday afternoon, 26th December, that the Government contemplated removing Mr Lowther Broad, the Resident Magistrate, the following address to his Honor the Superintendent was drawn up, and in two hours received 272 signatures, and was dispatched by the night's post:-
Otago Daily Times, 19 January 1865:
Mr Warden Lowther Broad, in his report from the Arrow of 7th January, remarks:-
Otago Daily Times, 11 February 1865:
Mr Warden Lowther Broad, writing from the Arrow on the 4th (February 1865), remarks:
Otago Witness, 15 April 1865:
Mr Warden Lowther Broad, under date April 1st, reports from the Arrow District:-
Otago Witness, 23 December 1865:
Mr Warden Lowther Broad, writing from the Arrow under date 9th December says:-
Otago Witness, 3 February 1866:
The following is an extract from the report of Mr Warden Lowther Broad of the state of mining affairs in the Arrow District, on the 20th January:-
'The miners are principally engaged repairing damages done by the recent floods. Many head races and flumes have been washed away, and these must be reinstated in a substantial manner before sluicing can be recommenced. The Criterion Quartz Company is proceeding rapidly with the reconstruction of the dam and the excavation of a site for the machinery, nearly the whole of which is now lying at Kingston.'
Otago Witness, 31 March 1866:
THE LAKE DISTRICT 20 March:
A new quartz reef has been discovered in the immediate neighborhood of the Arrow, by a party of Germans, who had been prospecting for some weeks in the locality. Considerable excitement reigns in consequence, as, in the opinion of the experienced, the appearances are more than promising. The following is a copy of the noticed pblished by the Warden:-
'Camp, Arrowtown, 19th March, 1866.
The reef has been opened out for some 10 or 12 feet, lying only a few feet below the surface; its course is nearly north and south; the walls perpendicular and the inclination very sharp; the prospectors are working up expecting to hit the crown, the auferous qualities of which may be taken as a fair test of the value of the reef. The casing runs about 1 dwt to the dish. The locality is at the head of a gully, by no means steep, running directly into the Arrow River, and forming the bed of a small creek, of perhaps three sluice heads. Besides this immediate supply, two larger creeks - the Five-Mile and Seven-Mile - can easily be diverted, and brought upon the line of reef for the purpose of working machinery. It will also be a work of no great magnitude to construct a tramway down the gully to the Arrow, so that, should the reef prove as good as is expected, there are no difficulties in the way of crushing the stone upon the spot. Three new companies - the 'Ajax', ''Achilles', and 'Caledonian' have already applied for mining leases upon the presumed line of the reef. Of these, the southernmost peg of the Ajax is not ten feet from the original shaft of the prospectors. The Criterion Company are progressing with their works; but have been delayed considerably waiting for timber, owing to some mistake of the contractors. They are commencing to get out stone, which is of a very promising character, and appears not likely to be deficient in quantity. Shares are not to be had, except at a very high figure, and were quoted yesterday at £70. The Plutus and Jupiter Companies, who hold ground adjacent on either side to the Criterion, have this day completed registration under thhe Mining Companies Limited Liability Act, 1865, and will at once proceed to call meetings for the purpose of electing Directors, &c. We may expect, therefore, to see them at work with a month at the outside. The Barracouta as yet shows no sign of life, although spoken of as successfully floated. The New Orleans, Columbian, and Who'd ha' Thought It, will all complete registration in a few days, so that the whole line of the Arrow Reef will be fairly tested before the winter.
Otago Witness, 1 December 1866:
A VISIT TO THE LAKES, THE ARROW DISTRICT(From our Own Correspondent)
Editor: Most likely this was written by Vincent Pyke.
... About a mile from the fording place is Arrowtwon. Like most other diggings townships, it is built in a hole on the margin of a water-course; and like most other diggings townships, in the most unpicturesque position that could possibly have been selected. But utility is the main object on the diggings, and doubtless Arrowtown occupies the most convenient site for business purposes. It contains a goodly number of well stocked stores, and there are four hotels, the New Orleans and Royal Oak being houses of considerable pretensions. The Government Camp is about two hundred yards from the township, and is really pleasantly situated, much more so than any other Government Camp I have seen in the Province, and I think I have seen them all. Mr Lowther Broad, the Resident Warden and Magistrate, must be possessed of considerable taste. One glance at the neat gardens which surround both the Camp and his private residence, bear strong evidences that the most has been made of available materials.
In mining matters, there is a good deal doing at the Arrow, notwithstanding the population has been greatly thinned by the rushes to the West Coast. The chief alluvial diggings are at the Twelve-Mile, on the Arrow River, at which place there are some very extensive sluicing operations. The miners resident there appear mostly all settled comfortably down with wives and families, which is an unmistakeable sign of its permanent prosperity. Next in importance is the Cardrona, distance 17 miles from Arrowtown across the Crown Ranges. The sinking is nearly all very deep, the opening up of a claim being attended with considerable expense; nevertheless, the gains are in proportion, and the workings will take a long time to exhaust. There are also a number of gullies and creeks about the district, each of which supports a few parties of miners.
The Arrow, or Fox Flat, next deserves attention. It was at one time a very busy scene of labor. It contains probably some of the richest alluvial ground in the Province. It is now, however, quite deserted; the once huge paddocks have all been levelled by floods, and all that remains of former glories are the outer ruins of partially engulphed water-wheels projecting above the slime and shingle; but which promise to be very soon entirely buried out of sight. Upon enquiring the reason why such highly auferous ground remained unwrought, the answer was, as in many cases, 'want of means.' It is sincerely to be hoped that something will be done soon to unearth the golden treasures.
Passing from the alluvial, I will now go to the quartz reefs. The district contains several promising ones. That about which we know the most of at present, is the Criterion: it is on the Arrow Flat, a short distance below the Camp; the property is held by a Company, on the joint-stock principle. After overcoming almost insuperable difficulties through floods, the company have both mine and machinery in first-rate working order, and more stone can be brought to grass than can be crushed by the present battery of stamps. The returns have been pretty satisfactory; the first 300 tons crushed yielded 250 ounces; the second crushing of 150 tons yielded 75 oz of gold. The time occupied in crushing was six and three weeks respectively. The reef partakes considerably of the character of the rock, or as a Cornishman would better express it, 'the country'. The stone is very easily reduced, and ought to pay, even at four pennyweights to the ton, especially when it is taken into account that the machinery is driven by water-power - the least expensive motive power known. The prime mover is a breast wheel, 12 feet in breadth by 10 feet in diameter, supplied with water from a race cut from the river, which has been raised to the required height by an enormous dam or weir thrown across its entire width. This dam is of immense strength, capable of resisting the heaviest flood. There is nothing to compare with it in the Province. The waste water shoots bodily over the weir, and falls on a face of smooth timber, so that the strain on the structure is but comparatively slight. I should be inclined to give an opinion that it is utterly impossible for any flood to damage this vast structure of timber and stone, everything is so firmly matted and bolted together. The machinery is constructed to drive 20 heads of stamps, and there appears ample power to do so. A battery of five stamps is all that is at present erected. A second battery should, however, be got into play at once, as it would largely increase the Company's profits. The reef has been traced to a depth of about 90 feet. Stone is at present being obtained from a level at 64 feet; but as soon as a chamber can be constructed and an air shaft sunk, it will be got from the lower level. The course of the reef is from north to south, the underlie being to the east at an angle of about 15 degrees. The width of the stone varies from two to six feet, and increases with the depth. The Who'd Have Thought It Company have struck the same reef at a distance of 400 yards from the Criterion Campany's shaft. A trial crushing made a few days since yielded two ounces, minus one pennyweight, to the ton. A number of other leases have been taken up on this line of reef, but there is absolutely nothing doing. I am informed, upon good authority, that as soon as leases are issued, Mr Warden Broad will insist upon the lessees commencing operations at once.
A very promising reef named the Cornish, on the Crown Range, about a mile south-east from the Criterion, has lately been opened. A shaft has been sunk to a depth of 40 feet, and the main body of stone is thought to have been struck. Almost every stone shows gold in more or less quantities. The real test, however, will be in the crushing. At the Twelve-Mile, strong evidences of reefs have been discovered, but time must be allowed to develop them. When the returns from some of the companies now working shall have satisfactorily proved that quartz mining in Otago is a paying speculation, there will be no lack of the needful capital to prosecute it vigourously.
Otago Witness, 23 March 1867:
'Mr Warden Lowther Broad reports from the Arrow for the month ending February 28th:-
Otago Witness, 30 August 1867:
THE LAKES DISTRICT
The winter has been an unusually severe one. The snow fall has been unprecedented; never was it known before to lie so thick upon the ranges. The tracks to Skippers, Moke Creek, and the Twelve-Mile, or Macetown, are covered in places from seven to ten feet deep, and traveling is both difficult and dangerous. The miners in these Alpine regions have had a very sorry time of it. What with a dry summer and but little water for sluicing purposes, followed by a severe winter and very little water to work with, mining has proved a dealing with difficulties greater than common. I must say that many places I have visted lately look so utterly untenable for human beings, that I have been filled (with) wonder how people could live under such difficulties and discomforts. The search after the precious metal is certainly an exciting business, and the glittering prospect of gold overcomes many hardships that otherwise men would shrink from.
Evening Post. 3 October 1867:
Otago Daily Times, 10 August 1868:
'Yesterday evening, a numerously attended meeting of miners, farmers and others was held at Schole's Royal Oak Hotel, Arrowtown, for the purpose of presentling an Address and Testimonial, the latter in the shape of a piece of plate, to Lowther Broad, Esq, R.M. and Warden, upon the occasion of his leaving the district to take charge of the Mount Ida goldfield. Mr H.J. Cope was unanimously voted to the chair. The address, as prepared, was then submitted for the approval of the meeting, and its adoption was carried unanimously. The Chairman and eight persons present were selected to sign the address, on behalf of the meeting. A messenger was then despatched to request the presence of Mr Broad, who, upon taking his seat at the right hand of the Chairman, was loudly cheered.
The Chairman said that they had all assembled there that evening to acknowledge the eminent services rendered to the district by a gentleman who has fulfilled during the last five years the onerous duties of Resident Magistrate and Warden. Throughout this long period of service - for five years was a long time on a goldfield - Mr Broad has discharged his duties with considerable ability and impartiality, and earned the respect and approval of all those with whom he had come in contact. He (the Chairman) would allow that a gentleman in Mr Broad's position could not please everybody, because in judicual cases there are always two parties to a suit, and somebody must be on the losing side. Mr Broad's decisions had always been unquestioned: nor had they ever been appealed against. The subscribers to the testimonial numbered amongst them many persons who had been hotly engaged in legal warfare. Such a readiness to show respect, and to acknowledge the services of a well-known and tried public officer upon his leaving elsewhere, he (the Chairman) had rarely experienced in Otago, and when it was considered that the large sum of sixty pounds had been subscribed by a small community to testify their appreciation by the presentation of a handsomely executed address and piece of plate to the value of fifty guineas, what better evidence was there, then, that the memory of him who was now about to leave them, would be long cherished. - (Loud cheers.)
Mr Cope. addressing Mr Braod, said:
'To Lowther Broad, Esq., R.M.
It is now five years since you were appointed to the charge of this district, as its Resident Magistrate and Warden, during which period you have bestowed unnremitting attention upon your duties, and have earned the unanimous respect and admiration of the inhabitants thereof.
We feel assured that in your new field of labour, you will exercise the same ability and impartiality in the discharge of the functions of your office, and the same zeal and energy in promoting the public welfare as you have done here, and that you will likewise make as many true and lasting friends.
Wishing you every success in whatever walk of life or part of the world it may please Providence to place you, we have the honor to subscribe ourselves your obedient servants. Signed on behalf of the meeting by Henry John Cope (Chairman), Thos A. Scanlan, R. Pritchard, Josiah Mitchenson, Wm Scoles, John Ferguson, Samuel Cooper, Thomas M'Intyre and John Healy.'
Mr Cope, addressing Mr Broad, continued:-
Mr Broad, in reply, said - Mr Cope and gentlemen, If on an occasion like this eloquence fails me, and words come not, you will, I am sure, understand that my feelings are of such a nature as to prevent my expressing myself as I ought and wish to do. My emotions are of a twofold nature. I am pleased and proud to receive this mark of your respect and esteem, and I regret exceedingly parting with a people from whom I have received constant respect and kindness during a considerable number of years. I cannot part from you without saying a few words about the district. Some people croak about the 'good old times', as if, forsooth, there were no 'good new times.' Indeed, when I look at the hundreds of acres of land already under cultivation here, the thousands more cleared and ready for plough; when I think of the mining operations, which yield a large annual revenue to the State, and afford fixed remunerative employment to hundreds of men - of your vast commonages stocked with thousands of sheep and cattle; the splendid Flour Mill at Frankton, and the one in course of erection at Haye's Creek; and your towns with their schools and public libraries - I am of opinion that the so-called 'good old times' are as nothing compared to the period of real prosperity on which you have now entered. I can find no words of my own in which to thank you for this expression of your confidence and esteem. I will venture, therefore, to use the language of the late Daniel O'Connell, the great patriot of Ireland, 'Think in your own generous and impartial minds of all you would wish me to say, and consider it said.
...I wish to take this opportunity of stating that, in appointing me to the charge of such a large and important district as Mount Ida, the Provincial Government have acted with the greatest consideration; and I cannot but consider have paid me a compliment. I have met, during my long residence here, with nothing but courtesy and respect. I leave you, therefore, with the most sincere regret, and the most kindly feelings for all of you; and I earnestly hope that Providence will bestow upon you an abundance of health, wealth and prosperity.'
Mr Broad's speech was followed by three hearty cheers.'
BIOGRAPHICALLowther Broad was born in 1840 in Kensington, London. He died in Nelson on 16th August 1892 and is buried at the Wakapuaka Cemetery.
Otago Witness, 18 August 1892