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The Diary of James Brogden, August 1871 – December 1872

2 April 1872

2 April 1872

Hokitika is much like Greymouth, but the earlier diggings along the coast line upon the sand have given it some little start. Nearly all the houses in these digger-towns are made of weather board, so that a Town is soon built and equally soon removed. A good alluvial deposit is found at Kaneri;- and water supply to wash the gold out is the only thing which prevents more page 88 gold being obtained. As we rode along the coast, we found men working wherever there was any little mill. After a storm, the sea throws up auriferous sand on the coast, and the diggers can then wash out a fair quantity. On our way to Ross, by horse, - still along the coasts, we meet with several lagoons, which are formed by the streams being dammed up by the beach. The Coach was lost, and the horses wash away only the day before. I was nearly getting into one of these places, but a man who saw me shouted, - so I stopped – and he said if I had gone on I should have had a hard time with great chance of being lost. We were perfectly astonished to find such a large population on this Western Coast, a part of the Country of which scarcely anything is known by the Govt. On our arrival at Ross, we found it to be Easter Monday and all the people holiday making at the Fete Champetre.