Montreal Goldfield at Bermagui holds annual heritage day

The Montreal Goldfield held its annual heritage day on Saturday, October 7 with lots to do and see at the historic gold mining area north of Bermagui. 

Montreal Committee heritage officer Judi Hearn said it was a lovely relaxed day and visitors enjoyed every minute of it. It was also a great success financially which makes the effort even more worthwhile. 

“The day worked so well due to the way our volunteers put the whole show together,” Ms Hearn said.

“Being a not-for-profit community attraction the support we get from the local community is also special. A big thank you to everyone who helped on the day. 

The Bermagui - Wallaga Lake Men's Shed produced their usual succulent sausage sizzle and the aroma of sizzling onions drifting through the trees stirred the taste buds.

“More families were able to join us and the children took part in old age crafts, games and stories and of course our famous billy tea and damper was enjoyed by all.

“Peter McCarthy’s big bullocks dragging the log through the bush were awesome and the Montreal Pit Singers with Merinda and Louise were at their very best. Our thanks to the girls for being with us under difficulties.

“The gold panning was something else and created great interest and the shafts were full of surprises!  And so it goes! In all, a really successful day that we all enjoyed.”

The Montreal Goldfield, located 7km north of Bermagui on the Wallaga Lake Road, holds a heritage day every year and last year’s event was also a big success.

If you missed it, there are daily walking tours at 2pm. Find out more about the goldfield and its history at www.montrealgoldfield.org.au

Happenings of the 1880s gold rush included the disappearance of government surveyor Lamont Young at Mystery Bay. Their bodies have never been found and the reward for any information leading to their fate has never been claimed. It is one of Australia’s greatest unsolved crimes.  

In 1880, Canadian Henry Williams discovered alluvial gold in shingle on the beach 7km north of Bermagui and the Montreal gold rush was on. Within three weeks, 2000 miners were on the field.

Coincidentally, the museum and historic walk currently records around 2000 visitors annually and that is increasing every year.