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Locations such as Petticoat Gully, Garden Gully, Opossum Gully, Bridal Hill, Nil Desperandum lead and California Gully all offer the opportunity to search out and uncover nuggets missed by the old-timers.
The first project by the society was to commission local sculptress Dorothy Saaghy to create a life-size statue of a Chinese miner depicting the discovery of the Canton Lead.
This statue can be seen in the temporary offices of the society on the Adelaide road on the northern edge of town.
This find was to mark the beginning of the rich Ararat goldfield, which grew from empty wilderness to a population of more than 30,000 in a few short weeks.
Being three miles in length, the lead was to become the richest shallow alluvial goldfield in the world.
Coaches packed with eager passengers jolted and swayed over the rough tracks leading to the new eldorado. At one end it was 30 chains wide (1 chain = 21 metres).
Nearby are the beautiful Grampian Mountains, the picturesque village of Great Western, home of the world famous Great Western Champagne.
Beef and mutton prices rose to eight pence a pound and before the autumn rains came, water cost up to sixpence a bucket.The society is preparing a site, including the original mine for the new Chinese Gum San museum just across the road.Ararat today is a city of 8000 people astride the Western Highway between Melbourne and Adelaide in the Great Dividing Range.ver the past two months there have been some exceptional nuggets found.We continue to hear of large nuggets being unearthed from sites that have been well worked.For the detector operator there is plenty of scope despite the Canton Lead being now beneath the city.