Gold Rush In Bathurst
Living Conditions In The Gold Fields
Although there was some colonial development in the Bathurst area, because of Timber Getting and Farming, the living conditions on the Gold Fields were very harsh.
Important trades included the publican, the blacksmith, the apothecary, the barber, the surgeon, the wash house/ laundry.
Women made up only a small part of the population of the goldfields.It is variously estimated that during the gold rush women comprised less than 20% of the population. They generally stayed at home with the children. With the prevalence of disease in the gold towns, it was an extremely unhealthy place for children, and children living in the diggings had a very high mortality rate as the result of diseases that we, fortunately, now only read about in history books.
The late 1850s and the early 1860s brought in a gradual change to life on the diggings. After the first rush, with all its excitement, families began to drift into the mining areas and a sense of normality started to return to their lives. Diggers who had rushed around trying to find all the easily accessible gold, now settled in the mining districts they had come to regard as home. The towns took on an appearance of more permanency. Churches and other public buildings started appearing and a sense of civic pride became apparent. The residents of these towns believed in their future as they believed that gold would always be a viable industry.