Snippets 6 Jan 2003
One hundred years ago, Charlie Nettleton was still sinking his first shaft at todays McDonald’s 6-Mile under the Syndicate’s support. He bottomed in February 1903, following a natural slide down to 55 feet, with no trace of opal. One comment made later by other miners was that if Nettleton had done as much driving as he did sinking, he’d have been a rich man!
Mrs Ryan, the boundary rider’s wife, lived with her family at the Lightning Ridge Tank below the ridge. She had fossicked the pretty black rocks she showed Nettleton, a professional prospector, passing through the district. His knowledge of opal was based on White Cliffs mining, and thanks to his experience, black opal came to the world’s notice earlier than it might have.
2003 marks the centenary of the sale of the first parcel of black opal at White Cliffs. We will work through the sequence of events in subsequent Snippets.
Barbara Moritz, Secretary
27 March 2006 00:01am