Hamilton Reed

Hamilton Reed was one of the many who came to the Bendoc District in search of gold about 1862. He and a party of about seven were sluicing for gold on the Quinburra River, Lower Bendoc. About 20 Chinese took up the claim next to theirs. The Chinese became troublesome cutting off the water supply from the race.

One day the Chinese came in force with shovels, pickhandles and anything they could fight with. The seven white men, 2 of whom were ex-American soldiers soon had the Chinese on the run. There was no further trouble with the water race.

There were a lot of men on all the streams sluicing for gold, Quinburra, Bendoc, Back Creek, and Delegate River. The old workings can still be seen.

Hamilton Reed left Quinburra and came to Bendoc where he and John Lock (Partner) took up a claim just below the bridge at Bendoc. It was there he decided to build an hotel. He engaged two pit sawyers to cut timber in a day. He and Perry cut until 12 o’clock at night so as the timber was cut and the hotel was built. He got a licence and between alluvial workings and quartz reefs working Bendoc was a busy place. At times there were up to 60 boarders at the hotel. Rum, brandy and whisky were the main drinks. Some of the men were hard to control and he had to apply for police protection. Constable Kennedy was sent to Bendoc.

Some of the reefs that were working were Morning Star, Comelove, Homeward Bound and Rising Sun at Bonang, plus several others. In about 1876 mines closed down and everyone seemed to leave. The Rising Sun mine was taken up by a Sydney Company with Henry Sullivan as manager. About 60,000 pounds of gold was won. Bonanza was also very rich while it lasted.

There was fresh life in Bendoc again and a number of mines were working, Morning Star, Eclipse, Welcome Stranger, Jungle Jim and many other small reefs.

Information provided by Cliff Reed.