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Graziers and Pastoralists - 1854 to 1891.

The Aborigines sole possession of Mt Magnet and its surrounds ceased in 1854 when Robert Austin, the assistant government surveyor, traversed the area describing it as a fine goldfield and good grazing country.

Although he camped in the area he did not find any gold himself. The gold boom was in full swing in Victoria and New South Wales and it would be imagined that he would be on the constant lookout for indications of gold.

His suggestion that the area was a fine goldfield was not followed up and it was another 34 years before the first gold was found in the area. In the meantime in 1879 the Watson family settled on Yoweragabbie Station.

The Jones family on Boogardie Station were followed closely by other families and individuals until most of the Mount Magnet hinterland was sparsely settled by graziers.

In the intervening 30 years from 1854 1884 the search for gold had circled half the Australian continent and men were working their way down from the discoveries at Halls' Creek (found by the government geologist, E.T. Hardman, in 1882).

George Woodley and Tom Sampey found gold near Mount Magnet in 1888 but it wasn't until July 1891 that they applied for a claim and miners started working the area which was about 4 km NW of Mt Magnet, in the shadow of Warramboo, the hill dominating the town.

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