The Place for Local and Family History
on the Western Australian Goldfields

Burbanks > About Burbanks


Burbanks

Western Australia

Situated 9kms south of Coolgardie was the townsite of Burbanks

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Town of Burbanks

The town of Burbanks was named after W. Burbank who in 1894 with his mate Sheldon found the first gold which turned into a major mine.

W. Burbank worked for a time around Coolgardie then travelled south towards Londonderry. With his mate Sheldon he camped for a time near a shallow claypan but after a while the water dried up.. Sheldon then took the horses to get some water but the horses strayed away and he took much longer to return than was planned.

Burbank knew nothing of the reason for the delay and waited at the camp with his water supply dwindling, he realised almost too late that he would have to make a dash back to Coolgardie or he would "do a perish" in the very hot weather. He set out on the six mile journey but before long his mouth was dry and his tongue swollen to the stage where even breathing was difficult. He though he was a goner and sat down under a tree where he cut a deep groove in the tree which released a little moisture which he wet his lips with, feeling very weak he lay down to contemplate his end when he realised it was his birthday. After a sleep he woke a little more refreshed and got up and staggered on back towards Coolgardie. Making slow progress he walked through some good gold bearing country which took his thoughts away his thirst for a while, then he remembered how useless this find would be to a man who was shortly going to die of thirst !

Later when things were looking really grim, out through the scrub came Sheldon with the horses with plenty of water although he had to fight a delirious Burbank.

Sheldon nursed Burbank back to health, then they set to work pegging out a lease over the gold bearing area then off to Coolgardie to register the claim. Burbank decided to name it the Birthday Gift as it was his birthday and he had been saved from death.

Before long a strong company was formed with a 60 head battery yielding many thousands of ounces of gold and by 1904 the Birthday Gift Mine paid a dividend of 12/6 per share.

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Burbanks Birthday Gift Mine

 

Reccomended Reading:- Burbanks : a record of industrial archaeological fieldwork at Burbanks, September 1980, undertaken by the Murdoch University History Programme / edited by Margaret Hamilton ; context paper Rob Pascoe and Patrick Bertola.


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