The high cost of food at Wild Horse Creek

The summer of 1865 marked the height of the gold rush at Wild Horse Creek. Over 1,500  goldseekers travelled to Wild Horse Creek in the Spring to seek their fortune from the “shallow diggings”; however, many were prevented from panning for gold until the high water level receded.

Food and wage costs at Fisherville (Wild Horse Creek)

Food and wage costs at Fisherville (Wild Horse Creek)1865

Peter O’Reilly, gold commissioner for Wild Horse Creek, made note of the prices of food and supplies compared to wages. There were numerous reports that there was a scarcity of provisions and the miners were idle, restless and broke. As one gold seeker put it:

“The season was very late here, and when grub came in the camp was in a starving condition and everybody in debt (claim holders in particular), and are still so; the water is so high that the creek claims are laid over until August; some of the bar claims pay very well, that is for this country, but they are all owned by men that came in last fall, and all strangers to me.”