Recently there was a weekend celebration held at Gabriels Gully and the organisers were absolutely amazed at the interest they encountered. Crowds of people. I only found about it when travelling through Balcutha on Monday the 21st and finding the town virtually closed. Everyone was at Lawrence for the celebrations.
However I was able to visit Balcutha again on Tuesday and stopped at the South Otago Museum. The part-time curator, Gary Ross was back from his duties at the celebrations, full of enthusiasm as usual. He said he'd made many contacts who had gold mining information in their families. The subject of Otago Gold Mining is still to be fully researched and any private information will be safe with Gary.
Later on in the week we encountered more comments from people about Lawrence. One was that Lawrence could be another Arrowtown - a fine tourist attraction. It's not there yet but the townspeople are enthusiastic about the idea, even to arguing over who gets what history going.
The date Gabriel Read walked from Evans Flat over a spur into a back valley and followed a creek, dug a hole with a butchers knife and struck gold was the 20th May 1861. Besides the gold he picked up, he won an award for £1000 offered by the Otago Provincial Council for finding a payable gold field.
In the short time I was visiting with Gary Ross, he managed to tell me some amazing stories, I wish I'd had more time to spend with him.