Today this is just a roadhouse by the side of the highway from Perth to
Port Hedland but when gold was first discovered, the population swelled
quickly for over 150. By the 1930s there were some 500 people in the area but today almost all signs
of the old town have gone and all that remains is the gold battery and the roadhouse.
The area is well known for carpets of wildflowers that bloom from July to September each year.
Long before gold was discovered in W.A. Robert Austin
explored much of the Gascoyne and Murchison in 1854. He recognised the potential for minerals but it was 40 years before his reports were followed up.
Tom Payne lodged the first claim in this area in June 1911 and the find was good enough for a 5 head government gold
battery to be approved just 4 months later. Ore crushing started on June 17th 1912.
On July 22nd 1911 the local residents elected to call the town Carnation but this was not accepted by the Government and was named Payne's New Find. Two months later
this was changed to just Payne's Find.
The fortunes of the area rose and fell with the price of gold and with the availability of new technologies that allowed
better means of extracting the precious metal.
In 1987 the Taylor family purchased the battery from the state government and the equipment is still used to crush ore
from time to time. It is the oldest operating battery in W.A.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
It is romoured that a prospector by the name of Dowd was the first to find gold here but he is said to have spoken about it
in a 'sly grog shop' after imbibing a bit too much and that Tom Payne, who had a fast horse, was first to make it to Mount Magnet
to lodge the claim.
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Gold battery, Gold prospecting, Wildflowers in season.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
State Gold battery.
State : North West
Federal : Durack
Postcode : 6612
Local Government : Shire of Yalgoo
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