Southern Cross
 Southern Cross History

The first significant find in the Goldfieds region was in an area called Golden Valley to the northwest of Southern Cross in 1887. Using information from the local aborigines, government surveyor Charles Crossland claimed to have directed prospectors Tom Risely and Mick Toome to explore an area east of Golden Valley. On January 14, 1888, Risely and Toomey's successful find was named Southern Cross (after the constellation). 

Even though the site was poor in alluvial gold it supported three large mines employing several hundred men by 1892. Like the town of Boulder in the Golden Mile, Southern Cross was a town of wage-earners, most prospectors lacked the capital to investigate the quartz reefs in the area.

Anglican Bishop of Perth, Dr C Riley visited Southern Cross in 1902 and reported that in one year there were 65 deaths in the field and overcrowded hospital tents. However according to the government yearbook, "it compare(s) favourably with any other mining town". The following year a touring government health inspector made a more honest appraisal of the situation, noting that over 40 premises had unsanitary backyard accumulations of refuse, and the stables and toilets of The Southern Cross Hotel were "a dangerous nuisance".

Two famous names associated with 'The Cross' in the early years were Arthur Bayley, who was a mine supervisor, and Paddy Hannan, who left the town after hearing of Bayley's find at Coolgardie. The news of greater riches in the northeast put an end to the town's brief prominence.

With the extension of the railway in 1896, Southern Cross became the support centre for the Eastern Goldfields. Southern Cross was proclaimed a municipality on 16 February 1892.

The new century found Southern Cross enjoying prosperity, residents found employment with the railways, woodcutting and Fraser's Gold Mining Company (the first company from the Eastern Goldfields to declare a dividend in 1889). Southern Cross was the only field to be completely owned by Western Australian interests.

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