The Shotover - HowThames Was Formed
William Cobley was one of four men who made their fortune from a serendipitous discovery of gold hidden behind the moss of a 20-foot waterfall.
The claim was so rich it yielded quartz half its weight in gold.
Eventually, they had to weigh their gold in tons.
They called it THE SHOTOVER.
The repercussions of the first payable bonanza in the region echoed throughout the world. Thousands of optimists rushed to the goldfield which stimulated the failing economy of the new colony of New Zealand.
This formed what is now known as Thames.
Prospectors scoured its treacherous pinnacles in hopes of finding riches of their own.
Others grew rich on the goods they sold and the services they offered to the mining population.
They worked hard and they lived rough.
Some found their fortune, while others only found trouble.
This historic account reveals it all.
It was a golden era.
This is William Cobley's story.
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