Sunny Corner, New South Wales
|State||New South Wales|
Sunny Corner is a small village in the central west of New South Wales, Australia and former mining area located between Lithgow and Bathurst just north of the Great Western Highway (Route 32). At the 2006 census, Sunny Corner had a population of 626 people.
The township was originally called Mitchell or Mitchell's Creek but the local community always called the area Sunny Corner and the name continued in use.
The original inhabitants of the area later called Sunny Corner were Aboriginal people, probably from the Wiradjuri tribe or nation. Although by the time written records of the area were created there were no Aboriginal people living there, Powys notes some archaeological evidence of their occupation in the form of stone axes.
The town of Sunny Corner grew up following the discovery of silver lodes in the area in 1884. This prompted a "rush" to the area, which had previously not been settled, and a town grew up on Crown Land adjacent to the mining leases.
The village of Sunny Corner was formally gazetted on 2 October 1885 (as R No 122). The gazette also revoked temporary reserves presumably gazetted to cover the rush to Sunny Corner. Immediately to the north-west a recreation reserve was gazetted, and a camping reserve was located on the southern border of the town.
In January 1886 an anonymous correspondent to the Sydney Morning Herald described Sunny Corner as having a population "anything from 1600 to 3000". The town was described as follows:
"there is one long, comparatively straight sheet, on which most of the dwellings are built, while here and there about the ranges habitations are dotted in all sorts of nooks and corners. A galvanised iron roof is de rigueur, but the materials for the wall may be either "wattle and daub" sawn hardwood, or slabs cut with an adze. The names for such buildings as are the general resort of the public are of the most select type. There are the Royal, the Criterion, and Star Hotels, and the Carrington billiard room the Sunny Corner Boot Palace, Sunny Corner Coffee Palace and the Tattersall's saddler's store."
Later, on 3 September 1887, the village was gazetted as a town.
The 1885 survey plan shows a number of buildings and features in situ at the time of the survey and thus records the nature of the township at that time.
Mining at Sunny Corner
Early mining in the Sunny Corner area is poorly documented, largely because it was a small field and systematic reporting by the Mines Department had not been implemented at that time (in the 1850s). Matters are even more confused as there was another Mitchell's Creek near Wellington (located near Bodangora, to the north east of Wellington) which is mentioned in newspapers of the early 1850s as being a goldfield. Thus records of gold being found at Mitchell's Creek could refer to several locations.
A report in the Bathurst Free Press in July 1852 of a Mr Moffitt finding gold in a quartz reef at Mitchells Creek located in the headwaters of the Turon River is likely to be in the vicinity of Sunny Corner. A newspaper description of the field in 1884 notes: "Gold was first discovered about Mitchell's Creek in 1852, and two years afterwards it was somewhat extensively worked as an alluvial held, every watercourse about the place returning payable gold, and in some instances proving very rich. In 1856 auriferous quartz was found on the field…"
The quartz reefs were mined from the early 1860s until the 1880s. In 1881 assays of the ore found in association with the quartz revealed a rich concentration of silver and mining interest turned to the exploitation of the silver ores rather than the gold.
Silver, gold, zinc and antimony were mined between 1875 to 1922, during which time more than 100 tonnes of silver were won.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Sunny Corner (Bathurst Regional) (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
- Powys, Vicki 1989 Sunny Corner: A Silver Town of the 1880's, Crawford House Press, Bathurst, p107
- Powys p182-183
- The Sydney Morning Herald Friday 8 January 1886 Page 3
- Village of Sunny Corner, Parish Castleton, County Roxburgh, Land District of Bathurst, c1885.
- Bathurst Free Press, July 22 reprinted in The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser Saturday 29 July 1852.
- The Brisbane Courier. "A NEW SILVER-FIELD". By the Special Reporter of the S. M. Herald, Thursday 6 November 1884.
- Powys, Vicki 1989 Sunny Corner: A Silver Town of the 1880's, Crawford House Press, Bathurst,