(Rich gold ore from the Kalgoorlie area. The "rush" to Kalgoorlie pre-empted Lasseter and Harding's efforts to gain financial backing for a return to the reef.)
I now continue with the story of Lassetter's lost reef of gold:
Throwing in the Towel
Once Lasseetter and Harding received the news of the richness of their ore samples, they immediately set to work to try and enlist financial backing to develop and mine the gold reef. However, recent gold strikes near Kalgoorlie pre-empted their efforts as the "rush" to western Australia was in full swing and even the relative richness of the reef's ore samples failed to garner the attention of potential investors.
Dispirited, both Lassetter and Harding threw in the towel for the time being. Not long after, Harding traveled to England to try and drum up financial support there but Australia was too far away and too "wild and wooly" a place for English investors to seriously consider.
Waiting and Dreaming
Fate struck another blow to Lassetter's hopes when Harding's health deteriorated and he died a broken man in England. Faced with limited options, Lassetter chucked it all in and headed for the United States where he lived for over a decade and gained his master's certificate as a ship captain.
Eventually, Lassetter returned to the Land Down Under where he worked a succession of jobs, including farming and bridge construction. Finally, after nearly two decades years of waiting and dreaming, Lassetter was able to convince a motley group of investors and arm chair adventurers to accompany him back to the MacConnell Ranges and his reef of gold.
It was 1917 when the group set out for Lassetter's reef from Oodanatta, a small town in Southern Australia. Almost from the beginning things went awry. Most of the expedition's members were not used to living in the rough and dealing with the hardships that the Aussie Outback threw their way.
It was one thing to daydream of a grand adventure in the wilderness topped off by the proverbial pot of gold under the rainbow, and another thing to deal with the day-to-day reality. The expedition quickly ground to a halt and broke apart, much like a rudderless ship in heavy seas. Once again, Lassetter's dreams of relocating and exploiting his reef of gold were dashed.
There's more to come. Good luck to one and all in the interim.
If you liked this post, you may wan to read: "Legends of Lost Gold: the Lost Pegleg Mine"
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2011
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