I found myself doing a bit of travel recently along the Nambi road near Leonora (in the WA Goldfields). I kept passing these guys, and always wanted to stop and have a look. I did so recently…
Here I am posing with the Mertondale Emus, located between Leonora and Laverton along the Nambi road. There’s not much left of the town out there these days, but between 1898 and 1910 Merton’s Find was one of the richest gold patches in Western Australia.
Story has it that while working the area, Fred Merton went looking for a missing horse and followed the tracks to a low oblong shaped hill in the flats. Here he found several nuggets and traced them to an un-discovered gold reef.
Although he eventually sold the claim into the Merton’s Reward Gold Mining Company, it appears that Fred had already extracted most of the gold prior (there are photos of him standing next to piles of gold as tall as he was) and the company wound up in 1907, leaving the mine to tributers.
Fred went back to his native Victoria with his riches and went into racing, with horses winning the 1910 and 1913 Caufield Cups. Lucky fella indeed.