by Phil Mosies
heard that the year 2001 was the 150th anniversary of the
discovery of gold in Australia. Tallong is situated on the edge
of one of the major goldfields in NSW, in fact there are two old
mines in Tallong itself (Maps $20).
At one time there was as many
as fifteen gold mining camps between Tallong and Goulburn on the
Shoalhaven River. And there being no pub at Tallong, I wondered
what the miners got up to!
This is what I've unearthed so far...
These drinks were commonly drunk
on the goldfields of Australia in the 1850's.
Blow my skull off
was a mixture of
wine, rum, cayenne pepper and opium.
contained sugar, ginger
beer, and a teaspoon of boot polish, maybe this is where the
"Nugget" Boot polish company got it's name.
Now, not to forget the Metho
The Fitzroy Cocktail
metho, ginger beer and a teaspoon of boot polish, no wonder
everyone had dirty boots.
metho & condy's crystals.
A White Lady
metho & ammonia...
and last but not least the
metho, cheap wine, boot
polish (I'm sure thats where Nugget got it's name), raisins,
sugar and tobacco.
Two of these, and look out
'mister', I'll do the job myself!
Month Long Prune
must give an award for the hardest worker in Tallong, to Mr
Apple, Mr Watling. What a worker! Rain, hail or snow, trees won't
prune themselves. Jim has had to prune 1500 trees in a 4-6 week
period at between 30-50 trees a day.
Good Work Jim!
And remember folks, there's no apple like a Jim
Letter to the Editor...
In the fourth edition of your excellent publication there was an
interesting article by Phil Mosies on Goldrush
Grog. I hope I never get thirsty enough so that I've got
to try any of them. In several of the recipes was the inclusion
of Boot Polish. There was a very good reason
for this ingredient. In our early history strong drink was hard
to come by but metholated spirits was available. Drinking this
had a very bad side effect.
Over a period if time it destroyed the brain and sent
the imbiber mad. The authorities were concerned enough to
introduce a poison into the spirits called piridine (I'm
unsure of the spelling). It seemed they preferred to have dead
drinkers than mad ones. I'm sure there's some logic in there
somewhere but I can't find it. However, as we know, Necessity is
the mother of Invention and they discovered by adding boot
polish to the mix, the piridine was neutrlized. Once again
the drinkers went slowly mad, stayed alive and had very shiny
On the Californian Goldfields in the 1850's, the
miners drank a concoction based on cheap red wine called
"Cracklin' Rosie". You may remember the song by Neil Diamond
of the same name which is dedicated to this mixture. Because
there was a shortage of women on the Goldfields, "Rosie"
became a popular substitute and kept them smiling even if only
for a short time.
I hope you find this interesting.