Tower Gap Lone Graves, South Australia

Tower Gap Lone Grave.

On 29 December 1876 Denis Dineen, while spelling horses and doing some fencing for George McVicar, had a stroke and died. He was buried at Tower Gap on 31 December. After 140 years there is neither a headstone nor any other indication of a grave. The Northern Argus of 10 April 1877 reported that there were unclaimed letters addressed to a Nicholas Dineen at the General Post Office in Adelaide.

Tower Gap, near Lyndhurst Station was remote but during 1881 it could be reached by Hantke’s Coach from Beltana. During the latter part of 1889 the people of the Northern Flinders Ranges were convinced that they had finally struck the jackpot when gold was discovered at Mount Ogilvie, about six kilometres from Tower Gap on Mount Lyndhurst station.

On 2 August 1889 Corporal Richards from the Beltana Police Station visited the goldfield at Nichol's Nob and was shown around by Mr Ogilvie, the original discoverer. In his subsequent report to his superiors in Port Augusta, Corporal Richards was able to state that he had seen the gold which was ‘distinctly visible with the naked eye.’

He also reported that thirty-four claims had been pegged and that he was told that machinery from the Prince Alfred mine would be brought up to work to gold. The hire of horses and traps to visit the Mount Ogilvie Goldfield was made possible by Mr A Poole from the Leigh's Creek Hotel at Copley. A mini-gold rush soon developed when it became known that nuggets of five and seven ounces were found at the Golden Hole.

The size of the rush was only limited by the hot weather and the sheer isolation of the place. That same year the area was visited by the Inspector of Mines and Gold Warden Gee. Very lithe happened at Tower Gap which was really an outstation. The one thing it did have was water. During 1895 several prospectors were still trying their luck. The Gap has retained its attraction though for both gold and copper prospectors.

Tower Gap 1982

At the age of 28 Francis Handon Sproll, a labourer, married 17 year old Maude Key, on 5 November 1900 at the house of Alfred Key at Tower Gap. The ceremony was witnessed by Thomas Baker, labourer of Beltana and Ethel Key of Tower Gap.

In 1903 Mr Hood found a swag while prospecting. There was a pocket book inside with the name John Fitzgerald written on it. Mounted Constable Birt from Beltana and an Aboriginal tracker searched the area for human remains but none were found. It was later reported that Fitzgerald had been prospecting at Tower Gap but got lost. While looking for water he had dropped it but had been unable to find it again.

Francis Joseph Lionel Parker, son of Francis Gordon Parker was born on 12 September 1930 at Tower Gap, where Francis was a gold miner.


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