Photograph ['Sluicing claim on Ophir Hill']; 19th Century; XOPO.23


Photograph ['Sluicing claim on Ophir Hill']

About this object

Photograph; of a hilly area with a rocky sluice cut out of the hillside in the foreground, with a large pipe out of which spurts a fountain of water. A man wearing long waterproof chaps stands in the sluice with one hand on the pipe. Also depicted are an older woman, two men and a boy. The photograph is mounted onto a green card backing. On the bottom edge in blue ballpoint is written 'Sluicing claim on Ophir Hill'. On the reverse 'Mrs W Drake / Ophir / 5 / Sluicing Claim on Ophir Hill / Mr & Mrs W Pitches'.

Sluicing was a method of gold mining in which strong jets of water were aimed at gravel faces in order to wash the gold-bearing gravels down through sluice boxes. Sluice boxes were long, terraced wooden boxes which used gravity separation to catch the gold. The patterns of old water races, conveying water to the mine sites, can still be seen on the hillsides of Central Otago. John and Sam Pitches owned Pitches Gerenral Store (estab. 1863) at Ophir. Mrs W Drake was postmistress at Ophir Post Office circa 1930s.

For more information about Ophir Post Office, which is cared for by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust Pouhere Taonga, visit our website.

Date Made

19th Century


20 x 25.2cm

Object Type


Medium and Materials


Credit Line

Collection of Ophir Post Office, New Zealand Historic Places Trust Pouhere Taonga

Object number


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