Randell (1985) reported that gold was discovered at McIvor Creek in December 1852 and the number of diggers it attracted varied between 16 000 and 40 000. Roughly two years later, an estimate of 20 000 diggers was printed in The Argus newspaper and the rush peaked some time around April 1853. A Town Common of 2 800 acres (i.e. 1 134 ha) was proclaimed about McIvor Creek and most workings were contained within this area. It should be noted that in addition to the horses and cattle owned by the diggers, large mobs of cattle and sheep were moved to the area to serve as a food supply for the dramatically increased population. The change in numbers of inhabitants, before and after the rush, can be traced using historical data. Larger areas of land were required to agist the livestock in addition to native marsupials, and this was another introduced pressure placed on the local environment.
|It should be noted that the population for 1852 represented that for the entire Shire of McIvor as no data were available for the township. Sources: The Argus, Statistics of the Colony of Victoria, Victorian Parliamentary Papers, Statistical Register of the Colony of Victoria and Randell (1985). The environmental impact of goldmining in Victoria has been discussed elsewhere (e.g. Cornwallis 1853, Howitt 1972, Powell 1976, Smyth 1979, Boucher and Powell 1994, Peterson 1996).|