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A history worth its weight in gold

How amazing, all the old, preserved buildings that were converted into modern, working shops and businesses. A crafty combination of old and new - the pharmacy, clothes shops, coffee shops, post office and much more. Through a little alleyway is a cinema and there is a creative space occupied by artists in one of the buildings.

Arrowtown is a historic gold mining town in Otago about 7.5 km from State Highway 6 that arose after William Fox found gold in the Arrow river in 1862.

Not far from the European village Is the Chinese settlement with an equally rich, although slightly sad, history. Chinese gold seekers came here to find wealth and honour. Some were invited here from Australian gold mines. The first gold rush was ending and European miners were leaving the area sparking fears of economical collaps in the region. When it became clear that there were not much gold left, most Chinese miners went back to China, some went to the West Coast for mining and some moved to New York, leaving the elderly behind, poor and lonely. During the late 1800's up to 1906 reverend Alexander Don visited Chineses miners in the most remote mining areas in South Otago and documented what he learned.

An opportunity to dress up as a gold miner from the 1800's

An old wool press exhibited in the Lakes District museum.

One of the little streets in the Arrowtown Historical Village

Beautifully restored little cottage.

All saddled up and ready to go!

Beautiful entrance to the postoffice.

Ah Lum's store formed the heart of this Chinese community and stocked European and imported Chinese products.

Inside the store

This photo and those following are all of little cottages in the Chinese settlement.

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