Kildonnan Gold Rush 1869
Scotland’s own auld gold rush
The year was 1868. A native of Strath Kildonan, Mr. R.N. Gilchrist, had returned home after 17 years in the Australian goldfields where, whilst not having amassed his fortune, he had at any rate made a successful living. He was familiar with working placer gold. In placer deposits the gold has weathered out of its country rock to be concentrated in alluvium in economic quantities.
Fifty years earlier a single nugget weighing ten pennyweights (15g) had been found in the Helmsdale Water. A ring made from this nugget was in possession of the Duke of Sutherland. No doubt Robert Gilchrist was regaled with tales of the gold in Helmsdale River and tales seldom lose in the telling…