Prentice North

Prentice North, a former goldmining area in north-east Victoria, is 6 km north-east of Rutherglen.

In 1891 a Rutherglen resident, James Prentice, pegged ground for the Prentice Freehold Gold Mining Company. Within four years the mine was returning a good dividend, and continued to give good returns until 1898. In 1893 the North Prentice Gold Mining Company was formed, but it was less profitable.

A large pumping plant was used to remove water from the mines and up to 300 workers were employed. Schools were opened at Prentice Freehold (1896) and at Prentice North (1898).

Prentice North was the less successful mine, but it acquired Congregational and Wesleyan churches, a police station and a public hall around 1900. In 1903 Prentice North (or North Prentice) was described in the Australian handbook:

Despite pumping out 65 million gallons of water a month insufficient gold was won to keep the mine going and it closed in 1917. The community reverted to agriculture. Prentice North’s school closed in 1945. Its census populations were:

census date population
1901 415
1911 356
1933 79*

*recorded as Prentice Freehold

Further Reading

Cornishtown and Prentice Freehold Reunion 1873-1998, locally published, 1998

Brian Lloyd, Rutherglen: a history of town and district, Wangaratta, 1985