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A monument erected by the Coober Pedy Historical Society commemorates the life of Will Hutchison who is recognised as the founder of Coober Pedy. 

Recognised as the founder of Coober Pedy, Will Hutchison discovered the first opal in Stuarts Range Opal Field in South Australia. A drover for Sir Sidney Kidman at the time, Hutchison was droving cattle from Clifton Hills Station in South Australia to Glengyle when, along the way, he went for a swim in Eyre Creek.

Although he was a confident swimmer, Hutchison drowned and the reason for his death remains a mystery.  His body was recovered three days later and was buried nearby.


Address:Eyre Development Road , Glengyle Station, About 60 kilometres south of Bedourie, Bedourie, 4829
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -24.794345
Long: 139.596359
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

On 1st February 1915, William J. S. (Will) Hutchison first discovered opal in this area of the Stuart Range, which led to the establishment of the Coober Pedy Opal Fields.

The opal was found between her eand the two hills in the distance : The Pyramid on the left and The Crater on the right.

Will, fourteen years old at the time, was a member of a small gold prospecting party led by his father James.  The party were forced to look for drinking water on that day and Will found a small water hole as well as the opal.  At the time he thought more of the water find than the opal.

The Hutchison family never profited from their opal discovery.  Tragically, five years later when he was taking cattle to Queensland, Will drowned while swimming in the Georgina River.

Coober Pedy Historical Society 1990

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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