Arthur Bayley & William Ford Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Michael Kuilboer

The plaque was erected to celebrate the centenary of the Amalgamated Prospectors and Leaseholders Association of WA (Inc)., and pays tribute to prospectors Arthur Bayley and William Ford who discovered gold at Coolgardie. 

In 1892 William Ford and Arthur Bayley left for an area near Southern Cross and then towards Mount Burges. They returned to the Cross for provisions in June 1892 and set out once more to the east. Three months later, on 17 September, 1892, Bayley returned with about 554 ounces of gold. The discovery soon sparked another rush to the east. What had occurred at Coolgardie between the arrival of Bayley and Ford, and Bayley`s return to Southern Cross became the subject of much dispute. Of the fact of their discovery of gold in the area, there is little doubt. Although they reported evidence of earlier pegging to the south of the Fly Flat area, it is almost certain that no one found gold near to Coolgardie before Bayley and Ford.

However, their first discovery was not the reef gold that was to make their fortune later. Before their return to Southern Cross in June, Bayley and Ford collected around 200 ounces of gold in a period of about five or six weeks by specking and dry blowing. According to Bayley, it was Ford who picked up the first nugget early in their time at a place he called Fly Flat. Bayley and Ford did not report this find when they went to Southern Cross for supplies for it appears that they were keen to secure as much gold as possible before knowledge of the discovery inevitably became public.



Address:Bayley Street , Coolgardie, 6429
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -30.954533
Long: 121.164337
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:2004
Front Inscription

The Amalgamated Prospectors and Leaseholders Association of WA (Inc) hereby pay tribute to prospectors Arthur Bayley and William Ford, for their discovery of gold at Coolgardie which was registered on the 17th September 1892.

This major discovery led to the opening up of the world renowed `Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia`. 

We also commemorate the role that prospectors have played and continue to play discovering and creating mineral wealth for Australia.

Erected to celebrate the centenary of our Association

1904 - 2004

APLA - Representing prospectors since 1904


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