Thomas Browne (better known as Rolf Boldrewood) was Gold Commissioner in Gulgong, during the period of Merlin and Bayliss's photographs. He described the area and its inhabitants in one of his novels: The thrifty miner who possesses the treasure, not less common on Australian goldfields than in other places, of a cleanly managing wife, is enabled to surround himself with rural privileges. A plot of garden ground, well fenced, grows not only vegetables but flowers, which a generation since were only to be found in conservatories ... the domestic miner is often seen surrounded by his children, hoeing up his potatoes or cauliflowers, or training the climbing rose which beautifies his rude but by no means despicable dwelling.
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