In 1866 shepherd, Cornelius O’Brien discovered a gold bearing quartz outcrop. Within weeks, large parties of miners from the Lambing Flats and Forbes diggings arrived. Tents, bark huts and a business centre grew along the banks of Emu Creek.
Between 1867 and 1869 over 40,000 ounces of gold were produced each year on the Grenfell goldfields and they were the richest gold fields in NSW during this time.
Grenfell was proclaimed on January 1 1867 after Gold Commissioner, John Granville Grenfell, who was wounded by bushrangers near Narromine on December 7 1866. John Granville Grenfell was driving a coach at the time and refused to stop when bushrangers called him to. He was shot twice in the groin and died 24 hours later.
For more information on the History and Heritage of Grenfell please visit the Grenfell Tourism website.
More information on the discovery of gold in Grenfell is available on the Gold Trails website.