The constant speculator

James Lerk | Bendigo Weekly | 19-Jan-2018

Share traders gather at the old Shamrock Hotel.

IT would be quite fair to state that Frederick Wilhelm Kraemer was a mining company share speculator of the first order. 

He had never forgotten the area of German Gully on the south side of Diamond Hill where he had made his first pile in gold digging, then later selling supplies to the diggers.

The local Deutscher Verein, which was officially inaugurated on September 5, 1869, had seen Kraemer’s active involvement from its very beginning; he was a good networker serving a term as president. 

When analysing the companies in which he invested and speculated, it is clear that most of them had some German connections in their make up.

The southern extension of the New Chum Reef was referred to as the Belle Vue Reef, Kraemer had been involved having bought an 18th share in the Helvetia Company which in 1867 combined with a group of neighbouring companies to form a much larger enterprise. 

In the same area of the field was the Christmas Reef Tribute Company, unfortunately it did not sparkle as the name might suggest.

Not far distant to the aforementioned was the Morning Star which had its operations on the Big Hill and Thistle reefs, it too was not financially successful, Kraemer held one 14th of these shares.

Work on the Carshalton Reef by the Hero Quartz Mining Company was to prove to be short lived, however the shares were sought after at one stage, did Kraemer sell when they were high? 

Another also less than spectacular company was the Sondrio, the mine manager being Charles Gambetta, Kraemer was one of this company’s directors.

He also held one third of the shares in the Lady of the Lake Company, this proved to be short lived affair as its directors had decided to amalgamate with the Walter Scott in May 1872. 

Kraemer owned half of this company.  Frederick’s son August was the manager of the Extended West Carshalton Company in which Kraemer held a one sixth interest; progress in shaft sinking was being recorded during 1872.

In the Stewart’s Ellesmere Black Lead Tribute Company of which one sixth of the shares were Kraemer’s, he was also chairman of directors. 

Stewart’s was being mined through an agreement with mining entrepreneur Clarke Magee, it being adjacent to a well known, very successful German owned mine that of Phillip Bonati, this augured well for its prospects. Stewart’s Black Lead was within sight of Fortuna.

Over the brow of the hill to the north, Frederick was also involved in the Hope Tribute located on the eastern side of Victoria Hill, this company’s legal manager was Ludwig Scholtz, he also served on the Board of the Lutheran Church. 

Largely because of Scholtz, Kraemer was induced to invest in the Beaconsfield Company at Reedy Creek. Charles Quin was the legal manager of 52 companies in 1872, including the Lady Louisa Company in which Kraemer had again bought up shares, equating to about one third of the total issued.

On another reef was the Cambridge Hustler’s and Redan, the preliminary meeting for this company was held in June 1879 and hosted at Kraemer’s, this gives an idea of the initiatives he took in mining company formation. 

Somewhat further north was the North Nelson its name suggests that it was located at California Gully.

The Myrtle Street Freehold Company was located on private land, when it came into operation, their aim was intended to seek out the well known Garden Gully Reef, having started shaft sinking in early 1872. 

Much further afield was the North Extended Fruhling Company in the Whipstick, meetings for which were held at Heinrich C Bockelmann’s Hamburg Hotel in High Street. Four out of the five directors in the Fruhling were of German birth.

From the 1870s into the 1880s Kraemer was a committed shareholder in the Working Miners’ Association, detailed investigative research will allow for more extensive revelations as to Frederick’s involvement. 


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