In July 1853 the first discovery of gold in Sailor’s Gully, Fryers was claimed by Jack Bastian, a sailor, and John H. Greenwood. The township of Vaughan was surveyed and proclaimed in 1856. The 1857 census collector registered the district as ‘Fryer’s Creek’ with a population of around 2,000, this understated by several hundred male Chinese. Deep leads, hundreds of feet beneath basaltic plains and hills, were worked extensively. By the 1870s, mines were supplied by an extensive artificial water channelling system constructed by Loddon & Tributaries Water Company. By 1891 Vaughan’s population had fallen to 24.