Is there gold in them thar hills? Real estate company gets creative

By Jono Edwards

Part of a property on Lake Dunstan, near Clyde, which a real estate company says is linked to a 1870 gold heist. Photo / Jono Edwards, Otago Daily Times
Part of a property on Lake Dunstan, near Clyde, which a real estate company says is linked to a 1870 gold heist. Photo / Jono Edwards, Otago Daily Times

A real estate company is bringing creative advertising to a new level with hints of buried treasure at a Clyde property.

Bayleys Realty Group is selling 1142ha of land, beside the Dunstan Arm Rowing Club, which it claims was the site of a pioneer-era gold-heist hideout.

Property salesperson David Gubb said a colleague researched the story at the Alexandra Central Stories Museum. It related to bandits George Rennie and Malcolm McLennan, who in 1870 stole 2099oz of gold from the Clyde Police Station storage vault.

The two camped out on a part of the property with the loot, which at yesterday's prices would have fetched $4 million.

Rennie and McLennan were caught, but 30oz of gold was missing, which at yesterday's prices was worth $58,000.

The land is owned by farmer Neil North, who uses it to graze merinos.

Mr Gubb said he personally "hadn't been lifting up rocks'' to discover whether the gold was buried there, but it was a good story for potential buyers.

"It would be perfect for someone looking for some privacy. It's now not economically viable as a farm.''

If new owners hope to find the $58,000 bounty on a dog stroll they will still need to empty the piggybank to reach the upwards of $1.1 million the company hopes to fetch for the property.

- Otago Daily Times

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