In West Coast mining towns, following the discovery of gold in 1865, a large number of pubs quickly sprang up. This one is at Charleston, a mining settlement south of Westport, which emerged in 1866–67 and soon had a population of over 2,000 people. It is not known exactly how many pubs like this there were in Charleston, but at neighbouring Brighton there were 53 within five weeks of the rush beginning. The large number of men in the street points to the gender imbalance on the goldfields, which helped to encourage drinking, as single men visited hotels for mateship and warmth.
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Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.