18 Sep 1797 - coal found in Newcastle area

#OnThisDay 18 September 1797 coal was officially found in the Newcastle region by Lieutenant John Shortland. He was exploring the area around present day Newcastle in search of run-away convicts when he found the coal. By 1801 a convict camp was established to mine for coal. A new settlement on Coal River (Hunter River) started in 1804 and eventually became Newcastle. Military rule in Newcastle ended in 1823.

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