Three Great Grandchildren of Bernardt Otto Holtermann visited the Gulgong Holtermann Museum last weekend and spent the afternoon in the Glencore theatre reminiscing about their family and the achievements of their Great Grandfather. Holtermann was a very colourful figure with some of his exploits being a miner, politician, entrepreneur and photographer. He was the owner of the "Star of Hope" Gold Mine in Hill End where in October 1872 the largest piece of reef gold in the world was uncovered. This find made Holtermann one of the wealthiest men in Australia and with his wealth he commissioned Beaufoy Merlin and Merlin's assistant Charles Bayliss to capture images of people, buildings and panoramas. Their most famous are the 1872 images of the gold mining around Gulgong and Hill End. They achieved extraordinary detail and quality with their 3500 glass plate negatives. After Holtermann's death in 1885 at only 47 years of age his family had possession of the negatives. After they moved from their family farm in Crow's Nest to a house in Chatswood a shed was built in the back of the house and the negatives were stored there. In 1951 the surviving widow of Lennard the youngest of the Holtermann children was cleaning out the Chatswood house when she came across the negatives. Not knowing anything about them she contacted Kodak. Keast Burke a photographer, photography historian, Journalist, author of "Gold and Silver" and Editor of the Photographic Review was sent to the home to view the negatives. It was Burke who recognised their historic value and recommended the negatives be kept in the State Library of NSW. The negatives had no description or dates on them so Burke spent the next twenty years researching and cataloguing this valuable find. The grandchildren said they each have an individual heirloom from their great grandfather, the most significant of which is the signet ring worn by Holtermann in his photos which is now owned by his namesake Bernardt Holterman (the grandchildren's father dropped the second "n" during the war). The ring is a beautiful piece believed to have been made from a piece of the Holtermann nugget. The family, after their tour of the Museum said they were delighted to see their grandfather's legacy come to life again not only for Gulgong but for generations to enjoy into the future. Pictured: Ring pictured above now belongs to his namesake Bernhardt Holterman.