A BENDIGO history buff hopes you can solve a local mystery that has been sitting in plain site for years.
Terry Davidson was walking out of bushland several weeks ago when a stranger asked him about a star-shaped metal sign near a path.
"I've passed it many times and quite frankly I have not even noticed it," he said.
The sign sits in the Diamond Hill historical area near Kangaroo Flat, Golden Square and Spring Gully.
Mr Davidson has asked around at the Bendigo Historical Society but so far no-one has been able to shed any light on what he is now calling the "mystery star".
"We've looked fairly extensively among people who are interested in Diamond Hill's history," Mr Davidson said.
He is now searching further afield and is asking members of the public if they can shed any light on the sign.
"I'm not an engineer, but I think I know a little bit about these things. It doesn't look as if it is a gold mining relic from the 1850s to 1870s, or from the 19th century in general," Mr Davidson said.
"What I have noticed when I have been out in the bush orienteering is that mining claims (the signs used by history's gold prospectors) are often on pieces of tin or wood. They are usually square or rectangular."
The mystery sign's white paint is peeling and only a few letters - "ining" and an "E" - can still be read.
That could suggest the sign had a connection to mining, Mr Davidson said.
The quality of the lettering might also indicate it was not made for professional purposes.
"The letters that are there are hand-drawn with something like a paint-brush," Mr Davidson said.
He knew too little about the sign to do anything but speculate, though.
Mr Davidson is keen to hear from anyone who might have a theory on the piece. He is particularly keen to see if anyone has clues contained in old documents or photos.
Mysterious relics from Bendigo's past do appear from time to time, he said.
"I would say it it more uncommon than common. There's usually someone who can provide some evidence on it."
Mr Davidson encouraged anyone with information to email firstname.lastname@example.org
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