GOLD: Small nuggets of gold found recently near Mt Larcom.
GOLD: Small nuggets of gold found recently near Mt Larcom.

Gladstone's golden history

MANY suburbs around the Gladstone region have been built over old gold fields.

In the 1850's, not long after Gladstone had been settled, small amounts of gold were discovered by the government geologist Professor Sutchbury.

In 1885 a Mrs Brennan picked up a nugget weighing three ounces near Calliope, she used it as a doorstop until visiting shearers told her what it was.

Payable gold was discovered in 1862 and Gladstone became the first registered gold field in Queensland.

As eager miners flocked to find the elusive mineral, the township of Calliope sprang up around the many creeks and gully's in the area.

Nuggets were regularly being found with one recorded at 1000 ounces being being dug out of Kelly Gully.

 

Unidentified mine site in Calliope, Queensland, ca. 1900. Photo: State Library Queensland.
Unidentified mine site in Calliope, Queensland, ca. 1900. Photo: State Library Queensland. SLQ

As fossickers fanned out across the district, more strikes were made at Mt Larcom, Targinnie, Raglan, Many Peaks and Cania.

The Many Peaks mine was worked from 1910 to 1918 by the Mount Morgan Company who also built the rail line through the Boyne Valley to transport the ore to it's smelter.

Over 4,000 ounces of gold was hauled from the mine.

 

GLADSTONE GOLD: Many Peaks mine in 1909.
GLADSTONE GOLD: Many Peaks mine in 1909. Gregory Bray

Monuments of Gladstone's golden age can still be found in the remnants of old mining equipment and shafts around Calliope, Targinnie and Mt Larcom.

Evidence of old diggings can be also be found in the bush around New Auckland, Kaleentha and Kirkwood estates.

 

Gold has been found around Kirkwood Estate.
Gold has been found around Kirkwood Estate. Mike Richards GLA

Official records indicate nearly five tonnes of gold has been mined around the region.

Unofficially it is estimated this is a quarter of the total amount unearthed as it was common practice not to declare finds to avoid paying tax.

 

GLADSTONE GOLD: West Archer mine in Targinnie early 1900s.
GLADSTONE GOLD: West Archer mine in Targinnie early 1900s. Gregory Bray

Many descendants of those mining pioneers still live in Gladstone, possibly over the same diggings their ancestors worked in.



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