- Gympie Gold Mining & Historical Museum
- Andrew Fisher
- Blacksmith Shop
- Calico Creek State School
- Dairy Museum
- Gold & Gold Panning
- Gold Mining
- James Nash
Explore the wonders of the past and learn some exciting things about local people and historical events from our region.
Please note: There is a one bus limit for guided tours, due to limited availability of tour guides.
Gympie Gold Mining & Historical Museum
The Museum houses a vast collection of documentation, artifacts and photographs relating to this area, such as the people, the place and the community ... Explore these and the other events which impacted upon the lives of the people within the Gympie Regional Council area.
Teachers' Guide to the Museum.pdf
Andrew Fisher was born in Scotland in 1865 where he originally began working down in the pits at the age of 10.
He migrated to Australia in 1885 and continued to work in the coalfields, whilst becoming politically involved in the Miners' Union. A committed trade unionist he evolved into a political activist and by 1893 was not only the Labour Representative for Gympie but also the Vice President of the Labor Party.
Fisher's position as second Labor Prime Minister was secured in 1910. He held three terms of office until 1915.
In days-gone-by the blacksmith shop was a vital part of life. It was the place where all the tools of the day were manufactured and maintained. Traditionally farming implements and all the metal components for the construction of the various horse-drawn vehicles were produced by the blacksmith.
Blacksmiths were crucial in the gold mining industry. With the forge and anvil they made and maintained all mining tools - picks, gads, moils, wedges, working-out bars, hand steel for drilling and all machine steels. In small mines the blacksmith forge was used to smelt the gold bullion and mould it into bars.
The School was officially opened on Saturday the 11th July 1936 by Councillor Hensen of Widgee Shire Council. Calico Creek area had been a soldier settlement after World War I.
The children of the settlement became the first students at this one-teacher school. The first principal at the school was Miss Daphne. In 1970 the school closed, a victim of better transport and larger centralized schools.
The school still retains much of the old-fashioned desks and teaching implements used, inkwells, slates and teaching aids. All of which gives a realistic look and feel to the former small country school.
Besides mining other equally important industries were established in the Gympie area. The main ones being dairy and timber which provided stability and employment. As the gold mining operations dwindled in the 1920's these industries saved Gympie from becoming a ghost town.
At first dairying was considered a cottage industry. With cows being milked by hand in cow bails, the cream had to be skimmed off the milk and churned into butter by hand. This was before the days of ice-chests or refrigeration and many farmers' wives and families had to rise early and churn in the cool air before dawn in the hot summers. There are quite a few varieties of churns on display - from the primitive splash type to glass churns.
The Gympie Goldfield was discovered in 1867 and was worked continuously for 60 years until 1927 to produce 3.5 million ounces of gold. With an average ore grade of 24 grams of gold per tonne Gympie was historically the 6th largest goldfield in Australia and the 3rd largest in Queensland after Charters Towers and Mount Morgan. Gympie was one of the highest grade and richest goldfields in the world.
Gympie also has the distinction of having produced the largest nugget found in Queensland, the 30-kilogram (975 oz) Curtis Nugget unearthed in February 1868 as well as the Monkland `Big Cake' of 5972 ounces.
Almost all mining on the Gympie Goldfield ceased in 1923. However, Gympie's golden past can be seen in the handsome civic buildings, foundations of mining structures, a retort house, the Museum, a fossicking area and a new mining venture all of which will win more Gympie gold.
The ore was mined by hand using hammer and tap drilling to insert black powder explosive that blasted the rock. The men loaded the ore, by hand, into rail carts. These cartst were then physically drawn along underground railways to the shafts by the men themselves. The heroic achievements of these early miners cannot be overstated. The earth was hot in deeper mines and ventilation limitations became the main engineering constraint on production at depth.
The modern era of the Gympie Goldfield commenced in the 1970's with the amalgamation of the fragmented mining tenements. Surface exploration commenced in 1980 with deep diamond drill holes that tested unmined portions of historically known ore zones. In 1988, the deepest shaft in the field, West of Scotland Shaft at the outskirts of Gympie was reopened after 84 years.
Gympie Eldorado Gold Mine.pdf
Mining Head Frame & Gantry
This headframe and gantry constructed by the Society, stands directly over the original No. 2 South Great Eastern east shaft. The gantry follows a similar route to the original, to convey the ore to the crushing batteries. The original headframe would probably have been 6m (20ft) or more higher and the gantry probably 3m (10ft) to 3.5m (15ft) higher.
This building was constructed in 1980 on similar lines to the original building i.e. rounded timber poles supporting sawn timber rails and rafters for roofing and walls. The most used materials for roofing and sheeting of the walls in the mining days of Gympie and other mining towns was galvanised corrugated iron, together with smaller amounts of timber weatherboards. This building houses the only remaining mining machinery on its original site on the Gympie Goldfield i.e. a ten-head crushing stamper battery. As can be seen by the concrete foundations, the original battery building on this mine, No. 2 South Great Eastern, housed 80 head of stampers, or eight sets of ten-head stamper batteries, which were built by a foundry at Bundaberg, Queensland, around about the 1900's.
James Nash was born in the village of Beanacre in Wiltshire on September 5, 1834. At the age of 23, he left his native England bound for New South Wales and landed in Sydney on May 25, 1858.
James Nash discovered alluvial gold in October 1867 in gullies that were called Nashville which then later became known as Gympie. His discovery is said to have saved the Queensland's economy through the mini economic boom caused by the influx of gold-diggers to the area.
He died on October 5, 1913 at the age of 77 years and is buried in the Gympie Cemetery.
Year 5 student, Peregian Beach College
LETTER OF THANKYOU TO THE TOUR GUIDE - From a Year Five student at the Sunbury State School on a visit to the Museum on 25th August 2014. (Typed as written, without name)
Sunbury State School