Gympie Gold Mining
215 Brisbane Road
Souvenir Gift Shop
Visit the Special Events page to find out when the next Running and Steaming days are on, plus other Scheduled Events.
Museum Operated by the Gympie & District Historical Society Inc
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The Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum Website - Educational Information Page
Explore the wonders of the past and learn some exciting things about local people and historical events from our region.
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 Cooloola region.
Teachers Guide to the Museum
Andrew Fisher - First Australian Labour Prime Minister
From Miner to Prime Minister!
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. As 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 Labour Party.
Fisher’s position as first Labour Prime Minister was secured in 1910, where he held three terms of office until 1915.
History on Andrew Fisher
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.
Calico Creek State School
The School was officially opened on Saturday the 11th July 1936 by Councillor Hensen of Widgee Shire. Calico Creek area had been a soldier settlement after World War 1.
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. Which give a realistic look and feel to the former small country school.
Calico Creek State School
Besides mining other equally important industries were established in the Gympie area. The dairy and timber industries provided the stability and employment, saving Gympie from becoming a ghost town after the decline of mining in the late 1920’s.
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.
Gold & Gold Panning
The Gympie Goldfield was discovered in 1867 and was worked continuously for 60 years until 1927 to produce 3.5 million ounces of gold. It was historically the 6th largest goldfield in Australia and the 3rd largest in Queensland after Charters Towers and Mount Morgan, with an average ore grade of 24 grams of gold per tonne. 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 which will win more Gympie gold.
Gold facts in Gympie
The ore was mined by hand using hammer and tap drilling to insert black powder explosive that blasted the rock. The men hand loaded the ore into rail carts that 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
Mining Head Frame & Gantry
This headframe and gantry constructed by the Society, stands directly over the original 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.
Head Frame and Gantry
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.
Stamper Battery Building
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 and then later became Gympie. His discovery is said to have saved the Queensland economy.
He died on October 5, 1913 at the age of 77 years and was buried in the Gympie Cemetery.