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Charters Towers: The Town They Called "The World"


Charters Towers is located in North Queensland, Australia, 134 kilometres inland from Townsville on the Flinders Highway.  

Mining and pastoral industry are important to the Charters Towers area, as are the various boarding Schools and tourism.

The Gudjal People

The Gudjal people (also known as the Kutjala) have lived in the region of Charters Towers, hunting, gathering and fishing for thousands of years. Other Aboriginal groups also travelled across these lands.

The Gudjal people created many rock art galleries in the vicinity of Charters Towers, which include drawings of birds, tortoises, fish, a turtle, rendered with a remarkable use of colour.

William Chatfield of Natal Downs Station south-west of Charters Towers wrote in 1886:

"In sandstone caves, which are numerous in their country, the Pegulloburra make drawings of emu and kangaroo, and also imprints of their hands daubed with red. These latter are found on the almost inaccessible faces of the white sandstone cliffs."

Chatfield was known to be a humane man, and many Aboriginal people lived on his station.

However, relations between Aboriginal people and settlers in many circumstances were not so good. For example, Frank Hann, who ran a cattle station called "Lolworth", wrote in his diary that he found a steer with a dozen spears in it, and many tracks of Aboriginal people were found in the vicinity.

Hann then wrote in the diary that his party "gave them a great dressing". Whilst it is uncertain what the actions of Hann and his men were, Aboriginal people have oral narratives of violence.

A man calling himself, Kaz Yuel wrote down his reminisces of Charters Towers back in the 1870s. One such recollection was about the Aboriginal people:

"About 200 of them
were camped about half a mile over the
creek as the rear of our humpy, the
barking of mangy dogs end the yabber
of the tribe could be heard every night.
Corobrees were frequently indulged in
on moonlight nights, when beating
of nulla-nullas would mark the time as
the warriors went through their war

dance with painted features and limbs."

"Many people would often go out to see
these coroborees, but they would have
to keep a watchful eye on the many mangy
mongrels."

Northern Miner (Charters Towers, Qld. : 1874 - 1954), Wednesday 14 March 1945

Changing land use made it increasingly difficult for Aboriginal people to obtain food and practice their traditional lifestyle, so missions were established. In 1902, an Aboriginal reserve was gazetted at Bluff Downs. And in 1938, an Aboriginal reserve was gazetted at Charters Towers Gold and Mineral Field.

Linguists trying to reconstruct the Gudjal language found insufficient resources to do so, so they worked with Gudjal Elders, who made negotiations with Gugu-Badhun Elders, as they speak a sister language to Gudjal. The Gugu-Badhun Elders allowed the use of linguistic resources, which made possible a process of language revitalisation.
Making a Dilly Bag from lawyer cane (Callamus australis), called by the Aboriginals yappalam, Far North Queensland. Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), Wednesday 24 December 1913
"The commonwealth of Australia; federal handbook, prepared in connection with the eighty-fourth meeting of the British association for the advancement of science, held in Australia, August, 1914" (1914)
 "Our journey around the world; an illustrated record of a year's travel of forty thousand miles.." (1894)

European Explorers

Ludwig Leichhardt was the first European explorer who came inland, in 1845, on his way to Port Essington (in the Gulf of Carpentaria), through the Burdekin River area.

Travelling along the Burdekin to the east and through "Basalt country" Leichhardt remarked that the area was "very fine pastoral country".

In 1848 Edmund Kennedy’s expedition came through the area.

A. C. and F. T. Gregory’s expedition came south from the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1855-6, along the Burdekin River.

According to reports, the Gudjal people would climb the trees to avoid the European explorers, who first ventured into the Charters Towers district.

George Elphinstone Dalrymple, who led a number of expeditions, set out in August 1859, and as he came upon the Charters Towers area, he predicted that gold would be found in the district. He was right.

Dalrymple was appointed Commissioner for Crown Lands in the Kennedy District. He led the first settlers into the region accompanied by eleven Native Police troopers, who set about the "dispersal" of the Gudjal people.

The Native Police force consisted of Aboriginal troopers under European officers, who came from far away regions. Historian, Henry Reynolds (1990) explained that it was Aboriginal tradition to be suspicious of, and hostile towards, other Aboriginal peoples who lived at a distance.
Native Police with constables Bateman and Whiteford at Musgrave barracks around 1898
In less than two months after Dalrymple arrived in the region, pastoral runs were established. By 1863 most of the Kennedy District had been settled.

It has been estimated that ten to twenty per cent of the white population in the 1860s were killed by Aboriginal people in the Charters Towers district. A police officer of the time claimed that the real percentage was between twenty and thirty, with many shepherds and travellers on lonely roads never reaching their destination.
George Elphinstone Dalrymple, Queensland parliamentarian, January 1875, State Library of Queensland. 

Finding Gold

1870s

It was 24 December 1871, when Hugh Mosman, George Clarke, John Fraser and the Aboriginal horseboy, Jupiter Mosman, were prospecting in the area that would become Charters Towers.

A thunderstorm had caused the horses to run off and 12-year-old Jupiter set off to find them. Whilst looking for the horses, Jupiter found a nugget of gold in a creek at the base of Towers Hill; at a spot which is near the intersection of Mosman Street, Rainbow Road and Black Jack Road, today. 

Jupiter took the gold back to his companions and the group immediately set off to the nearest town to register their claim. However, the news of the gold-find soon leaked out, leading to a gold rush in the area. 
1. George Clarke. 2. Hugh Mossman. 3 Jupiter Mossman (no image of John Fraser)
With the gold rush, came a settlement, which was named Charters Towers, in honour of W. S. Charters, the gold warden of Ravenwood, who registered the gold claim. Initially, the word "tor" was used to describe the area's rounded hills, but this was corrupted into the word "towers".

Early in that year of 1872, there were three stores and a butcher's shop at Charters Towers. One of these buildings was erected by Joseph Owens in what is now, Mosman Street. 

The Northern Miner was first published in 1872.

By the end of 1872, there were about 4,500 people "scattered over about three square miles of diggings". 
Charters Towers, QLD, goldmine, ca. 1872. SLQLD
Chinese miners had established market gardens and owned about four local hotels. Small business owners "grubstaked" --advanced funds to a mining prospector for a share of his profits-- and set up stores and hotels.

Most of the early dwellings at Charters Towers were described as being a "two-room bark hut" or "slab hut". And most were located on crown land. Less substantial tents and humpies of the more transient diggings and settlements also existed.

Competition on the goldfields was intense, and water was scarce and expensive, as was food and other provisions. Many miners, far from striking it rich, became destitute and didn't even have the funds to leave. Riots broke out at one stage, and some shops charging inflated prices were destroyed.

Boom Town

Charters Towers boomed between 1872 and 1899, even boasting its own stock exchange. However, this growth was unplanned, and buildings often went up before streets had even been laid down. A great many people resided in tents. Getting to Charters Towers, however, required a bumpy, two-day coach trip from Townsville.
The Roaring Days of Cobb and Co—A picture of one of the old-time coaches in use on the North-Western lines. Sunday Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1926 - 1954), Sunday 30 June 1929
Royal Hotel and store, Charters Towers, QLD, North Queensland Register 
A newspaper article of the era described typical homes on the goldfields as being "Old battered wrecks of places, built of bark...." Though many residents also lived in "miner's cottages". Other homes and buildings were more ostentatious in design and these generally belonged to the wealthy, and the business owners.

With the boom, more solid and attractive buildings began to be constructed. Soon, Gill, Mosman and Bow Streets were lined with banks, shops and many hotels.

St Philip's Church of England and St Columba's Catholic Church (on the Just in Time mining lease at Queenton) were erected in 1873. 

Gazetted

In 1877, Charters Towers was gazetted and surveyed as the second municipality in Queensland. The population was 1,500.

The Manchester Unity Hall was officially opened on 22 September 1880. Designed by John Longden, the hall was the first brick building on the goldfield. It still stands today.
Cart in front of St Vincent's Dance House, Charters Towers, Queensland, 1878, State Library of Queensland
Mystery Claim mine near Charters Towers, ca. 1878, SLQLD
Lower Mosman Street in Charters Towers, ca. 1878, SLQLD
View of the town of Charters Towers around 1878, SLQLD

1880s

The railway reached Charters Towers in 1882, from Townsville. A celebratory picnic at the Burdekin River was held in the afternoon and a ball in the evening.

In 1885 a few Mining Agents formed a Mining Exchange. However, after a speculation boom, there was to collapse in 1888.
Looking down Gill Street towards Mosman Street, Charters Towers, QLD,  ca. 1884, SLQLD
The Manchester Unity Hall , Charters Towers, built 1880, Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), Saturday 3 May 1884
Charters Towers Courthouse was designed by John James Clark and built in 1886 by Charles Miller.
Old Court House on Gill Street, Charters Towers, QLD (before Old Town Hall was there) date unknown
Charters Towers courthouse, QLD, ca. 1888. SLQLD
Black Jack Mine near Charters Towers, ca. 1888. Photo courtesy SLQLD
Mosman Street, Charters Towers, QLD, 1888, Queensland State Archives
Mosman Street, Charters Towers, QLD, 1888
Day Dawn Mine in Charters Towers, QLD around 1888

1890s

Central State School, Charters Towers, circa 1890, Queensland State Archives
The group of Aboriginal are camping with blank and bush gunyah [huts]. They have cicatrices [scars] and with women wearing scarf over their pubic area. The men are holding sticks, with one man wearing a head band and the other holding a spear. One woman has a necklace [Dantalion?]. Group in front of shelters from the Charters Towers District, ca. 1890, State Library of Queensland
Doctor Brown with his beautiful horses and phaeton, Charters Towers, ca. 1890, State Library of Queensland
Large group of miners outside a mine at Charters Towers, QLD, circa 1890.
Mining settlement near Charters Towers. Nth QLD Circa 1890.
Charters Towers Stock Exchange, QLD, 1891
The Excelsior Hotel is built by local builder Ben Toll for mining magnate William Gough, opened 1887, North Queensland Register (Townsville, Qld. : 1892 - 1905), Wednesday 21 December 1892

The World

Affectionately known as "The World", as it was said that, anything that might be desired, could be found there. There was no reason to travel elsewhere else.

L. W Marsland's book, The Charters Towers Gold Mines: A Descriptive and Historical Account , stated the following in 1892:

"Although the inhabitants do not pretend that their town is anything more than a mining town, dependent on the success of the various mining ventures, they have provided themselves with most of the comforts and conveniences usually found in the prosperous communities of the world. They have communication by railway, as has been stated. They enjoy all the advantages in common with other British subjects, who dwell in accessible regions,of speedy and efficient communication by post and telegraph. The town is supplied with gas by a local company, and many of the large mills and some private establishments are lighted by electric light. A telephone exchange has lately been instituted and the telephone is now in use all over the town and district. The district is supplied by the municipal water works with water pumped from the river Burdekin, distant eight miles, into a large reservoir constructed on the Tower Hill overlooking the town, and distributed under enormous pressure in every direction. The streets are mostly well laid out, and considering the very heavy traffic, caused by the haulage of quartz, are kept in fair order. Most of the buildings are still built of wood, although brick and cement have been recently adopted in all public and in some private buildings."
 Charters Towers, QLD, Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), Saturday 17 August 1895

Deeper and Deeper Mines

After the alluvial gold ran out, miners followed the quartz reefs underground and deeper and deeper mine shafts were required to find and extract the gold.

A report from the Brisbane Courier - 4 Jan 1895:

"The Charters Towers Pyrites Works, which are situated about one and a half mile to the southward of the town, is one of the most useful and profitable industries connected with the field.
Owing to the building and plant being erected on a hillside the laws of gravitation have enabled a wonderful saving of labour, and from the uppermost portion of the works until the final stage of precipitation is reached the ore requires no shovelling or carrying; a slight touch here and there moves the mass along until it finally gavitates into the receptacle set aside for that purpose.

To attempt to describe the operations of these Pyrite Works would be to open up a subject that anything short of columns of descriptive matter would fail to do justice to, but suffice to say that the strong heat of the furnaces is ever in evidence, and unless a visitor is careful in approaching the open vats he will find a strong whiff of chlorine gas about as searching as a doctor's stethoscopic equipment." 
Pyrite Works, Charters Towers, QLD, Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), Saturday 17 August 1895
Charters Towers, QLD, Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), Saturday 17 August 1895

The Brilliant Reef

The Sydney Mail of 17 August 1895 stated that: "The most important event of the past ten years from a Charters Towers point of view was the striking of what is now known as the Brilliant Reef..."

The Brilliant Reef helped the town survive the depression of the 1890s and led to the establishment of the Charters Towers Stock Exchange, opening for business in Mosman Street in 1890.
Gathered miners at Brilliant Mine, Charters Towers, QLD, Queensland State Archives
Brilliant St George Mine, Charters Towers, QLD, c 1897, Queensland State Archives
Outside the Prince of Wales Hotel on Mosman Street, Charters Towers, Queensland, ca. 1896, SLQLD
The former Burdekin River Pumping Station was built as part of the Charters Towers water supply system, constructed from 1887 to 1891.
Interior of Enginehouse Waterworks, Charters Towers, Qld, Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), Saturday 12 November 1898, which consists of a pair of Davey's compound pumping engines, each of 75 h.p., and capable of raising 20,000gal per hour. There are three boilers-two Lancashire boilers and one Cornish boiler
Charters Towers Pyrites Works, QLD, circa 1897
Charters Towers, QLD, from the railway station, circa 1897, Queensland State Archives
Gill Street, Charters Towers, QLD, circa 1897, Queensland State Archives
Electricity was supplied in Charters Towers in 1897. And the first trunk telephone line was put into operation between Townsville and Charters Towers in 1897.
Dentist on Gill Street, Charters Towers, QLD, with electricity,  North Queensland Register (Townsville, Qld. : 1892 - 1905), Wednesday 26 May 1897
Charters Towers Coach Builder, QLD, North Queensland Register (Townsville, Qld. : 1892 - 1905), Wednesday 22 December 1897
Collins Exchange Hotel. One of the institutions of Charters Towers is “Collins’,” perhaps the most widely-known of all North Queensland Hotels. The proprietors, Messrs. E. Collins and E. TubbsNorth Queensland Register (Townsville, Qld. : 1892 - 1905), Wednesday 22 December 1897
Charters Towers Fire Brigade, QLD, North Queensland Register (Townsville, Qld. : 1892 - 1905), Wednesday 2 February 1898
Hobson and Co.'s Foundry, Charters Towers, Queensland, 1898. Photo courtesy SLQ
Mr John Gard built an hotel, known as the Club House Hotel, 
and got his family up from Hill End. This hotel 
has a very remarkable history. The first 
meeting of Freemasons in Charters Towers was 
held there, with Mr. Charters in the chair. The 
Manchester Unity Order of Oddfellows was 
formed there and held their meetings. The first land
sale on the field took place there. One or 
two marriages were celebrated there. The din 
ing-room was us√ęd as a courthouse, where Police 
Magistrate Gill presided.
Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), Saturday 12 November 1898
Originally John Gard's Clubhouse Hotel, then School of Arts. And In 1900, the Charters Towers Technical College, State Library of Queensland, ca. 1888
The former Bank of New South Wales building was constructed in Gill Street, Charters Towers, in 1889, replacing earlier timber bank buildings on other sites in both Charters Towers and nearby Millchester. 

In 1899, Charters Towers supported a population of just under 30,000.
The Queensland referendum, Charters Towers, North Queensland Register (Townsville, Qld. : 1892 - 1905), Monday 11 September 1899

1900s

Cradling for gold outside Charters Towers, QLD, Taken circa 1900, State Library of Queensland
Church of Christ Choir, Charters Towers, Queensland, 1900
Float of the Charters Towers Stock Exchange, Procession to celebrate the Relief of Mafeking, 23 May 1900, QLD
Brilliant and St George Gold Mine, Charters Towers, QLD, 1905, Queensland State Archives, Taken from: The Northern Miner, 2 March 1900
Underground miners, Charters Towers, Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), Saturday 1 December 1900
Charters Towers opened its first baths in 1900, after many years of lobbying by locals. 
Charters Towers Baths, QLD, built 1900, Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), Saturday 1 December 1900
The Welsh community had introduced the Eisteddfod to the North Queensland community of Charters Towers in about 1890. Charters Towers’ famous choir, The Leidertafel, was later renamed The Curlews, early 1900s
Charters Towers Stock Exchange, QLD, Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1919), Wednesday 26 August 1903

Daisy Bates and Breaker Morant

Daisy May Bates (born Margaret Dwyer), arrived in Australia in 1882, probably fleeing from a romantic scandal and eager to reinvent herself. She met the poet and horseman Breaker Morant (aka Edwin Murrant), who claimed that he was the illegitimate son of an Admiral, at Fanning Downs Station, near Charters Towers, where Daisy was working as a governess, in 1884.
Harry "Breaker" Harbord Morant (1864- February 27, 1902)
Reportedly, Daisy threw Morant out after he was caught using a fake cheque to buy a saddle and a pair of horses and charged with stealing, including the theft of 32 pigs. The marriage was not, in fact, legal, as Morant was underage, being 19 and not 21, as he claimed. Daisy, though, was undeterred and married again and became Mrs Bates.

Returning to London as Mrs Bates and leaving her son in a boarding school, Daisy found a job working for a journalist and she was commissioned to write about the conditions and treatment of the Aboriginal people of Australia.

Decked out in Edwardian fashions, Daisy Bates devoted 40 years of her life to studying Aboriginal life, history, culture, rites, beliefs and customs, without trying to convert or change the Aboriginal people. 

Morant was later executed during the Second Anglo-Boer War, for the murder of unarmed prisoners.

Many mines at Charters Towers were established before metallurgy became an exact science. A public subscription was taken up to finance a Mining Institute teaching mathematics, surveying, assaying, chemistry and mineralogy. The foundation stone was laid in 1899.
Charters Towers School of Mines, North Queensland, North Queensland Register (Townsville, Qld. : 1892 - 1905), Monday 23 November 1903
"THE FIRE IN THE BRILLIANT MINE

SEVEN LIVES LOST

COURAGEOUS RESCUERS 

MANY MINES STOPPED

"About one o'clock on Friday morning some men coming home from work noticed some flames ascending from the Brilliant shaft, and immediately raised the alarm. Soon the flames were raging out of the shaft extending to the top of the poppet legs. The Fire Brigade was quickly on the spot, and the big stream of water turned on soon reduced all outside flame, but the shaft still continues to emit great heat and large volumes of smoke."

North Queensland Register - 17 Oct 1904
Charters Towers Golf Club opens in 1890, upper King Street. Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), Wednesday 14 September 1904
Queenton State School and students, Charters Towers, QLD, 1904, SLQLD
The Visit of Lord Northcote Governor-General of Australia to Charters Towers. North Queensland Register (Townsville, Qld. : 1892 - 1905), Monday 1 August 1904
Bob Anderson, an Aboriginal stockman, beat Arthur Postle, the "Crimson Flash" at the Eighth Towers Hundred in 1905.
Railway gates, Charters Towers, QLD, ca. 1905, SLQLD
Drum shaft of winding engine for Plant's Day Dawn gold mines, Charters Towers, QLD, North Queensland Register (Townsville, Qld. : 1892 - 1905), Monday 13 March 1905
Queen Hotel, Charters Towers owned by Mrs. M. E. Sheridan, ca. 1905. the North Queensland Register, 18 January 1905
Funeral cortege passing the Waverley Hotel, Charters Towers, Queensland, ca. 1906, SLQLD
Charters Towers , QLD, Towers Hotel, ca. 1907, SLQLD

Christian Brothers School, Charters Towers, QLD, Catholic Press (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1942), Thursday 2 April 1908
Old Identity Hotel, Charters Towers, Nth QLD, SLQLD
Charters Towers is proclaimed a city in 1909.
Mossman Street, Charters Towers, QLD, circa 1910, Aussie~mobs
Frank Hann (right) with his assistant Talbot, photograph circa 1910. 
Royal Hotel, corner of Mosman and Marion Street, Charters Towers, QLD, State Library of Queensland
"William and Mary Ann, Aborigines at Charters Towers", Week (Brisbane, Qld. : 1876 - 1934), Friday 12 August 1910
Children's ward at District Hospital, Charters Towers, Qld - circa 1910, Aussie~mobs
Gill Street, Charters Towers, Australia - circa 1910, Aussie~mobs
Charters Towers State High School opened on 5 February 1912 with J. G. Bayley as its first head teacher.
Daisy Bates (mentioned above) and a group of Aboriginal women (WA), circa 1911
Salvation Army band in Charters Towers, Queensland, circa 1912, Aussie~mobs
Young women performing callisthenic exercises in the grounds of St Marys College, Charters Towers, Queensland, circa 1914, State Library of Queensland

WWI

Lieutenant (Lt) Samuel William Harry, from Charters Towers, was promoted to the rank of Captain on 25 April 1915 and fought at Gallipoli. Captain Harry was reported missing on 17 May 1915 and he is  thought to have been killed in action on 10 May 1915. AWM
A 1915 photograph that is thought to show Quinn's post. An Australian sniper uses a periscope rifle, assisted by a spotter with a periscope. Quinn's Post was the most advanced post of the ANZAC line. Major Hugh Quinn, the 27-year-old commander of C Company, 15th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, was born on the 6th of May 1888 in Charters Towers. Quinn's company landed at Gallipoli on 26 April 1915, the day after the rest of the battalion, where he was later killed. Read more
Indigenous Australian, Jack McALISTER, 9th Infantry Battalion, was born in Charters Towers in 1894. After initial training at Rifle Range Camp, Enoggera Jack embarked on HMAT Euripides in October with the 26th Reinforcements for the 9th Infantry Battalion. McAlister remained with his unit until becoming ill, suffering from Myalgia - Trench Fever - was spread by body lice - which affected suffers with high fever, severe headache, and muscle soreness. He was evacuated for treatment to the 2nd General Hospital, Le Havre returning to his battalion in the field four weeks later.
Lieutenant Norman Martin M.C. - 13 July 1917 Rank: Lieutenant, Unit: 21st Australian Machine Gun Company, Service: Australian Army, Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918, Date of death: 29 October 1917, Place of death: Belgium, Place of association: Charters Towers, Australia, Cemetery or memorial details: Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Flanders, Belgium, Source: AWM145 Roll of Honour cards, 1914-1918 War, Army
Charters Towers goldfield produced 200 tonnes of gold from 1871-1917. After 1917, gold mining and the population declined and Charters Towers become the supply centre of the Dalrymple Shire and a centre for education.
J. W. Ward's General Store, Queenton, Queensland, circa 1916, State Library of Queensland
Yelvertoft, circa. 1917. Day and Boarding School in Stubley Street, Charters Towers, QLD. Destroyed by fire 1992

1920s


On the racecourse at Charters Towers, Qld, 1920s, Aussie~mobs
All Souls school rugby team, Charters Towers, 1924, All Souls’ School for boys was established by the Bush Brotherhood of St Barnabas in 1920, as a memorial school to the fallen of the First World War. State Library of Queensland
Olympia Theatre in Gill Street (aka The Stadium), Charters Towers, Northern Miner (Charters Towers, Qld. : 1874 - 1954), Saturday 6 December 1924

1930s

Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), Tuesday 25 August 1936

1940s

Mt. Carmel, Christian Brothers School, was acquired by the Australian Army during WW2 and used as a hospital. Mount Carmel was returned to the school in about 1944. Mount Carmel College was founded in 1902 and was owned and operated by the Christian Brothers until 1997.
Mt Carmel College, Charters Towers, Queensland, ca. 1939, SLQLD

1940s and WWII

During WWII, a Munitions Reserve was located at Tower hill. A tunnel was widened to accommodate large 10000lb bombs.
Major General Eric Clive Pegus Plant, commander of 25th Brigade, pinning the Victoria Cross ribbon on Corporal Jim Gordon, Syria, November 1941. Major Plant was an officer in the Australian Army who served during the First and Second World Wars. He served with the 9th Battalion and was wounded at Gallipoli on the 3rd June 1915. Captain Plant recovered and continued fighting, receiving the French Croix De Guerre, DSO and OBE. Eric Clive Pegus Plant was born in Charters Towers, Queensland, on 23 April 1890, to English immigrants.
The Chin family, Charters Towers, QLD. Public Domain, 1940s?
Horsemen at the aerodrome to see the Duke of Gloucester's arrival, Charters Towers, Queensland, June 1946, National Library of Australia digitised item at National Library of Australia

1950s


Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1907 - 1954), Saturday 18 October 1952
Queensland Times (Ipswich, Qld. : 1909 - 1954), Saturday 20 December 1952
Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1907 - 1954), Wednesday 7 January 1953
The above photograph of the late Jupiter Mosman was taken only a few months prior to his death at Eventide Home, Charters Towers, in December 1945. Northern Miner (Charters Towers, Qld. : 1874 - 1954), Thursday 18 February 1954
Sellheim, QLD, Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1907 - 1954), Wednesday 6 May 1953
 Charters Towers State High winners, Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1907 - 1954), Thursday 23 September 1954
Mount Carmel, Charters Towers, 1954
In 1857, a Seismograph Station was built inside an original mining tunnel under Towers Hill, Charters Towers.

1960s

Gill Street, Charters Towers, QLD, circa 1960s, Vintage Queensland
District Hospital, Charters Towers, c 1962, Queensland State Archives

1970s

Gill Street, Charters Towers, QLD, Vintage Queensland

Millchester

The area called Millchester grew up beside Gladstone Creek, where the water was obtained for crushing gold. Commissioner Jardine declared that Millchester would became the site of government, with a courthouse, Commissioner's office, and the area's first school.

Sellheim

Mining Warden, Philip Frederic Sellheim, was appointed to oversee the goldfields in 1880. The area named Sellheim, located 20 kilometres east of Charters Towers, was established about this time.

Around Charters Towers

Charters Towers Masonic Lodge is a heritage-listed masonic temple at 20 Ryan Street, Charters Towers, Charters Towers Region, Queensland. It was built from 1887 to 1897
The Arthur Titley Centre) at 18 Gill Street, commemorates the former Mayor of Charters Towers, QLD, Arthur Titley, opened in 1933. Formerly known as the Horticultural Hall.
Stone kerbing and guttering Charters Towers. QLD, were the most expansive of its type in Queensland and are state heritage listed
Bank of New South Wales. Designed by Eyre & Munro and built in 1889 by Kelleher. Charters Towers, QLD
Australian Bank of Commerce. Designed by Francis Drummond Greville Stanley and built in 1891 by Wyatt & Gates, Charters Towers, QLD
Church of Christ was built from 1885 to 1887, Originally the Lutheran Church, until the middle of 1915, when it was sold to the Church of Christ. The Lutheran Minister at the time, Pastor Schafhirt alienated parishioners and eventually only one church member remained. Charters Towers, QLD
The Excelsior Hotel was built in 1887 by William Gough, Charters Towers, QLD
Former Royal Hotel Now a private Hotel. Circa 1888, Charters Towers, QLD
Charters Towers Masonic Lodge was built from 1887 to 1897, Charters Towers, QLD
Charters Towers School of Mines. Built 1899–1907, Charters Towers, QLD
City Hall and Bank of Commerce built 1891, Charters Towers, QLD
Post Office. Charters Towers 1892.
Post Office, Charters Towers 1892 denisbin, Charters Towers, QLD
Charters Towers Central State School, established in 1875, Charters Towers, QLD
Charters Towers Courthouse was built in 1886, Charters Towers, QLD
Display windows Target Country, formerly Stan Pollard, Charters Towers, Charters Towers, QLD
Thornburgh House. Built 1880s by a wealthy Charters Towers gold mine investor. Became a school in 1919.
Thornburgh House. Built 1880s by a wealthy Charters Towers,QLD denisbin, Charters Towers, QLD
Stone kerbing, channels and footbridges of Charters Towers, QLD
Ay Ot Lookout is a heritage-listed villa at 63 Hodgkinson Street, Charters Towers, QLD. Circa 1890s
A total of 29 concrete WWII bunkers are scattered around Towers Hill, Charters Towers, QLD
Wheeler House, Charters Towers, QLD
Charters Towers Prioneer Cemetery, QLD
Mossman Street, Charters Towers, QLD
Royal Private Hotel, Charters Towers, QLD, built circa 1888
Heritage building, Charters Towers, former bank, built circa 1886
Bartlam's Store, now museum at Mosman Street, Charters Towers. Built from circa 1891 to 1940s
Pfeiffer House is a heritage-listed detached house at 2-6 Paull Street, Charters Towers, northern Queensland. One impressive house in Charters Towers is called the Pfeiffer House. This building built in 1881, was the home of Charters Towers, German immigrant and mining magnate, Frederick Pfeiffer. The house which was built right near Pfeiffer's mine was unusual for its time, with its exposed stud construction and multiple-gabled roof.
Aldborough, Charters Towers, QLD, built circa 1900, Aldborough is a heritage-listed home located at Deane Street, Charters Towers. The house was built in 1900 for the draper and merchant Alfred Edwin Daking-Smith and named in honour of his grandmother, who he had had lived with at Aldeburgh on the coast of Suffolk, England
Venus Gold Battery - Charters Towers, Nth QLD, commenced crushing in 1872
Civic Club at 36 Ryan Street, Charters Towers, Nth QLD, was built in 1900. It is also known as Londoners' Club, was the location of the School of Arts
Park Hotel, 1888 built brick hotel, at Mosman Street, Charters Towers. QLD
Ambulance Building is a heritge-listed former ambulance station and now museum at 157 Gill Street, Charters Towers, QLD, built in 1903
Charters Towers Excelsior Library in Charters Towers, North Queensland, is a reconstruction of the original Excelsior Hotel which burned down in 1995
Wonderful building facades, Charters Towers, QLD
Former private hospital Mt. Alma, Charters Towers. QLD


Things To Do and Places To Go


Self Drive Audio Tour