SOUVENIR-CHARTERS TOWERS, 1872 TO JULY, 1950
subsequently at the Seventy Mile. Others soon followed in the wake of
The reefs as they were developed proved to be of a permanent
and the owners of machinery at Ravenswood decided to place their
plants on the Towers. The first to bring his machinery was W. H.
Buchanan. He elected it on the site at Millchester where the Brilliant
and, St. George mill was afterwards. John Deane soon followed with
the Defiance mill, which he erected in the centre of dense scrub. E. H.
T. Plant erected the Venus mill, which was an entirely new plant.
The Tough Bros. put up the One and All mill, and others followed. The
Fair Rosamond was built in 1876 by St. Andrew Ward. These mills were
all situated on
Millchester Creek (now known
as Gladstone Creek).
James Smith Read, proprietor of the "Ravenswood. Miner"
so impressed with the prospects of the field that he bought the plant
of the "Gladstone Observer" and brought it to the Towers. The first
issue was published on 2nd June, 1872, under the name of "The
Charters Towers Miner" and afterwards it changed to the name of the
"Northern Miner," in order that some newspaper should be identified
with the interests of the whole of North Queensland. The office
was a building erected, between the Royal Hotel and Joe Leech's bark
Before the advent of shire and municipal councils the roads were
made and repaired by Government road parties and the men employed on
this work were paid by cheque payable only in Brisbane. The banks
charged exchange if the men wanted them cashed, until a branch of the
Queensland National Bank was opened. Postal facilities were very
primitive. Cobb and Co. ran the mail coach, which ran right
through from Townsville to Hughenden, and a man of the name of Tom
Coyle was the driver. Magazines and newspapers came by dray.
The first stone was carted and crushed at the Broughton,
but there were
no records kept in the Commissioner's Office, so the only
knowing approximately the quantity of gold produced by the first
crushings from the field was by the amount taken by the gold escort,
for some of the claim holders took trips to Sydney and Melbourne
with their gold and so cleared their expenses of the trip. The first
escort took over 29,000 ounces of gold away and the second 31,000
It may give some idea of the number of reefs or shows that were
up on the field, as there were 509 protection areas granted from
September 1872, to July 1873, but no register was kept of those granted
The first School of Arts on the field was at Millchester but was
destroyed by fire. The first School of Arts on the Towers was in the
building now occupied by the Miners Accident Association in Mosman
'Street. The first hospital was on the land now occupied by the
Department at the corner of Mary and Mosman Streets. It was built of
iron bark saplings and a bark roof.
In the North Australian, when Mosman and his mates took it up and
worked it, they found huge lumps of gold in the outcrop of the reef.
Other mines worked early were: Block and Whyndham, Rainbow, Queen
Mines and the St. Patrick block.
This latter mine was taken up by a Mr. Stubley and, it returned him
£1000 a week for a long period, and was the talk of Queensland at
the time. About the Day Dawn P.C. was discovered.
It was worked by five Germans who had immigrated to the country
(Pfeiffer, Reidrick, and others) who started on a buck reef, but
persevered and eventually bottomed on a rich reef. Both the P .C. as it
was known and the Block and Wyndham raised £1,750,000 worth of
gold. The Brilliant mine then came into being and the shaft was sunk to
about 1400 feet, but got nothing. The bank was about to close on. the
owners (R. Craven and Party), so they decided to come up the shaft to a
formation which they had passed through and drove in a level a few feet
and struck the reef,