- Alternative Names
The Maryborough field opened in 1853, although it is said that the existence of gold in this area was known from 1848. A rush began in July 1854.
Early in 1855 there was a very large rush to ‘the Alma,’ situated three and a half miles north-west of town, so named by David Beckett because the first rush there coincided with news of the Allied victory on the Crimea on 25 September 1854. Riots took place there in June 1855.
The rich leads of the Maryborough area proved problematic, because as each was traced further from its source of discovery it became progressively deeper and wetter. Horse-whims were introduced as a means of baling water from deep shafts. The Duke and Timor Company, on Chinaman’s Flat Lead, became Maryborough’s greatest deep lead mine.
Due to the massive demand for timber by the deep lead mines, both for underground timbering and fuel for the boilers, mining in the Maryborough field took a heavy toll on the surrounding forests. Most forests in the area were completely denuded by the 1870s, or at best only had a few sad trees left.
Mining in the Maryborough region continued into the twentieth century.