Museums & Tours

Mt Morgan has a lot to offer. Here are some of the attractions that can be found.

 

 

The Mount Morgan Railway Museum

Location: 1 Railway Parade.

Please see Museums and tours page for details

 

 

The Big Dam

Location: 2km from the centre of town: when coming from north turn left off the main (Burnett) highway (prior to Carmody Bridge) and follow along the Dee River.

Background:The Number 7 Dam (otherwise known as the Big Dam) was one of seven dams that were built by the Mine in its early establishment. The Number 7 Dam was dug out in the early 1900s for water supply for the processing of the mine. Today this Dam is used as the town’s main water supply and provides a perfect location for many recreational activities. For further details of these activities – see Sports and Recreation.

Quick fact: Making each dam larger each time around, the number seven was the mine’s last and also largest dam. This is why it is often referred to locally as either the “Number 7” or the “Big”.

 

 

The Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge

Location: Byrnes Parade (2 mins after the Big Dam).

Background:The Dee River, flowing through Mount Morgan, was once lined with a number of Mount Morgan’s famous Swinging Bridges, with the first constructed in the 1890’s. Six of these unique bridges were constructed over the Dee River; built to ensure easy access between the town and mine site, even during times of flood. Sadly no originals remain today. A replica can be found however, across the river connecting Byrnes Parade to East Street; giving those who cross a feel for the old mining days.

Quick fact: This replica, known as the Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, in memory of the nation's first military casualty. Private Jones was the 1st Australian Soldier to die in Imperial Service on foreign foil (South Africa). This was built as a joint project by the Engineers of the ARMY and Mt Morgan Shire Council in 2001 for the centenary of federation: A plaque dedicated to Private Jones and his life work is located at the end of the bridge today.

 

 

Mount Morgan State High School

Location: 4 Central Street (2 mins after Suspension Bridge).

Background: This beautiful brick building was built in 1908, originally serving the purpose as a technical college. The college attracted many students associated with mining and in particular, Mount Morgan Gold Mining Co. By the year 1912, the college became a state high school- the first of its kind in the state of Queensland (by one day). The High School still operates today, and will mark centenary in February 2012, with grand celebrations set for May 2012, during the annual Golden Mount Festival.

Quick fact: During the year 1919, this building was used as a temporary isolation hospital when the Spanish Influenza Epidemic hit the town. The town hospital was inundated, seeing the school serve as a hospital for six weeks, caring for 55 patients.

 

 

The Mafeking Bell

Location: Dee Street, Mount Morgan Scout Hall (4 mins after High School).

Background: The Mafeking Bell was cast at the Mount Morgan Mine in 1900. Made from copper pennies donated by the local school children, the bell was cast to celebrate the relief of Mafeking; held under siege for a number of months during the Boar War. The defense of Mafeking was under the command of Lord Baden Powell, founder of the Boy Scout Movement.

The Bell was originally located at the front of the town’s Council Chambers but by 1962 it was presented
to the local Boy Scouts of Mount Morgan to tie its special history. The bell weighs a whopping 570kgs.

Quick fact: The Bell’s gong is made from melted watch cases.

 

 

The Mount Morgan Historical Museum

Location: 87 Morgan Street

Background: Please see Museums and tours page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mine Hooter

Location: Morgan Street, traffic island between the Mount Morgan Historical Museum and the Leichhardt Hotel.

Background: Made in 1919, the Mine Hooter was used by the Mount Morgan Mine throughout the many years of its life. Serving as a familiar sound to the residents of Mount Morgan, the sound of the hooter could not be missed. On a typical day, it blew at 6.30am (three blasts), 7.30am (two blasts), 8.00am, 10.00am, 10.10am, 12.00 noon, 12.30pm, 4.00pm,4.30pm, 7.30pm, 11.00pm (two blasts) 12.00 midnight and
3.30am.

Over the years, the hooter signified the time, tragedy, good news, and joy. The mine hooter was blown
to mark the shifts and meal breaks, a lost miner, serious accidents- to warn the hospital to prepare,
and for town fires. It also was blown as a mark of respect to remember the fallen on Remembrance and
Armistice Days, and to also herald in the New Year.

Quick fact: On midnight on each New Year’s Eve, the operator would have a free hand and exercise the right- often seeing the mine hooter blow in all sorts of combinations for several minutes.

 

 

The Running of the Cutter Statue

Location: Morgan Street, front traffic island (1 min after Mine Hooter).

Background: The Running of the Cutter Statue represents an interesting past tradition carried out in Mount Morgan from 1900 – 1918. At the time of this unique custom, a billycan was known as a “cutter”. There are a number of tales behind this past custom, but often the “running” of the Cutter refers to the task which was carried out by a young local daily. It is said that when a miner finished his shift, he would have a young lad run to a nearby hotel with his billycan, have it filled with beer and brought back to him as he came off shift.

Another chapter of the “running” is said to have been established by miners who wished to head home
straight from work, or number of miners’ wives who tired of their husbands returning home late for
meals; sending their children to fetch Dad a billy of beer and have it waiting for him at the end of his
shift.It is believed that the rising cost of beer caused publicans to put an end to the billy can, and cease the tradition of running the cutter.

Quick fact: Today the tradition is brought to life annually, during a competition held in the Golden Mount Festival. The Running of the Cutter contest sees teams relay the town’s remaining 4 hotels, with the lucky last team member downing a cutter full of beer.

 

 

The Mount Morgan School of Arts

Location: Morgan Street (1 min after Running the Cutter Statue)

Background: The Mount Morgan School of Arts hall was built in 1924, following fire destroying the original building in the late 1800’s and its replacement in 1923. Following this second fire disaster, the School of Arts Committee met the very next day to plan a new building. One year later, today’s School of Arts Hall was opened with a Grand Ball on August 20, 1924.

Over the years, the Hall has held a large and vast number of community events. Among the long list,
some of the past hosted events include films, wedding receptions, concerts, dances, school formals and
award presentations. The Hall has been recently refurbished, funded by the Federal Government and the Rockhampton Regional Council.

Quick Fact: One of the old School of Arts Building’s (later destroyed by fire in 1923) claim to fame include a performance by the late Dame Nellie Melba in 1911. The current Hall was also used as an accommodation and recreation base for American Soldiers during WWII during their stay in the area.

 

 

Queensland National Hotel

Location: Morgan Street, beside the Mount Morgan Fire Station (1 min after School of Arts)

Background: The Queensland National Hotel was built in 1899, one of Mount Morgan’s original 27 hotels. This beautiful two story structure is heritage listed today. The tower at the top of the building was used as a lookout during WWII, to spot enemy planes. It is now used as a private residence.

 

 

 

 

ANZAC Park

Location: Corner West and Morgan Street

Background: ANZAC Park displays a number of military and historic icons. Situated in the Park is the Coronation Light, which was erected in 1902 to commemorate the Coronation (crowning) of King Edward VII and relocated to the Park in 1947.

A mine plaque at the side front of the Park displays a contour of the original Ironstone Mountain (now
the open cut pit mine site). The years of mining operation are also represented- from 1882 – 1990. The Park is used annually for ANZAC and Remembrance Day services. Picnic tables and chairs are also situated here in ANZAC Park.

 

 

The Anglican Church

Location: Gordon Street

Background: The Saint May’s Church of England was built 1889, made completely of local made bricks. The Hall was built as a gift to the Anglican community, from Mr James Wesley Hall – the first General Manager of the Mount Morgan Mine and the first Mayor of Mount Morgan.

 

 

 

 

The Masonic Hall

Location: Gordon Street

Background: The Masonic Hall of Mount Morgan was built in 1903. This two story structure, made of red face brick reflects the growth and prominence of the area in its early establishment and the spread of free masonry through Queensland. The Hall is still used today.

Quick fact: The Hall was designed by Rockhampton based architects Eaton and Bates. The Temple was erected for 1500 pounds by Newman Brothers of Rockhampton under supervision of T.G. Cornes.

 

 

The Police Station

Location: 30 Hall Street

Built in the late 1890s, the Mount Morgan Police Station was originally built to serve as the town’s Court House. This beautiful structure reflects the wealth and importance of Mount Morgan during the turn of
the twentieth Century. During its time as a court house, the building served as a police station, lockup and magistrates office, District and Supreme Court.

It officially closed its doors as a court house in 1991 and is used today as the home base for Mount
Morgan based Police officers and Sergeant.

Quick fact: One of the main functions of the courthouse was settling mining claim disputes and up until 1990 it operated as a Mining Wardens Court.

 

 

Cemetery

Location: 2 klms south of the town centre, just off Coronation Drive (8 mins after Police Station).

Background: The Mount Morgan cemetery holds great historical significance to the township. Walking the site, the early section of the area reflects the difficult times the area and its locals endured marking the times of plaques and industrial accidents.

Marking special significance to early mining accidents is the Linda Memorial. Erected in 1909, the Linda
Memorial was set up in memory of the 26 men who perished in the tunneling stage of the Mount Morgan Mine. This monument stands 25 ft high, with a circular pillar on top, broken to signify broken life.

The cemetery also contains a well-preserved Chinese ceremonial burner, known as a Heung Lew. Built in
1890, the Heung Lew was used by much of Mount Morgan’s early Chinese community, burning symbolic papers and offerings for loved ones passing on.

 

 

Mount Morgan Mine

This mine site and majority of its buildings on site are heritage Listed. A dominant feature towering
the landscape is a huge brick chimney known as the Big Stack. This was built along with many others to disperse fumes caused from the Copper Production away from the mine. From the Arthur Timms lookout in the township one can see the remaining part of Ironstone Mountain, as a cut off hill behind the Main Coppers Works Stack (big stack). Beneath this cut off hill is the Open Cut Pit.

The end result of Ironstone Mountain is the Open Cut Pit. This once was the deepest man made pit in
the Southern Hemisphere.

On the northern boundary of the mine lease lie massive manmade caverns- excavated by the early miners for fireclay used to line the many furnaces used for their smelting operations. Inside you will see genuine early Jurassic Dinosaur footprint track ways, said to be the best examples for this era in Australia.

Today, the Mine Site is managed by the Queensland Government. Environmental projects and rehabilitation by DEEDI are being carried out on this mine site. Public access to the mine is gained by guided tour – please see museums and tours page.

 

 

The Frank Golding Lookout

Location: Top of East Street

Background: The Frank Golding Lookout can be found at the top of East Street. Sponsored by the Mount Morgan Rotary Committee, and is named after a former Rotarian and Historian of Mount Morgan- Mr
Frank Golding. This lookout is the highest lookout point in the town and provides a terrific view of scenic
Mount Morgan and an ideal photo opportunity. Table and seating area is also provided.

 

 

The Arthur Timms Lookout

Location: Pattison Street (direction from North on Burnett Highway- turn right on Pattison Street just before the Golden Nugget Hotel. Continue on road to the very top of the hill.

Background: Named after a former Chairman for the Mount Morgan Council, the Arthur Timms Lookout is the closest lookout to the Mine. This viewing point provides a perfect photo opportunity of the Mine from a distance and a great way to view the spanning township. Table seating area is also provided.