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Picture relating to Chillagoe - titled 'Hanging Rock, Chillagoe, North Queensland, ca. 1905'

Hanging Rock, Chillagoe, North Queensland, ca. 1905

contributed by QldPics, taken in 1905
(contact QldPics about this picture)

Chillagoe is located 140km west of Mareeba on the Atherton Tablelands. In 1901 a huge copper smelter was built to take advantage of the rich mineral deposits in the Chillagoe area, creating 200 jobs. A railway to Mareeba facilitated the transport of the copper to the coastal shipping ports of Port Douglas and Cairns. By World War One, Chillagoe was one of the largest metallurgical developments in Queensland.
In 1903 Chillagoe had a population of 723, swelling to 1,600 in 1907. At its peak in 1917, Chillagoe had a population of about 10,000 with thirteen hotels, two newspapers, and a hospital. In 1943 the smelters closed, plunging Chillagoe into a decline it has never recovered from. The town became overgrown with an introduced plant called rubber vine and the only source of employment was from the limited cattle and rail industries. In 1953 tobacco was unsuccessfully trailed down. Electricity and sealed roads only came to Chillagoe In 1970. Today the population of Chillagoe hovers around 150. The only industries in the town are cave tours, and a small gold mine nearby. (Information taken from: Atherton Tablelands database, 2005, retrieved 21 February 2005 <http://www.tablelands.org/chillagoe.html>)

This picture is also part of the following Bonzle photo collections: