The town of Boonmoo was surveyed by B. W. Austin for the Mines Department on 8th May 1902. Boonmoo is an Aboriginal word meaning “the jump up”, referring to the mountain behind the town. The top of the mountain is alum, assaying 90%, which kangaroos have been known to use as a lick.
The Queensland Government Railway reached Mareeba in 1893. The Chillagoe Railway and Mines Company began construction of a 3’ 6” gauge railway from Mareeba to Chillagoe reaching Boonmoo at the 35 mile peg in 1900. In 1900, the Stannary Hills Mines and Tramway Company began construction of a 2 foot gauge tramway from Boonmoo to Stannary Hills and later Rocky Bluffs and Irvinebank. The line opened to Stannary Hills in May 1902.
In the meantime, Boonmoo was a terminus for coaches and teamsters for the tin areas from the railway. A great deal of traffic used the town during the construction of the tramways, completed in 1906. Subsequently, lead, silver, and copper ores from the tin fields came through Boonmoo to Chillagoe for treatment.
At this stage the town had two hotels (the Exchange and Dillon’s) and a Jack and Newell’s store. By 1914 this had reduced to one hotel, owned by W. Jackson. A post office existed from 1899 until 1927. On 17th January 1941 the last service on the Irvinebank-Stannary Hills tramway came into Boonmoo in a blinding thunderstorm.
If you have any items of interest on life in Boonmoo and would like to share them with us please use our Contact form to let us know.
Some of the types of items we are interested in saving are:.
~ old photos, maps, calendars, receipts, newspapers, magazines, brochures, directories, catalogues and phone books ~
~ any photographs, negatives and glass slides ~
~ family histories and trees, the history of old houses, old deeds etc.,
Text taken from:
Anon. Last tobacco contract filled in Qld. Sydney: inFARMation Infochoice, 2004, [viewed 3 January 2008].
Available from: http://www.infarmation.com.au/news/04/02/article9848.asp
The Wheelbarrow Way Tourism Directory, 2012. Cairns Outback Tourism Development Association.