Gurrumbah was surveyed by the mines department on 9th February 1906. Earlier known as Melaney’s Pocket, gold was discovered in the Mount Luxton area near Gurrumbah in 1896. Sam Luxon ran Cobb & Co’s coach change here, known as the Pocket Change, situated on MHL 835 as shown on the plan. The Village Blacksmith tin mine was found the following year and a tin battery erected in 1906. It closed down in 1921.
Gurrumbah spent a period in the doldrums between 1908 and 1912 when ore from the Prince Alfred mine led a revival. The battery was a 10-head machine capable of treating 30 tons of ore per day. F. Reid bought the battery and removed it to Cardross in 1932. Cobb and Co. had their horse change about a kilometre down stream from the battery. There were three hotels (W.M.N Barry’s Mining Exchange, J. Hugh’s and W. Linedale’s), two stores (run by Armstrong, Ledlie and Stillman, and Richard Bimrose), a butchery (W. Parr), a cordial factory (W. Irelands), a baker, a school of arts and a post office which operated from 1906 to 1923 and 1926 to 1930.
By 1913, Fred Bimrose and A. L. & S had stores and in 1917 Mary Barry was running the Mining Exchange hotel and Phillip Pearce the butcher shop. W. & J. Lempriere and the Irvinebank Mining Company had ore buying representatives there. In October 1980, John Bird was working alluvial on Wet Creek when he was killed by a reversing front end loader.
Foundations, mango trees, and the grave of a little girl named Eileen Maud Shadforth, who died in 1912 aged thirteen and a half months old, are the only remains today.
The population of the town was:
The full set of images taken during this visit to Gurrumbah are available to be viewed by clicking on the title icon at the left.
News Item from the Morning Post (Cairns, Qld. : 1897 - 1907) Tuesday 5 February 1907
NIL DESPERANDUM MINE.
Mr. H, O’Meara, one of the discoverers, and also a large shareholder in the Nil Desperandum Tin Mine at Gurrumbah, returned on Sunday last by the Innamincka, after enjoying a pleasant holiday in the Southern states. Mr. O'Meara, who is very pleased with the prospects of the Nil Desperandum, returns to Gurrumbah by tomorrow morning's train.
News Item from the Cairns Post (Qld. : 1909 - 1954) Tuesday 23 November 1909
An enjoyable game of tennis, was witnessed at Gurrumbah last Sunday week between Bamford and Gurrumbah teams, of which 12 sets were played, resulted in Bamford gaining 55 games to Gurrumbah's 43
News Item from the Cairns Post (Qld. : 1909 - 1954) Monday 21 July 1919
The residents of Gurrumbah are rousing from their lethargic, state at last, and notwithstanding the seamen's strike and consequent shortage of food, they have decided to open the season by giving a plain and fancy dress ball, on Saturday, the 2nd of August, in aid of the Mount Garnet District Hospital. As all arrangements are in the hands of a very capable committee, the event should prove a great success. It is to be hoped therefore that the youth and beauty of the surrounding districts will rise to the occasion and flock to the School of Arts, Gurrumbah, where everything from refreshments to a waxed floor will be found of the best
Text taken from:
1. 'Angor to Zillmanton: stories of North Queensland’s deserted towns’ by Colin Hooper (2002) Deserted Towns Website
2. ‘Herberton – Mt Garnet: North Queensland Deserted Towns’ by Colin Hooper (2012)
Deserted Towns Website
3. Newpaper Articles: State Library of Qld - Digital Newspapers