CQ Family History Association Inc.

Copperfield

In 1880 the following description of Copperfield was given In the Queensland P Office Directory; A mining township, four miles distant from Clermont.  Owing to cessation of operations at the local copper mine, the township is reported to be gradually decaying. The numerous quartz reefs are mostly abandoned, owing to want of capital to develop them.  Population 359, now reduced to about 150.

Copper, the curse of the goldminer, was responsible for bringing into existence once flourishing little township of Copperfied.  In 1862 a ten metre high wall of solid copper was discovered In the area by gold Prospector, Jack Mollard, and not being too sure what it was he had Just discovered, he brought his find into Rockhampton to be analyzed.  After the promise of a bottle of rum and a share in the mine, Mr. Mollard disclosed the whereabouts of his find.  Between 1862 and 1877 Copperfield was a rich and bustling township, with a large Population of two thousand being Increased by about one hundred experienced Cornish miners from the mines of South Australia.  School enrolments wore at 210, but  unfortunately many school age boys were encouraged by their parents to work in the mines, so education in many cases was neglected.  Some boys would attend school in the mornings then go home to get ready to do the afternoon shift at the mine.

More than 100,000 tons of ore were smelted, the highest price reaching $200 per ton. The ore was dug and transported by bullock teams to St. Lawrence to be shipped to Wales for smelting.

At its Peak Copperfield boasted two churches, two banks, a baker, three butchers, three blacksmiths, six stores, a stationer, a saddlery, a newspaper (the Copper-field Miner), two auctioneers, a Cordial maker, six hotels, a school, a post office, two societies (Oddfellows’ Lodge and MUIOOF) and a cemetery trust.,

Copperfield grew rapidly but unfortunately died just as rapidly.  The mining company changed hands several times but it was impossible to breathe life back Into the dying township.  Today the only reminder that Copperfield was once an important financial asset to Queensland, is the lone brick chimney stack, one of fourteen, still standing.  Charles Bettridge, a bricklayer who came from England to Copperfield In 1871 was responsible for building a kiln and manufacturing all the bricks for the Copperfield mines as well as Other brick projects In the area.

The land on which the chimney stands was donated by the Tindale family to the Belyando Shire Council who have restored it.

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