An Oasis on the Road to Forsayth

8/9/2012

The road from Croydon continues west to Georgetown. The road similar to others in FNQ were designed to carry Road Trains rather than tourist traffic and are in the main single ribbons of bitumen.

About 20km before Georgetown there is a free camp that in the gold rush was the township of Cumberland.
 The Cumberland Chimney and the dam,built by Cornishmen, to provide water to the mill and batteries are the only remainders of the Cumberland mine which in its day was the largest and most successful of the gold mines on the Etheridge fields. The Chimney was built in 1889 to disperse smoke from the large steam driven engines powering the batteries that crushed the gold bearing stone and the winding gear that lifted the stone from 1000 feet below the surface as well as the tramway that carted stone to the battery.

On top of gold production there were also 400 miners and families living there. Shops were numerous and the “butcher, baker, and the candlestick maker” could make a good living at Cumberland. 1885 saw a Police Station built and a Telegraph office set up. A settlement was proclaimed a township in 1889. When gold petered out the township died, although there were spasmodic attempts to use the battery until 1934. Today the lagoon is a haven for bird life.

The following morning we drove the 20km to Georgetown and then the 40km to the tiny town of Forsayth. The road in general is good and that included about 15km of dirt.