The Herberton Mining Museum includes over 250 square metres of space dedicated to the preservation, storage and research of documents related to the Herberton Mining Field and its people. There is a purpose built, controlled climate wing for storage of material. It houses records of local organisations including Herberton Tin Festival, Herberton Hospital Auxiliary, Meals on Wheels, Herberton Rock Drillers Club, Masonic Lodges, as well as archives of notable identities and local families. Towards the rear of the building is the collections management room, a ‘back room’ nerve centre of computers, printers, digitization booth and cataloguing areas that support the whole operation of the archives.
Important donations include the letterbook and notebook of Surveyor Thomas Horan who surveyed the Great Northern mine site and plotted the first 4 sections of the township of Herberton in July-August 1880. A copy of his map is on display. Kept by his relations, the books have survived being used by children and others through two depressions, two World Wars as scribble pads or worse, yet the pages referring to Herberton in the letterbook just survive. They are some of Herberton’s founding documents.
Herberton may have had one of the first female apprentice printers in Queensland. Our records have her indenture paper. Her father owned a local Herberton paper. She later ran a newspaper in Townsville.
Lodges played a significant role in the welfare of the community before government social welfare. The records preserved here record that the Worshipful Brother sent to purchase the allotment that remained their home for over 130 years was expected to pay a ‘proper price’ at the auction.
© Herberton Mining Museum History Association 2023