Charters Towers Local History
Charters Towers is a town located in the northern part of Queensland, Australia. It was founded in 1871 after gold was discovered in the area. The town was named after Robert Dalglish Charters, a gold commissioner at the time. Charters Towers quickly became the second largest town in Queensland after Brisbane and was known as the "World" due to its wide streets, impressive architecture, and bustling economy.
The gold rush in Charters Towers saw a significant influx of people from all over the world, including Europe, China, and America. Many of these migrants settled in the town and left their mark on its culture and history. The Chinese community, in particular, played a significant role in the town's development, with their involvement in the gold mining industry and their contributions to the town's architecture and cuisine.
During its heyday, Charters Towers boasted more than 30 hotels, 65 churches, 6 newspapers, and a stock exchange. The town also had an active social scene, with events such as horse-racing, polo matches, and ballroom dancing being popular among the locals.
In 1917, Charters Towers was hit by a devastating fire that destroyed many of the town's buildings. However, due to the resilience of its community, the town was able to recover and rebuild. Many of the buildings that still stand today, such as the Royal Arcade, the World Theatre, and the Stock Exchange Arcade, are a testament to the architectural and cultural heritage of the town.
Charters Towers also played an important role in World War II, with the town serving as a training base for Australian and American troops. The military presence in the town helped boost its economy, and many of the soldiers who passed through Charters Towers later returned to settle down in the area.
Today, Charters Towers remains a vibrant regional town with a rich history. Its mining and agricultural industries continue to thrive, and the town is a popular destination for tourists looking to explore its heritage trails and museums. The town's National Trust heritage-listed buildings, combined with its picturesque surroundings and friendly community, make it a unique and special place to visit and live.