Byron’s golden history

HEART OF GOLD: l-r: Maurine Ferrandez Susan Tsicalis, Rex Dawe, Donald Maughan with some Copper plates used in the gold mining operation on Tallow beach in the late 1890's
HEART OF GOLD: l-r: Maurine Ferrandez Susan Tsicalis, Rex Dawe, Donald Maughan with some Copper plates used in the gold mining operation on Tallow beach in the late 1890's Contributed

THERE was once "gold in them thar beaches" right here in the Byron Shire.

In the 1890s, up to 20 gold mining leases were granted to mine the precious metal from the black sands of Tallow Beach.

The history of gold mining in Byron Bay will be one of the many stories told on the new foreshore historical walking trail.

Stretching from Main Beach along the foreshore up to the lighthouse, the new trail will use the latest technology, with walkers using their smart phones to scan a Quick Read (QR) code at designated points.

Each QR code will take the visitor to a website enabling them to read a short story and view pictures relating to a variety of subjects, including Aboriginal history, culture and stories, the history of gold mining, the history of whaling, shipwrecks and timber logging in the 1880s.

The Byron Bay Historical Society has been working closely with the Arakwal people, Byron Shire Council and National Parks and Wildlife to get ready for the trail's December launch date. Once the initial foreshore walk is completed, it will be extended down into the town to tell the stories of historical builds and sites.

The project has so far been financed by the Byron Bay Historical Society and it is now seeking support from the community benefactors and local business to assist with costs.

"We are keen to talk to any business or community groups to explain the concept and foster more interest from any budding historians who would like to be involved in recording our community's brief but colourful history," said society president Donald Maughan.

"All our stories and photos, including most of the Eric Wright collection, will be stored on our new website, which will be launched at the same time as the Foreshore History Walking Trail."

More info: 6685 4314.

Topics:  byron bay gold mining historical society

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