Weldborough Road, North-East Tasmania, Australia 1923By Remembering the Past Australia / August 12, 2020 / Australia / 0 Comments
Weldborough, Tasmania, Australia
This image is part of the Colonial Office photographic collection held at The National Archives UK.
Weldborough was initially named Thomas Plains after a surveyor. At the time it was planned to open the district to rural development but tin was discovered and this led to a mining boom. Later, the town would be renamed Weldborough after Sir Frederick Aloysius Weld who was Governor of Tasmania from 1875-1880.
By the 1880s the town had pubs, general stores, butcher’s shops, a hotel and a racecourse. Miners arrived from Georges Bay and, as one book observed: “In the roaring days of the Weldborough Mine the lights were never dimmed, and with three shifts to every bed, the trade ‘roared on’ continuously, and every prospect bore a pleasant smile.“
By the 1890s it was estimated there were between 800-1200 Chinese working in the mines. Weldborough was the largest Chinese community in any tin field in Australia. They are said to have outnumbered the Europeans. This meant the town became famous for its Chinese New Year celebrations. It was also the home of the first casino in Tasmania which was run by the wealthy Chinese merchant, Maa Mon Chin, and drew people from all over the island to play Mah Jong and Fan Tan. [Aussie Towns]
Showing Weldborough Road in North-East Tasmania, Australia. Original photo published 1923.
From the collection of: