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An ‘Island’ Within an Island: the Maritime/Riverine Culture of Tasmania’s Pieman River Goldfield 1877–85


Haygarth, N, An Island' Within an Island: the Maritime/Riverine Culture of Tasmania's Pieman River Goldfield 1877-85, Journal of Australasian Mining History, 10 pp. 55-71. ISSN 1448-4471 (2012) [Refereed Article]


During its initial phase (1877-85), the Pieman River goldfield on Tasmania's West Coast had a maritime/riverine culture unique among Australian goldfields. That is, located on the lower and middle reaches of the river system within a few kilometres of the Southern Ocean, it was virtually an island within the island of Tasmania, served almost entirely by sea. With no proper land access, the Pieman miners relied upon coastal shipping for communication, passenger transport, stores and mining equipment from Launceston or Hobart. The goldfield had an unusual dependence on the only other major economic activity in the area, logging, which paid for the ships to visit the Pieman. Waterways were used as conduits, and the fish and birds these provided were a significant food source. Many miners on the field, such as 'Sailor Jack' Neul, were 'old salts' (sailors) who were sometimes pressed into navigating entry to the Pieman River over its dangerous sand bar.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:Australian history
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
UTAS Author:Haygarth, N (Dr Nic Haygarth)
ID Code:116087
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2017-05-01
Last Modified:2017-05-01

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