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Goldtower Tourism

Peter Lawson's Mosaics

Goldtower Central is privileged to display a collection of Peter Lawson’s artworks originally featured in the publication ‘The Town They Called the World’ by Don Roderick.
Embark on a treasure hunt for Peter Lawson’s evocative 1980s paintings adorning the walls of the buildings at Goldtower Central. The original artworks showcasing the scenes of the grand architecture and street scenes of the foregone gold rush era were the perfect addition to the landscape of Goldtower Central. Each painting has been transformed into a large-scale mosaics consisting of more than 700,000 meticulously hand-placed tiles. 

peter lawson's mosaics

The Outside Mine 1920

Leave your mark on history by becoming a citizen of The World. Check-in by simply scanning the QR code located at the statue, where you’ll be bestowed with a unique citizen number—a testament to your connection with Charters Towers’ vibrant heritage. This immersive experience fosters a sense of belonging, allowing you to forge a personal link with the town’s golden legacy.

peter lawson's mosaics

The Railway Station 1882

In 1882 the long-anticipated Railway had finally arrived. It would help make an enormous difference by bringing in heavy machinery and supplies. There was no doubt that the railway would end in Charters Towers, but where it would begin, Townsville or Bowen, was the cause of an almighty brawl. The Townsville locals were confident they’d win as it was rumoured that politicians were buying up blocks in Townsville.

Warden Sellheim rejoiced that the Railway would connect Charters Towers to Southern capitalists as money was needed to develop the Gold Field.

The Railway Engineers were great diplomats – they sited the station so neither Millchester nor Charters Towers could claim their dominance of the Gold Field.

peter lawson's mosaics

Lissner Park 1913

By 1913 it had become clear that Gold was nearly finished, and the city was losing its community and confidence. Lissner Park, however, was not concerned, its trees were growing with vigour and a new kiosk had been built the year before to honour the local boys who had gone off to the Boer War.

Tom Mills was a man with big visions, he had retired to London with the fortune he made in the Towers. Mr Mills had returned with a plan to save Charters Towers by putting a shaft down Lissner Park in a way that would save the Kiosk.

The mayor called a public meeting to discuss Mr Mills’ plan as the city would have to sacrifice most of the park. They voted in favour of supporting Mr Mills’ proposal, but the plan never eventuated as the Queen Street Government didn’t approve the necessary assistance. Tom Mills returned home to London.

peter lawson's mosaics

The Pyrites Works 1894

Designed, built and managed by Mr D.A Brown the Pyrites Works stood 167 feet above Towers Hill. Mr Brown’s creation conveyed ore to the top of the hill that fed into a descending furnace where Sulphur was roasted out and transferred into wooden vats. The mineral was then treated with Chlorine to form a soluble Chloride of Gold and then precipitated from the solution.
Each year money was invested to further develop and refine the process, but this was all in vain. In Scotland, chemists were developing a Cyanide process that was far simpler and was later introduced to Charters Towers in 1892.
Mr Brown’s work and hundreds of thousands in capital had become obsolete. The Pyrites Works became a Cyanide Works and the tailings dumps changed from Chlorine red to Cyanide yellow.
Mr Brown’s masterpiece stood until the Second World War and was known as ‘Brown’s Monument.’

peter lawson's mosaics

Upper Gill Street 1900

Mrs. Tregaskis always shops on Saturday morning; it gives her the chance to see so many friends and to catch up on the local news.

The rest of the week is just too busy; a husband and two sons working in the mines take a lot of looking after; cribs to cut; shirts to wash and they always seem to be on different shifts. Mrs. Tregaskis has a set path for her shopping. She always crosses the road to avoid that smart Mr. Polgreen with his smart remarks about her sons. If they choose to play football on Sunday, then that’s their business. After all, they are the best forwards playing for ‘Rainbows’ and she wouldn’t deny them their sport — and nor should Mr. Polgreen. Silly old fool he is. After all she never misses Chapel, and she has been in the choir for more than eleven years. It’s enough to make you change to the German Church, and she would if they didn’t speak German most of the time.

After avoiding the obnoxious Mr. Polgreen, she crosses the road to look through Toll’s Bazaar. Ben Toll is a nice man. He follows the football, and he always has kind remarks about her Alf and Fred.

Then she has to cross right back again to avoid ‘The White Horse’. That Mr. Tredrea once told someone that he had seen her coming out of the place. The trouble is when you cross from “The White Horse’, you are in front of ‘The Occidental’, so you have to hurry over Deane Street otherwise some other gossip will say she saw you there. Don’t know what’s wrong with this mob. Back in Penryn nobody ever did that – but then nobody played football either.

Author Peter Lawson and Don Rodrick “The Town They Called The World”

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