Day Dawn

Day Dawn was home to over 3,000 goldminers and their families in the early 1900s. Its rapid growth and prosperity was due largely to the Great Fingall mine, once one of the richest and most profitable gold-mining operations in Australia. The success of the Great Fingall was closely associated with Herbert Hoover. Hoover is primarily credited with making them profitable for tens of thousands of shareholders worldwide.

The area has a semi-arid climate with hot summers and mild to cool winters, but is prone to the occasional inundation, in 1925 several buildings in the town collapsed following heavy rain and flood waters. The town received 1.56 inches (40 mm) of rain over the course of two days.

History

Gold was discovered here by Ted Hefferman in 1892, and he named his discovery "Day Dawn", after the time of day that he pegged his claim. Originally the settlement was informally called Four Mile, that being its distance from the town of Cue. It was gazetted as Bundawadra in 1894, but was changed to Day Dawn within three months.

The Northern Railway arrived at Cue from Mullewa, a distance of 317 kilometres, in 1894. In 1895 the Day Dawn Associated Gold mine, Kinsella, Trenton and the Day Dawn South mine were all operating ten head stamp mills close to the town for processing ore.

An important strike was staged there for nine weeks in 1899 when local miners protested against the use of Italian immigrant contract workers and Great Fingall's attempt to reduce miners' wages by five shillings per week.


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Where is it?

6.6 kms south-west of Cue in the Murchison Goldfields.


The area developed rapidly from 1898 when the famous Great Fingall Consolidated Gold Mining Company was established. It operated the mine from 1898 until 1918, when it was closed. By October 1921, shorings at the abandoned mine, which had been known as the 'Great Fingall mine', had collapsed and the town had disappeared altogether by the 1930s. All of the town's buildings are now in ruins with the exception of the Great Fingall Mine Office, which is on state and federal heritage registers.

Various mining companies have operated the mine from the early 1990s using the open cut method and by reprocessing the tailings from past activities at the Big Bell gold processing plant. The last owners, Harmony Mining, have recently halted production and have sold the mine to Monarch Gold along with the Big Bell Mine and the Hill 50 Gold Mine at Mount Magnet. Monarch however was never able to pay off the mine and went into administration, returning Hill 50 to Harmony.

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