Posted in General
Charters Towers Ghost Tours has been the talk of the town, with some great news articles being written up about the inaugural tour on the 24.05.2015. The first tour was taken by local history tour guide Erica Finlay and owner and creator of Ghost Tours pty Ltd Jack Sim .Painting of the Crime - CHARTERS TOWERS SMALL
Jack Sim has always been fascinated by ghost towns ever since he read the book "Ghost towns of Australia" by George Farwell. Farwell's book explored abandoned townships, ports and mining settlements around the country."For some reason, the concept of places that are now a shade of their former selves really appealed to me as a child. I'd often think of the hard working men and women that built these towns out in the bush in some of the most the most remote, desolate and isolated parts of Australia. One of the pictures in his book called the 'unlucky digger' was so macabre that it truly sparked a lifelong fascination with the history gold mining towns. I was six when I first saw this picture and as horrible as it was, I just wanted to know what had befallen this poor miner who was he? what was the history that led him to this end? Even as a child, it seemed to me that the story of our country was often a very tragic one and I thought it was very important that people got to know about the hard work, toil and risks that our pioneers took to build our nation. Ghost towns seemed to be full of the stories that I wanted to share them with others."
Charters Towers and Ravenswood were referred to in Farwell's book. "These towns seemed really exceptional, so I always wanted to visit them. In December last year I finally was able to come up to North Queensland and visit Charters Towers and Ravenswood. I was thrilled to hear some of the best ghost stories I had ever heard. Local people shared with me their experiences with the spirits of the town. It's through these stories that we will tell the history of these towns to visitors."Ghost Tours has been running in South East Queensland for the past 17 years and run tours of some of the most haunted places in the region, including notorious Boggo Road Gaol and grand Toowong Cemetery. However, we feel it's time to spread out to new historical places and hence starting in North Queensland. For the past few months, Jack Sim has been learning about the fascinating history of Charters Towers and collecting the local legends and ghost stories.
Ghosts have been seen, heard & felt on tours the inaugural tour was no exception. As the group wandered the darkened streets of Charters Towers they visited the popular department store Target Country, reputedly to be haunted by its former owner, The Stock Exchange and the World Theatre . The World Theatre holds the blood stained table on which the Mosman street tragedy took place.It was within the World Theatre that one of the customers saw a door open on its own accord. A ghostly figure has been seen wandering the halls of the World Theatre, some say that it is the ghost of the murderer Mr. Brown, who shot the Chairman of the company he worked for at the table
One of the local journalists from the Northern Minor Newspaper , Morgan Oss went along on the very first ghost tour last week . "It was a very informative, local history evening. I learnt things about Charters Towers that I didn't know. I was hoping to get some sort of experience on the tour & myself & 2 others who were with me had an experience at the top of the World Theatre. I left feeling very happy that there was some " ghostly " action that night. The tourists & visitors to our town who go on the tour will get a one of
it's kind Charters Towers experience."
|Posted in: General Jack Sim|
114 years ago, in the North Queensland town of Charters Towers, a terrible tragedy, born out of gold fever shattered the hard working community.At a board of directors meeting of the Charters Towers Pyrite Company. Mr Brown demanded to see the minutes of a previous meeting at which his weekly salary had been cut. The Chairman Mr Graham Haygarth refused, and within minutes was killed by Brown.
While the story of this murder still haunts The Towers, few people know the back story which led to the incident which has become known as "the tragedy on Mosman Street".The crime was the culmination Brown's decade long obsession with his own greatness. Brown convinced shareholders of the company to plough their profits from the operation into his new gold mining process which required expensive infrastructure and capitol. It was a folly which ultimately led to his undoing and the death of Graham Haygarth.
Listen in to ABC Brisbane tonight at 8pm with David Curnow and Jack Sim to discover the backgrounds of those involved in the death and their motivations.
Charters Towers Ghost Tour
Visit the scene of the crime and the actual table at which Haygarth was murdered on the Charters Towers Ghost Tour.Meet at the Charters Towers Visitor Information Centre, to undertake this Ghost Tour with a local historian. Walk the streets of the ghostly gold rush town of Charters Towers, hear real ghost stories from local Towers people and visit real haunted sites including the Royal Hotel, the Mining Museum and the World Theatre.
This 90 minute walking tour is suitable for all ages, but parental guidance is recommended.
|Posted in: True Crime Stories General|
On the outskirts of Charters Towers sits what the locals call "the old cemetery", the Lynd Highway Cemetery was established in 1895. This bleak, barren and dead flat cemetery is bordered by a well maintained cast iron perimeter fence and charming front gate. It is the resting place for a number of interesting local characters including Jupiter Mossman who, as the local lore has it, was one of the party that discovered gold in Charters Towers; Doctor Leonard Redmond who discovered Australian Dengue Fever; Frederick Pfeiffer, owner of the rich Day Dawn PC Mine and James Kenniff who was the last bushranger in Queensland.James and his older brother Patrick were expert horsemen who made a living by horse stealing a very serious crime.
They were wanted in connection to the theft of a horse. A police constable, Aboriginal tracker and station master pursued the brothers for several days through hard, mountainous country in Western Queensland. Surprising Patrick and his brother James they managed to overpower and arrest them both. As the tracker was sent to get handcuffs from the constable's packhorse, gunshots rang out and the tracker ran for his life.A later search found the constable's horse wandering through the scrub and the burnt remains of the constable and station master. The brothers were tracked down again and following a shootout, both were captured and tried for murder.
Throughout the trial Patrick maintained his innocence and was denied the right to appeal to the Privy Council in London, by the judge Samuel Griffith. Though there was public shock and outcry, the Queensland Government seemed to be determined to see him hang.Patrick was sent to the Gallows of Boggo Road Gaol, protesting his innocence to the very last. His final chilling words were saved for one man, the Chief Justice, now Sir Samuel Griffith: "I am as innocent as the judge who sentenced me."
James's life was spared, but he was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour. Being released in 1914, he refused visitors and lived out his life alone. Some say he was the one who pulled the trigger. He took the secret to his grave in Charters Towers.Hear about this amazing story on Australia's longest running true crime show "True Crimes" presented by Jack Sim on 4BC Nights with Walter Williams. Thursday evenings 9.35pm on Radio 4BC.
Visit the grave of Patrick Kenniff on a South Brisbane Cemetery Ghost Tour
|Posted in: Boggo Road Tales True Crime Stories General|
Over the years there were many riots and protests leading up to the closure of Boggo Road Gaol. In 1983 rioters took over and destroyed the Industrial Division, damaging cells to the point they were uninhabitable for six months. They rioted in D Wing, burning their sanitation tubs, urinating and dropping burning debris on the fire brigade and officers as they attempted to subdue the inmates.
Finally the authorities started to take notice and in 1986, construction of three new prisons was granted and work began to build the Wacol HM Brisbane Industrial Prison, HM Prison Chewko and Borallon Prison. In 1988 the Cabinet commissioned Mr Jim Kennedy to review the corrective services in Queensland, bringing about the closure of Boggo Road Gaol, with No.2 Division being closed in 1989.Glen Fish, a former prisoner at Boggo Road Gaol during the 1980s witnessed firsthand the chaos within the red brick walls: being crammed in exercise yards with 30 other men, the brutal bashing's and hunger strikes. On 4BC TRUE CRIMES Jack Sim will be discussing this tumultuous time in the Prisons history and the closure of Boggo Road Gaol.
Listen to this fascinating story and more on Australias longest running true crime show TRUE CRIMES presented by Jack Sim on 4BC Nights with Walter Williams. Thursday evenings 9.35pm on Radio 4BC.
|Posted in: Boggo Road Tales General|
On the 24th of February 1935 The Truth Newspaper reported that Gladys Hardgrave was found guilty of astute confidence tricks, after a dramatic legal fight. This short, slim woman with tear brimmed sparkling blue eyes stood weeping as she was sentenced to 37 weeks imprisonment. As she was led to the watch house cells she murmured "to think it has come to this".
At large in Queensland for little over a month, Gladys Hardgrave posed as a gentlewoman, robbing businesses in Brisbane, Caboolture and Southport of more than £123 (roughly $10,670). She was revealed to be a clever swindler, tricking over 7 stores, banks and business people, purchasing shoes, hotel rooms, clothing, handing them boomerang cheques and simply walking away with goods and money. Dud cheques fell like autumn leaves.
The C.I.B. Branch started their investigation, Detective acting Sergeant "Nobby" Clark, Detective Currey and Purcel were assigned to the task of catching this fraud. They found her in one of the leading hotels in Sandgate, posing as a wealthy widow, with a trained nurse to attend to her 17 month old daughter.When arrested, Gladys was wild and uncaring, but after hours in court she began to weep with her head bowed. She told detectives her crimes were committed in order to live well and look after her baby.
|Posted in: Boggo Road Tales True Crime Stories General Jack Sim|