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Sugar Mill Photographs Archive

This collection contains photographs pertaining to various sugar mills in North Queensland and sugar cane labourers during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In its early years the sugar cane industry required cheap labour and so Islander labourers from three Pacific archipelagos - Bismark, the Solomons and New Hebrides (now known as Vanuatu) - were recruited. Sugar cane plantations expanded along the Burdekin and Herbert Rivers in the 1880s. The old plantation method of sugar cane farming was gradually replaced by small farming, and South Sea Islanders remained the core of the field labour force in the sugar industry until 1906. The descriptions below are taken from the initial headings for each photograph.

Archive Location: 122R

Detailed Listing

SMP/1/ Gairloch Sugar Mill, 1872, the first mill opened in the Lower Herbert River area

SMP/2/ Ripple Creek Mill, 1882 (Wood Bros. & R.M. Boyd). R.M. Boyd was manager for 17 years

SMP/3/ William Bairstow Ingham's plantation, 1874, or as he called it, 'Ings'

SMP/4/ South Sea Islanders, Macknade Mill

SMP/5/ The last of the Islander cutters, 1903

SMP/6/ South Sea Islanders at Hamleigh Plantation, 1883

SMP/7/ Islander servants with baby and child at Gairloch plantation

SMP/8/ Some of the 350 labourers working on the Gairloch plantation, Lower Herbert

SMP/9/ Islanders chipping cane at Monavale, Halifax, 1899


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