Barcaldine and the Artesian breakthrough
Just posted on the John Oxley Library blog—a piece by Thom Blake—17th December 1887—a significant day for Queensland, in which he tells the story of the first government-sponsored artesian well in Queensland.
That well was sunk at Barcaldine, one of my favourite country towns, and was a big factor in the success of the town—an early success that is still marked by a magnificent set of pubs, their shady verandahs lined up along the southern side of the main street. Their names record their old associations: the Union, the Railway, the Commercial, the Shakespeare*, the Globe—and the Artesian.
*Postscript, December 2015: Peter and Sheila Forrest (who wrote the book about the 1891 shearers’ strike and know a thing or two about Barcaldine) let me know that that the hotel used to be called Shakspeares’ Hotel, after the original proprietors. By 1973 when I first saw the hotel its name had been corrupted by adding the extra e.