Readers Choice: Town of the Month

Continuing on with our “… of the month” theme, and noting that we have already used station of the month, this time we present Savannahlander Town of the Month, as nominated by some of our readers. So with thanks to Trevor and Jocelyn Lewis for their nomination, we present:

Almaden!

Pronounced Alma-den. Known as Cow Town. Here is what Trevor had to say:

We loved Almaden, a wild west town of ‘cow pats and termite mounds’.  I have attached a small selection of my Almaden photos, including one of the wonderfully crafted stone stormwater drains under sections of the railway line, which a local showed us.

Almaden was once a far more significant town than it is today.  During Almaden’s heyday in the early 1900’s, a large number of railway employees and their families boosted the population of the town that today is almost deserted. Three hotels, three stores, several shops and a post office were built in this period. The railway town’s importance continued until the closure of the Chillagoe Smelters in the mid-1940s.

Today, the Historic Railway Hotel is the sole survivor and and is still trading. Recently, the old school has been converted into a van park and tourist accommodation, as reported in this post.

Below are a selection of photos, kindly sent to us by Trevor:

The wheelchair lift comes in handy for baggage duties

The wheelchair lift comes in handy for baggage duties

The steam train era water tank. Still used for station water supply

The steam train era water tank. Still used for station water supply

The stone stormwater drain that Trevor admired

The stone stormwater drain that Trevor admired

Opened in 1901, the station handled the ore traffic on the Chillagoe Railway line and served as the loading point for Edward Torpy’s silver-lead mine at Crooked Creek. Until the Line was extended to Forsayth, Cobb and Co. coaches ran a regular service from Almaden to Georgetown. The town prospered as it became the centre for the construction of the Etheridge Railway and the extension to Forsayth. On the completion of the Etheridge line in 1910, Almaden became an important junction, handling ore trains from Forsayth as well as traffic on the Chillagoe line. It was the second-most important station after Chillagoe on the private mining railway network west of Mareeba.

A now disconnected siding, looking towards the old 'barracks'

A now disconnected siding, looking towards the old 'barracks'

A view of the station from the verandah of the railway hotel

A view of the station from the verandah of the railway hotel

The train at the station - Almaden

The train at the station - Almaden

As stated above, thanks to Trevor and Jocelyn for sending in the photos. If you have taken some seriously good pictures during your trip on the Sav, and think they deserve some wider publicity, feel free to send them in to us, and we will share them with the known universe via this blog!