Cue - Culture and History

There is a great sense of permanence about Cue. It is obvious that the miners who arrived in the town in the early 1890s, and made their fortunes on the rich gold reefs which surrounded the town, were determined to show the world that their new town was a place of substance and importance. They were letting the world know that they were wealthy men and they deserved to live in a prosperous kind of environment.

No one knows who discovered gold at Cue but it is likely that the first find was made by Michael John Fitzgerald who, after an Aborigine named Governor had found a 10 oz nugget nearby, decided to prospect in the area. It is claimed that Governor presented the nugget to Fitzgerald remarking 'This fellow slug no good, plenty bit fellow slug over there'. It took Fitzgerald and his friend Edward Heffernan one week to find 260 ozs of gold near what is now the main street of Cue. They then told Tom Cue who travelled to Nannine to register their claim. Ironically it was Cue who gave his name to the town.

The town grew rapidly. Within days 400 miners had poured into the area and within a year the town of Cue was officially proclaimed.

At one time the town, and its companion town of Day Dawn, boasted three newspapers - The Murchison Miner, The Murchison Times and The Murchison Advocate.

The miners were hopelessly romantic about their prospects and, although Cue sits in the middle of a desert area, they gave their mines names like Light of Asia, Golden Stream, Lady Mary, Golden Crows Nest, and Cue Victory. The mines continued to operate from 1892 until 1933 when the price of gold finally forced the Light of Asia to close.

In recent years the price of gold has allowed the Golden Crown Mine at Day Dawn to open but its future is dependent on the continuing high price of gold. Apart from this major operation (which employs up to 70 people) there are still dozens of smaller mines in the area. The road from Mount Magnet to Cue is littered with small gold mines. A rough hand painted sign at the side of the road and a pile of tailings in the distance indicates that another small mining operation is trying its luck with the area's seemingly inexhaustible supplies of reef gold.