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Goldfields Outside Pentland.

Goldfields Outside  Pentland.

Prospectors in North Queensland looking to strike  it rich in the Goldfields outside Pentland.


In 1868  Goldfields. Pentland. Queensland.

My  Great, Great,  Grand father, George  Ah Pan, one of the first Chinese Publicans in North Queensland, had a pub at Capeville.

In 1876, there were two pubs, including my Great Great Grand Fathers Ah Pan.  A revival in 1879 saw the town grow to four hotels,  Ah Pan had both the Capeville and Royal Charter Hotel. He died in 1880 . The town had a store and a post office, which existed from 1878-1909.

My great great grand dad,  died in 1880, next to him is one of his son William Pan Age 10 months Died in October 1880.

In my research I have found different Birth dates, and years, that George Ah Pan and William Ah Pan died. The grave site below tells George died in 5th Jan 1880. at the age of 66. And William died Oct 1880, at 10 months.


George Ah Pan married Mary Ann Murphy in July 1856, they had 10 children, Mary died in July at  Pentland.

My Great Grandfather Phillip Ah Pan was one of there children, he was born at Capeville, Cape River Queensland,  lived in Pentland most of his life, he was blind for a long time. Died in 29/11/1968 at Creek St Pentland. His wife Alice Emery died 12/02/1959. Born 07/11/1883 in Newbrandsmith Durham England. 

George Ah Pan and William Ah Pan Grave.
Alice Pan
Phillip Pan





My grandmother Mary  Alice Molly Pan was born in 1907. Her Father was Phillip Pan , George  Ah Pan son.  born 14 th April 1874.  They lived in Pentland for part of her married life. My mother went to the Pentland School, she told a story about a teacher that was aways drunk. later the family moved to Charter Towers, then to Ayr.

I was quite surprise to find out I am part Chinese.  George Ah Pan father Name was Tin Ah Pan. The records show he came to Australia too with his wife and they had one child. George was born Chaton China.

Pentland is a town in north-western Queensland

It is located in between Charters Towers and Hughenden, 240 kilometres (150 mi) from the North Queensland city of Townsville Pentland’s population is estimated to be 250 people.

Cape River–GPS: -20.99543 , 146.42484

There is parking area, for tired drivers.

In North Queensland Richard Daintree,
a geologist and amateur photographer of skill, endeavoured to systematize
the geological survey of the north. Despite an initial lack of success,
his advice led to the opening of the Cape River goldfields in July, 1867

Gold North Queensland.

Queensland’s population between 1846 and 1902.

The effects of gold.

In 1846 the population was only 2,257.
By 1864 it had risen to 61,467.

In  1868 to 99,312.
1868 the first gold was discovered in the Ravenswood district.                                           By 1871
the population had risen to 120,076 and by 1 May 1876 to 173,283.

In the five years 1871-1876 three North Queensland goldfields had been proclaimed:
Charters Towers, the Palmer and the Hodgkinson: in that period the popu
lation had increased by almost 50%.
The census of 3rd  April 1881 showed a population increase of 40,000,
to a total of 213,525, but in the years 1881-1886, which saw the opening
of the great Mount Morgan mine and the Croydon goldfield (1886), the
increase was 110,000, or fractionally more than 50%.

The census of 5th April 1891 showed a further increase of 70,000 to a total of 393,718.
By 31 March 1901 Queensland’s population had reached 503,266.

More on this story as I find out more details.

If you have some thing to add please let me know.

Have a great day.


Contact Me





Pentland. North Queensland.

The camp was just 10 km from Pentland

The first gold fields in North Queensland was the Cape River fields. The fields was announced on June 12th 1867. By September 600 people were working the fields.. Five camps served the Cape River fields but only Capeville and Norwood were ever surveyed Capeville, originally known as Gehans Flat, was surveyed in May 1869. Capeville was established on the alluvial gold workings in the area and was named after the adjacent Cape River.

Gold was discovered on the nearby Cape River in 1867 and attracted European and Chinese gold miners. Between Pentland and Torrens Creek is the Burra Range Lookout..

When the rush began in 1867 there were 900 whites and 100 Chinese living in Capeville

Discovery of Gold.

In the 1870s there was an influx of Chinese miners to Queensland after the discovery of gold in the Palmer and Hodgkinson rivers and in Cooktown. Chinese miners not only worked gold but also other metals such as tin, copper and wolfram.

Mining for gold is physically demanding work. Here, Chinese miners are using a sluice box and puddling mill to search for gold, while another miner has a massage to relieve his aching shoulders




The Cape saw the first Chinese influx into the North Queensland  in 1868, first from the southern goldfields and later with the Palmer rush in large numbers from China.

There were unmarried males. In 1871 there was 3300 Chinese in Queensland, and of them only one female. By 1876 of 10,400 Chinese, 13 were Women.

The Chinese maintained many traditions from their homeland and were easily recognisable in the fields. there universally dressed in a loose smock over blue cotton pants and a straw hat over their pigtail.

For the Chinese, mining in Australia was very near to slavery.

The wealthy Chinese would send labourers to the Australian goldfields to win gold that would be sent back to their masters in China.


6 thoughts on “Goldfields Outside Pentland.

  1. We are related! My great great great grandfather was George ah pan. My great great grandmother was Mary ah pan.

    1. Hello Sara, My maid name is Stockham my grand mother was Mary Alice Amos-Pan. She died in 1975.
      My mother name is Ailsa Alice Amos-Stockham. My Father died in Julythis year. I was with mum when she went through the pictures.
      My Great Granfather was Phillip. And I never met Mary Alice Pan.
      Phillip was a blind man when I was little,(Scary) we visited Pentland a lot with Gran Amos, Aunty May was there then.
      Love to talk more. Visit me on

  2. Hi Wendy, Your remarkable vignette and Anthea’s poignant photo … Wow!

    Two sons of George Ah Pan’s second eldest daughter, Tom and Darcy Roberts-aka-Hyland ran a horse business in Mareeba in the 1920s.
    My distaff-side uncle often jockeyed for them at the district races.
    Darcy and my mother were an item for a while after which, at this time 90 years ago, I arrived with a few interesting Ah Pan inheritances.

    Your future narratives are awaited (and, perhaps, any questions).

    1. Hi, My information came from my Mother. Stories I have not heard until my father died.
      Understanding, the George Ah Pan history. George and Mary had 10 children. Philip is my Great Gran father.
      photo’s I took pictures of pictures my mother had. Have you got a picture of George and information on Tin Ah Pan.

  3. Hi Sara. We are related. George Ah Pan is my G-G Father x3. Elizabeth Roberts/Hyland is my G Grand mother.( his daughter)
    My email is if you would like to contact. Am happy to share any info I have that you might be interested in.
    Keep no regards

    1. Hello Mary,
      My Name is Wendy, It was my website you have read about George Ah Pan, He was my Great great grandfather.
      George Ah Pan Was the only Child of Tin Ah Pan from China. I would love to find more, pictures and information about them. I came from George Ah Pans – Son, Phillip- My Gran Mother Name was Mary Alice (Molly), She Married a Amos.
      About Sara, George is also my great great great grandfather. Check out my comment page to find her e-mail.
      Yes I would love to find out more, I do remember the school holidays at Pentland with my gran mother.
      Thank Wendy

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