section of the Moorina Cemetery
Historic tin mining town
Pioneer is a tiny township located 119 km north
east of Launceston and 8 km from the Tasman
Highway. The town came into existence in 1877
when William Bradshaw (until 1955 the town was
known as Bradshaw's Creek) discovered tin at the
junction of Bradshaw's Creek and Ringarooma
Mining the tin was extremely difficult.
Conditions on the alluvial tin diggings were
hard. Inevitably this attracted a substantial
number of Chinese (because they worked
collectively on the fields) to the area.
Although there were never more than 1,000
Chinese in the entire area their contribution
was vital. Many of them are buried in the
cemeteries in the area.
In 1882 the Pioneer Tin Mining Company was
formed to work the deposit. It did not prosper
but in 1900 a new tin lode was discovered and
the company then worked the seam continuously
until it closed in 1932. At the peak of the
operation the mine employed over 100 people and
by 1910 the Pioneer company was so profitable
that it built its own dam and, at Moorina,
constructed its own power station which was used
to power the equipment. Prior to that there had
been two steam barges used at Bradshaw's Creek.
The tiny school at Bradshaw's Creek achieved
some fame when its one-time teacher, Joseph
Lyons, subsequently entered federal parliament
and became Prime Minister of Australia.
Things to see:
Bushwalks and Exploration
The area around Pioneer has a number of forestry
roads which allow access to the rugged bushland.
There are a number of abandoned mine workings in
the area and Pioneer Lake, once a tin mine, is
popular as a place for fishing and water sports.