Ravenswood in Queensland is an old gold mining town which was heritage listed in the 1980s by both the Australian Heritage Commission and the National Trust of Queensland. Of all the many grand hotels Browne’s Ravenswood Hotel was, in 1896, the ‘most prominent hostelry’ of all. Sadly this hotel has not survived but we have a photograph in our collection which shows the decorative architecture favoured when the diggings were at their peak and enriching the populace of nearly 5,000.

In the 1960s the population dropped to 70, but artists began to visit, trying to capture the atmosphere of the ghost town.

Kenneth Jack (1924-2006) was one of the most successful who painted ‘Railway Hotel Ravenswood’ and depicted the wide dusty street vanishing in the distance with a dog lying in the middle of the deserted landscape with the abandoned hotels either side of the street.

Today only the ‘Imperial Hotel’ has kept going; lovingly maintained by generations of the Delaney family up to 1994 and recently redecorated by new owners who attract the many tourists fascinated by the glory days of gold.

From the Archives : blog entries by RHSQ’s Library and Research team.