NEW ROLE: Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum volunteers Ralph Richardson and Frank Kopke load the old and original Gympie Times printing press, as the start of its new life.
NEW ROLE: Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum volunteers Ralph Richardson and Frank Kopke load the old and original Gympie Times printing press, as the start of its new life.

Gympie history in good hands as printing press retires

IF THE Gympie times' original printing press could talk, it could tell a few good stories.

Some might say it has done so already, having helped start a daily conversation about just about everything happening in or anywhere near Gympie.

The Albion press, which originally arrived overland by dray from Ipswich, became an important part of Gympie's history, as well as recording most of it.

Housed at The Gympie times since it was replaced by more modern printing equipment many, many decades ago, the hand-operated press will now take its place among the displays at the Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum.

Yesterday, museum volunteers Ralph Richardson and Frank Kopke loaded it onto a trailer and took it to its new home.

The newspaper, originally called the Nashville Times and Mary River Mining Gazette, served the new and burgeoning mining town of Gympie, then called Nashville, after the man who discovered gold here, James Nash.

The press also told the people of Gympie and its region how the town changed its name - and why.

The confusion between Nashville here and the one in Tennessee was the heart of the problem.

Business people complained of mail from London, delivered to Tennessee by mistake, having to be returned to London for re-delivery here.

One complained mail had taken up to six months to reach him.

Then followed a community move to change the name to Gympie, the Aboriginal name for a stinging busy known to grow in the area.

The change was championed by the Nashville Times and the community it served.

That community and the newspaper itself quickly changed their names to Gympie, taking advantage of the fact that James Nash was overseas at the time.

The press, solid cast iron, was British patent number 1493 and was manufactured by Wood Makes and Co. of London.

Gympie Times


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