Upper, Lower & Central Mary Street

Which end of Mary Street is Lower? Which end is Upper?

Historically, “Lower” Mary Street was the establishment of Mary Street from Nash’s Gully / Fiveways area. Nash’s Gully (see map below) was the area where James Nash found gold. It was also the area where miners were breaking first ground and alluvial mining whilst businesses set up and formed Mary Street. Timber shanties were built for “Gympie Creek Goldfields/Mary River Diggings” with branches of businesses from Maryborough and then Brisbane, for example, selling wares, food and supplies to miners. The township grew rapidly.  As more shops were erected to support the growing mining community, Mary Street stretched up to Commissioner’s Hill (Upper Mary Street and the ridge where Channon Street now runs) which became a precinct of mining agents/secretaries, banks, stock exchange and hotels. Other businesses started such as drapers, cafes, barbers, and entertainments such as pool halls and theatres.  By the end of 1867, Mary street was already well established. 

ca 1867-1868
ca 1868. Alluvial mining, broken ground. Nashs Gully, Fiveways
Early Mary Street, Gympie, ca 1868. Photo C. H. Moore

Click to enlarge

Clarendon Stuart Map 1869

Lower Mary Street, refers to the end that the Town Hall now stands, with the first portions of the Town Hall built in the late 1880’s (see a rather passionate reporting in The Gympie Times below)

The Gympie Times, 28 June 1888, page 3

John Lyons, in Lower Mary Street, was located around 69-71 Mary Street, Gympie.

The Gympie Times, 3 December 1889, p3
John Lyons building in Lower Mary Street, Circled.

When street numbering came in circa 1938 onwards, Mary Street numbering began at the “start” of Mary Street at the Lower Mary Street end. It was only in the mid to late 1980’s that the one way area and beautification project of Mary Street was planned, and undertaken in early 1990’s.

Photos/postcards labelled Lower Mary Street:

Photos/postcards labelled Upper Mary Street:

Holloway’s Store was located in Upper Mary Street, Gympie (currently houses ‘The Kean Bean on Mary” and “Hair Review”). See our blog post on Holloways here

The Gympie Times, 16 May 1916, p. 4

Photos/postcards labelled Central Mary Street: