Centenary of Wonthaggi ("Seam ")Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown

The sculpture "Seam" commemorates the centenary of Wonthaggi. "Seam" represents the volume of coal a miner was expected to bring above the ground every day. 

Coal was discovered by explorer William Hovell at Cape Paterson in 1826, and was subsequently mined from the Powlett River fields in the region, between 1859 and 1864. However transporting the coal by whale boat through the surf to larger ships anchored offshore proved costly and dangerous and mining activity was soon curtailed.  A tent city was established adjacent to the Powlett River, on what were then known as the Powlett River Coalfields.

After the 1909-1910 strike by coal miners in the Hunter Valley, the Victorian state government was determined to ensure stability in local supplies of coal. The State Coal Mine and the town of Wonthaggi came into being in 1910 to supply coal for the Victorian Railways. 

A Post Office had opened on 11 November 1887 in a nearby area. On 1 August 1910 this office was renamed St Clair and on the same day Powlett Coal Mine Post Office, opened earlier that year, was renamed Wonthaggi. That is when the town was given a permanent name.


Address:1 Bent Street, Wonthaggi Visitor Information Centre, Wonthaggi, 3995
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.603862
Long: 145.594104
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:Landscape
Approx. Event Start Date:1910
Approx. Event End Date:2010
Artist:Shane Cargill & Martin Moore (sculptor)


Front Inscription
WONTHAGGI               BASS 
100 YEARS                  COAST
Our Celebrations

"SEAM" by Shane Cargill and sculptor Martin Moore commemorates the Centenary of Wonthaggi 

"SEAM" represents the volume of coal that each miner was expected to bring above ground each day 
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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