Marathon effort: Left off the map for a century, NQ town comes roaring back

A remote north-west Queensland town that fell off the map historically has been restored after 160 years in the geographical wilderness.

Nov 23, 2021, updated Nov 23, 2021
Resources Minister Scott Stewart. (Image: Facebook).

Resources Minister Scott Stewart. (Image: Facebook).

A once vibrant location crucial to the state’s northern wool trade early last century has finally been given official status as a locality. Modern mapmakers will now need to add Marathon to their register of Queensland locations, marking a spot 65 kilometres west of Hughenden.

The township of Marathon was a pastoral property name first used by lessees in 1863 by then co-commissioner of Crown Lands for Kennedy District, William Lempriere Frederick Sheaffe.

In 1903 the famous Great Northern railway line reached the township of Marathon, allowing pastoral stations in the region to supply wool and beef to the Port of Townsville for export.

Resources Minister Scott Stewart congratulated the residents of Marathon for the new locality between the boundaries of Hughenden, Stamford and Dutton River.

“This is a big win for the residents and emergency services in the region who had experienced confusion when trying to locate properties within the vicinity of Marathon,” Stewart said.

“The township of Marathon has been around for almost 160 years and this locality change will ensure the community remains connected to the region’s historical significance.”

Flinders Shire Council mayor Jane McNamara said the locality change was a win-win for residents and emergency services alike.

“It might not seem like much, but this change could be the difference between life and death when it comes to our fire, ambulance and police searching for an address,” McNamara said.

“In the early 1900s the areas of Marathon and Stamford were busy and vibrant places that played a role in Queensland’s booming wool trade.

“It is great to see the legacy of these historic areas recognised and live on.”

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