Collage of Blinman.

It's an unlikely name for a town but in 1859 when sheep herder Robert Blinman discovered a large copper deposit here he was quick to give it his moniker. His discovery went on to become the largest copper mine of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia.

In 1859 if getting the ore out of the ground was arduous work then transporting it from Blinman to Port Augusta, 217km south, was a nightmare. The logistics of mining in the Flinders Ranges were near impossible.

A tent city eventually gave way to bark huts followed by the construction of a hotel and post office. Water was scarce and life extremely arduous on the copper fields and there was little help from the government of the day. A promised railway eventually made its way into the ranges but the ore still had to be carried from Blinman to the rail head at Parachilna - a distance of 35km via Parachilna Gorge.

By 1869 the Blinman mine was employing 700 men. 200 worked directly at the mine face while the rest were involved with associated tasks such as woodcutting and dressing the ore. The town had swelled to 1500 residents.

The copper ore finally petered out in 1918. During her glory years Blinman's population had peaked at 2000 people. Today about 25 residents live in the townsite. Accommodation is still available for the visitors who come to visit the spectacular Flinders Ranges and the numerous old mine sites make for an interesting deviation after inspecting the South Australian landscape.

The town itself has some original architecture from the 1860's and 70's and the cemetery helps tell a tale of hardship in a town where death during childbirth was a common occurrence as was consumption caused by the obnoxious dust from the mine.

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