Territory Stories

May Brown



May Brown


Brown, May; Wolfram Queen


May Brown


Territory Women; HistoryNT

Place of birth

Sydney (N.S.W.)

Date of birth



Miner; Business Woman; Publican

Place of death

Sydney (N.S.W.)

Place of burial

Rookwood Cemetery (N.S.W.)

Biographical notes

In 1906 May married James Burns, a Pine Creek miner, and together they worked the Wolfram and Waves mines. Six years later her husband died and the mine ceased production until his estate was settled and the Wolfram mine was transferred to her. May continued to operate the mines with her new husband Charles Brown until the outbreak of World War One. Stocks dropped, mining stock plummeted and mining almost ceased. May turned her hand to the hotel trade and was the first to win a lease in 1921 for the Victoria Hotel. May also bought the Pine Creek hotel and operated a café/boarding house in Darwin. May had an interest in politics and it is repute that she had used her wealth and connections to influence political and bureaucratic decision making on more than occasion. By 1934 May's lifestyle and circumstances changed she was forced to forfeit both her Wolfram Hill and Crest of the Wave mines for "non payment of rent". May still remained an activate member of the Darwin community but due to ill health she travelled to Sydney for medical treatment, there she died on 23 July 1939. Source: Northern Territory dictionary of biography. Darwin : Charles Darwin University Press, 2008.


Women; Northern Territory

Related materials

Northern Territory dictionary of biography. Darwin : Charles Darwin University Press, 2008. NTC 920.9429 NORT

Related links

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3276570 ["Mining Applications" Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Thursday 2 April 1914, p.11]; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3285489 ["Northern Territory Battleplane Fund" Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Thursday 6 September 1917, p.3]; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3385909 ["Police Court" Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Tuesday 24 May 1927, p.6]; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4562606 ["News of the Week" Northern Territory Times, Friday 1 November 1929, p.4]; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3370011 ["Licensing Notice" Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Friday 18 April 1924, p.3]; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3384052 ["Death" Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Friday 15 October 1926, p.7]; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3376030 ["Town Talk" The Argus, Friday 14 December 1923, p.7]; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3368930 ["Town Talk" Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Friday 7 December 1923, p.5]; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3368891 ["Mining News" Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Friday 25 January 1924, p.5]; https://www.catalog.slsa.sa.gov.au:443/record=b2100720~S3 [State Library South Australia : PRG 1365/1/98, Sports Day, 1922, Laver Collection]; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3371198 ["Wedding Bells" Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Friday 11 April 1924, p.9]; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4556394 ["A lady's letter" Northern Territory Times, Tuesday 17 July 1928, p.8]; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4528523 ["Display Advertisment" Northern Territory Times, Friday 18 April 1930, p.5]

Parent handle


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