Mount Garnet is an old tin mining area, surrounded by beef cattle stations and in 1931 to 1932 about 14 tobacco farms were grown and are still found on the Herbert River flats today along with other small crop farms which produce corn, sorghum and maize. Various mining operations, including lime production and zinc, are currently functioning just outside Mount Garnet.
Two brothers discovered tin at Return Creek around 1880. In 1881 the tin rush began and more tin was discovered in Smith Creek, Battle Creek and Nettle Creek. Copper was discovered on the slopes of Mount Garnet hills in 1897 by a Swiss and a German man. John Moffat of Irvinebank bought the land and developed a mining company.
Buildings and smelters were constructed in 1901 and closed in 1903 because the copper ran out. The railway was built in 1901 to 1910 and from 1910 to 1928 the mining stopped and many people left town. In 2012, Kagara Mine closed down but there is hope that it may re-open in the future.
During 1928 to 1980, tin mining was started again, this time using a dredge.
In 1940 a boom in hardwood timber cutting began. It has since died down but some families still make money from cutting wood today.
Many buildings were made to give people a place to shop and relax in the town. Some of the oldest buildings in town are still here today. Lucey’s Hotel now Mt Garnet Hotel, Jack and Newell store now the IGA store, the old Post Office is still in the same place and the old Police buildings are now the town’s library and an unused building at the racetrack.