Sunday, 16 February 2020

Memories of Pialba- by an early day resident.

Pialba Hotel. Source: Image Gallery

A delightful article in Maryborough Chronicle discusses the early days of Pialba. The article from Friday 10th March, 1950 talks about the first time the reader went to Pialba in 1882 at the age of four and half years. The reader lived at Pialba until she was fifteen.
"My father (or strictly speaking my step-father), W.H. Caldwell, was appointed from Brisbane as post and telegraph master there to relieve Mr Dear who had only been there for a short period" (Maryborough Chronicle).  The father had gone ahead of the family and they travelled to Maryborough by steamer and were met by Mr Horsburgh. He took the family to Hervey by mail coach -which ran a mail and passenger service to Pialba twice a week- the next morning. The reader recollects that it was a horribly tiresome trip by canvas covered wagonette. They stopped at a halfway house kept by Mr Sinfield and had lunch and a change of horses. They travelled till dark. "It was and ordeal for my mother with a young baby and three others" (Maryborough Chronicle). The neighbour Mr McLiver let them stay overnight. "Mr McLiver gave us our first taste of wild plums or congerines which grew lavishly along the water front" (Maryborough Chronicle).  "We beat the sun the next morning to the beach, but when we caught sight of the blacks we went back quicker, than we came. However, we soon lost all fear of them and quite loved it all" (Maryborough Chronicle). The post office was one room of the dwelling they lived in. Pialba had a very small population. "At Nikenbah, Danish and German people who were wonderful farmers ...grew pineapples, bananas, citrus fruit and produce and vegetables which they carted in German wagons to Maryborough" (Maryborough Chronicle). The reader says that "Pialba was generally spoken of as the Bay, starting with the Pialba Hotel, there was a stretch for about half a mile to Mr Watson's house (which he had bought from Mr Boyle Martin)" about one mile to Mr Southerden's, with Mr McLiver's home next. The latter was care taker and butcher and conducted a one-room general grocery store. Then another half a mile or so was the Vernon Hotel kept by Mr Antcliffe, half a mile or so on was Mr Corser's residence and care takers cottage. That at the time constituted The Bay" (Maryborough Chronicle). She goes on to explain that Maryborough people bought seaside houses and these filled in between the above mentioned buildings. Torquay was started by a Mr W. Bennett who built a galvanised dwelling and a Mrs Bennett who conducted a small store and later a post office. Mr Wylie was put in charge of the post office. A German couple  Mr and Mrs Scheffler started a farm and orchard around where Zephyr Street is now.  When Mr Scheffler died, Mrs Scheffler oversaw a boarding house (Maryborough Chronicle).  A cable test house where cables which crossed to Woody Island and Fraser Island were tested by the readers step father was next. "Further inland Sergeant King (retired) took up an area of grazing land, and with him lived his two sons, Nat and Tom. who entered the police force and who were called to help capture the Dora Dora Blackfellows who had run amok. Tom King helped to capture the Kelly Gang"(Maryborough Chronicle). Mr Bromiley began growing coffee on his farm at the back of where the Vernon hotel was. "My late husband, Duncan Martin was the first white child born at Pialba. This was in 1868".
Vernon Hotel. Source: Image Gallery

Do you have any early memories of The Bay?

Maryborough Chronicle 10th March retrieved from Trove  on 17th February, 2020.

Tags #Thebay #HerveyBay #Pialba #Nikenbah #postoffice #boardinghouse.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Cafe Mimosa

Cafe Mimosa, taken in the 1920's before the verandah was added above the front of the cafe. Maryborough Family History Pinterest Collection Cafes
The Mimosa or Cafe Mimosa has been a popular hang out spot for locals up until recently. Anne Scheu – Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland has posted a blog about this lovely cafe. Even in the 70s bands would play in the cafe and a reader remembers her teenage sisters going to the Mimosa to chat and listen to music.
The SLQ blog tells us Brothers Jim (Dimitris Anargeros) and George Andronicus and their families built their position in the township based on the tradition that people “go where they get quality, lowest prices, prompt attention, civility and cleanliness”. Café Mimosa had a reception lounge above the café which was large enough to host sporting teams, wedding receptions, musical events and the Philharmonic choir during its practice sessions.
Irene Andronicus with her children, Katie, Ada and Mary, behind Cafe Mimosa Counter, Maryborough, 1930. From 32173 Andronicus Family photographs. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 32173-0001-0011.

Read the full State Library of Queensland blog here 

Do you remember the cafe?
Do you have any photographs of events held there?

Tags: #Cafe #localhistory #Mimosa #Frasercoast
Fraser Coast Libraries receives financial assistance from the Queensland Government through State Library of Queensland.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020


Children at Owanyilla with a canoe made from corrigated iron. Source: Erbacher Collection Library Images
Owanyilla is described as a "hamlet extending from the bank of the Mary to Gympie Road half way between Maryborough and Tiaro" (Kirby, 2011). According to the Maryborough Chronicle for two years the place was inhabited by the native police under Lieutenants Freudenthal and Price. It began to develop as a village due to the Gympie gold rush in 1867. A hotel was built by Sir Nicholls and this was succeeded by Mr Skene and Mr Muir (Maryborough Chronicle). There was a brewery perched above the river that produced Owanyilla Ale. Although Tiaro developed more quickly, there was a push to get services and recognition of Owanyilla as a village. The area was originally going to be called Coopers Plains. In 1868 a post office was set up at the Owanyilla Hotel/Inn and was later moved to the Owanyilla Railway Station in 1881 (Kirby, 2011). The timber, sugar and dairy industries were mainstays of the area with steamers at Owanyilla Wharf enabling transport. Wool, maize and cotton were also farmed. Other industry followed including a Blacksmith, a Butcher and a store. Sugar Mills including the Antigua Mill were established, and a Juice mill was established on Ferney. More information about Ferney can be found here

Antigua Sugar Mill on upper Mary River, Maryborough, ca.1874 Source: Fraser Coast Libraries Image Collection
A need for a school was found and a temporary school was held in a chapel (Kirby, 2011) In 1879 Owanyilla State School was established. Once Upon a Time in Owanyilla by Cythia Kirby details the history of this once thriving rural area and is found in the Libraries Local History Collection in Maryborough.

Did you know Owanyilla was once a small settlement?
Do you know where the name comes from?

Kirby, C (2011) Once Upon a Time in Owanyilla
Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser 17th August, 1875 retrieved from Trove on the 23rd of January, 2020.

Tags #sugar #dairy #owanyilla #localhistory #goldrush #aldridge #antigua #ferney #rimber

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Hervey Bay and the Burrum Shire Council

The Burrum Shire Council

H.J. Whitby's publication The Burrum Shire Council - 1917 to 1976 states that the first new settlers to Hervey Bay were Boyle Martin and his family. He was looking for timber to supply the Dundathu sawmill. He was told a suitable landing place was a creek which is now where Beach Road joins the Esplanade at Pialba. After establishing a home, his first job was to cut and transport timber. The tides were used to float the timber up to Dundathu.

The area first settled by Boyle Martin is claimed to have been called Polson Point. Whitby (pg 9) claims "Mr Polson was at one time Manager of the Bank of New South Wales at Maryborough. Whilst holidaying at Pialba in 1969 he became ill and died. He was buried on the foreshore in the vicinity of Beach Road. His remains were later transferred to the Polson Cemetery in 1887". It was renamed in 1861 after Captain Charles Vernon, commander of HMS Cordelia which had conveyed Governor Bowen to Queensland in 1859.

With the development of Burrum Coalfields and with the amalgamation of Pialba, Antigua, Howard, Tinana and Granville on the 15th of February, 1917 the Shire of Burrum was formed.

Read more in the booklet The Burrum Shire Council found in the local history section of our Libraries.

The Butchulla People are the Traditional Custodians/Owners of the Land, and their continued connection to the land on which we walk, work and live is acknowledged. Fraser Coast Libraries acknowledges and pays respects to the Elders past, present and emerging.

Whitby, H.J The Burrum Shire Council 1917 - 1976 Maryborough printing Co.

Tags #Dundathu #HerveyBay #Pialba #BurrumShire #PointVernon #Timber

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Cobb & Co Maryborough to Gympie

Cobb & Co Route Source: State Library of Queensland
A library customer has made an enquiry about a Cobb & Co well that was used around 1800s on three mile road. This well was considered of historical significance. When the land was resumed for the interchange, the well was preserved. The customer is very keen to find out any information about this particular well and this part of the journey that Cobb & Co took. The above map is from State Library of Queensland and shows the path that Cobb  & Co followed in this area. 

The journey from Maryborough to Gympie was fraught with difficulty. "On April, 7th, 1868, three armed men stuck up the coach between Gympie and Maryborough. There were 13 passengers on the coach and the bush rangers secured 200 pounds in notes, 30 sovereigns and 15 ounces of gold".(The Western Champion and General Advertiser for the Central-Western Districts (Barcaldine, Qld. : 1892 - 1922)

The first Queensland Cobb & Co. Ltd was incorporated in August 1881 with a capital of 50 000 pounds (The Western Champion and General Advertiser for the Central-Western Districts (Barcaldine, Qld. : 1892 - 1922)

Do you know anything about this or other Cobb & Co wells?

The Western Champion and General Advertiser for the Central-Western Districts (Barcaldine, Qld. : 1892 - 1922) 15th September, 1917 retrieved from Trove  on the 11th December, 2019.

Tags #cobb&co #Maryborough #goldrush #Gympie #3mileroad

Monday, 9 December 2019

Hervey Bay was a dairy farming district

Colonsay Farm Horse Shed Source: Queensland Heritage Register

Colonsay Farm (former Doolong Farm),Source: Queensland Heritage Register
Did you know a dairy farming area that was known as Aalborg was in Hervey Bay? In the 1870s settlers from Scandinavian areas set up dairy farms and it was not until September 1877 that the town of Hervey Bay was established from this and a number of other small areas.  A farm from this era, Colonsay at Kawungan, was developed as a dairy farm from 1879 and is heritage listed here. It is considered one of the only surviving small scale dairy farms typical of that time in Hervey Bay. The Wide Bay was the second highest milk producing area of the state when Colonsay Farm was in its prime. A decline in the industry only began in Queensland in the 1950s. Anders Jensen, a Danish immigrant established the farm. The timber house was built in 1909 and other buildings include a creamery, a slab barn, cow bails, two piggeries with an enclosed timber walk-through and a dairy with electrically operated milking machines (Queensland Heritage Register).

Joan McFie also shared lots of memories of Hervey Bay including the house and property she owns on the blog here.

Do you know anything about the dairy farms in Hervey Bay?

Colonsay Farm (former Doolong Farm) retrieved from Queensland Heritage Register on the 10th December, 2019.

#dairyfarms #slabhuts #doolong #Colonsay #herveybay #kawungan

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Woodstock House - links with early days

Queensland National Bank - Australia Source: Fraser Coast Image Gallery

The National Bank of Australia building also know as Woodstock House, located on the corner of Richmond Street and Kent Street was erected in 1915 (Maryborough Chronicle). The main contractor was NC Steffensen who had tendered to complete the work at a cost of 2997 pounds (Queensland Heritage Register). 

After auction it became headquarters for Burrum Shire Council (Queensland Heritage Register). The previous Burrum Shire Council quarters on the corner of Ellena and Bazaar Street  were demolished  in the 1960s and 4MB was built on the site creating the need for the Council to find new premises. "The Burrum Shire Council was formally decommissioned in 1976 when the building was sold into private ownership and used for office tenancies(Queensland Heritage Register). The building was then acquired by a group of Doctors (Queensland Heritage Register).
Queensland National Australia Bank Source: Fraser Coast Image Gallery

The land was originally owned by Mr Edmund Uhr who bought it in 1955. The site was formally occupied by a warehouse erected for Stoward, Bryant and Company in 1870 (Queensland Heritage Register).

It is described as a two-storey revival classic building with single story residence attached to the eastern side. It is rendered brick construction with Corinthian columns.
The Queensland Heritage Register States "The name Woodstock House, which currently appears on the building's parapet, was given to it in the 1970s when it was purchased by doctors E Dunn and K Pearson for use as a surgery; Woodstock being the name of Dr Dunn's home in Lennox Street at the time. Major restoration work was carried out on the building after 1999 when the bricks were stripped and the columns were painted".
Queensland National Bank (former) (1997); Heritage Branch
Queensland Heritage Register
A branch of the Queensland National Bank was  established in  Pialba, Hervey Bay on the 6th February, 1919 (Maryborough Chronicle).

Do you have any stories about Woodstock House?

Maryborough Chronicle 24th June, 1915 retrieved from Trove  on 4th December, 2019.
Maryborough Chronicle 6th February, 1919 retrieved from Trove on the 4th December, 2019.
Queensland National Bank (former) retrieved from Queensland Heritage Register  on the 5th December, 2019.
Tags #woodstockhouse #maryborough #localhistory #heritage #nationalaustralia #bank