Monday, 21 January 2019

Australian South Sea Islander exhibition coming to the State Library of Queensland

South Sea Islanders cutting cane in the Bundaberg district, ca. 1906. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image APO-032-0001-0018
Australian South Sea Islander history and heritage continues to be an untold story in our wider community. The State Library of Queensland is proud to announce the development of a new exhibition, Plantation Voices: Contemporary Conversations with Australian South Sea Islanders.

The exhibition will open to the public on the 16 February 2019 in the Philip Bacon Heritage Gallery on Level 4, at the State Library.  It will explore the living history of Australian South Sea Islanders, by exploring the State Library of Queensland collections including images, books and documentation collected over the last 150 years.  The collections, especially the original material, will be the back drop to a conversation about the significant contribution South Sea Islanders and their descendants, Australian South Sea Islanders have made to Queensland’s cultural landscape.

Read more here

Imelda Miller – Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland State Library Blogs

Tags #slqPlantationVoices #ASSI25years  #sugarcane #widebay #localhistory

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Early Days of Sugar on the Fraser Coast.

Sugar Cane being taken to load onto trains.
In 1864,  Mr Buhot, manager of the Victorian Cotton and Sugar Plantation arrived in the township to take delivery of 10 000 setts (stem cuttings or sections of the stalks) of cane grown by Mr John Eaton at Rosehill and he demonstrated a simple way of manufacturing brown sugar.
Sugar cane that was grown on new scrub land. None of the stumps had been removed. The price for sugar cane in 1882 was ten shillings per ton.
In 1866 the first ton of sugar was manufactured in Queensland.
The sugarcane in this photograph was from A. H. Hope's property at River Road, Tinana. The horses in the photograph were named Dick and Punch.
In 1865 the Maryborough Sugar Company was formed and a large area on the Mary River and Tinana Creek was soon under cane. In 1881 Millaquin refinery was erected and then moved to Doolbi in Isis. Mills that operated in the area at this time include Alpha, Alford, Antigua, Central, Eatonvale, Ferney, Good Hope, Linda, Irrawarra, Island Plantation, Kirkcubbin, Magnolia, Netherby, Nerada, Tolasco and Yerra.
A team of farmers on Norman Christiansen's cane farm after a fire burnt out his cane. All the farmers helped to cut and load the cane. 1st left (standing on ground ) is Anders Christiansen. Sitting 2nd from left, front row: is Lars Andersen. They were among the first settlers in Hervey Bay in the 1870s. Most of the others pictured here are decendants of other settlers who came later. The picture was taken in the 1920s.
Harvesting sugar cane at the Walligan Siding, Pialba line, in the 1924 cane season.
Messrs L. Nissen, L Stalley, W. Nissen and F. Stalley cutting sugar cane and loading on to horse drawn wagon ready for transportation to a sugar mill.
The majority of this sugar was produced in Isis, Bundaberg and Maryborough was shipped overseas through the deep sea port at Urangan. Maryborough sugar mill remains the sole surviving unit in the area and in 1954 there were 441 cane growers.
Group of teamsters with horse drawn wagons loaded with sugar cane at the Walligan siding during the 1924 season. Standing on load, left to right: Oswald Horne, Jim Stocks, George Whitaker, Ambrose Horne and Ted Neilsen. Seated on wagon: Eddie Horne, Charlie Nielsen and two other men. Standing on ground: Alick Newburn, Frank Kopp, Jim McLiver and at horses head Henry Phillips.
Loading sugar cane at the Urraween siding, using a gantry to unload the cane from horse drawn wagons onto the cane train.

These images and more can be found on our image gallery in our catalogue  

Kerr, John D (1987) Sugar at Maryborough : 120 years of challenge

Tags #sugar #frasercoast #Urangan #Industry

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Embassy Theatre, Maryborough

Embassy Theatre, Maryborough (Local Heritage Site Card)
The Mayor Alderman William Demaine opened the Embassy Theartre on the 16th of  April, 1935, claiming that it was a high quality project.

Mayor William Demaine

"The Embassy Theatre was constructed for Coigne Dalton, the daughter of John Leslie Stump, a prominent Maryborough hotelier, in 1935. Stump died that year and Dalton took over the business. The little shop on the side adjoining the hotel was established as a candy bar. The Embassy Theatre was then bought by Liberty Theatres and in 1950 sold to J.A.(Archie) Daniel, who operated the business together with his son Muir until his death in 1965. His son carried on until mid 1966. The building was taken over by Bolton's Furniture in the 1980s and was used as a retail outlet and showroom for electrical goods and carpets until the 1990s"(Local Heritage Site Card and Maryborough Chronicle).

At the premiere theatre goers passed through "wrought iron gates to be greeted by usherettes and ticket takers" (Maryborough Chronicle) The screen was designed with a bow window effect and high fidelity equipment was installed. In 1947 the foyer and lighting were improved (Maryborough Chronicle).

Messrs Hennessy and Pond hosted the Maryborough Show Society dance in the Embassy theatre before the location was upgraded(Maryborough Chronicle).

Did you go to movies at the Embassy Theatre?

What are your memories?

Tags #Embassy #theatre #maryborough #boltons #localhistory

Local Heritage register site  card retrieved from
Maryborough Chronicle 18th March, 1935 retrieved from Trove
Maryborough Chronicle 10th April, 1935 retrieved from Trove 
Maryborough Chronicle 21st March, 1935 retrieved from Trove 

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Maryborough Railway Station and Air Raid Shelters

Buildings constructed between 1878 through to 1930's, including a concrete air raid shelter built in 1942, make up the railway complex on Lennox Street in Maryborough. These buildings are found on the Queensland Heritage Register. The Maryborough Railway Station was part of a "railway network that radiated from Maryborough, transporting timber, coal, sugar and other agricultural products to the wharves on the Mary River. Maryborough was also a busy rail terminal for passenger trafficQueensland Heritage Register.
Queens Park Bunya Pines; Heritage Branch staff
Railway Line in the Botanic Gardens Queensland Heritage Register 
"A short branch line was built through the Botanic Gardens (Queensland Heritage Register ) to the wharf area in 1880, and in 1883 this was extended eastwards alongside the river north of Kent Street to the Walkers Limited foundry and shipyards. It was later extended to the Maryborough Sugar Factory (established 1894)"Queensland Heritage Register. 
Between 1878 to 1886 construction at the site included a station master's residence, engineer's office (non-extant), store and blacksmith's workshop, a goods' shed, passenger station, closets and urinals, 30 foot turntable, loading banks, station gates and fences and a semaphore signal, a foreman's cottage, a locomotive shed, a gatehouse and new offices for the traffic manager and engineers, a coal depot and a forkline Queensland Heritage Register
One of the most interesting buildings is an Air Raid Shelter. Two were built in the 1940's. It is thought this was linked to increase wartime traffic and the industrial activities that were undertaken at the site.
Air Raid Shelter Maryborough Railway Station Source: Travel Guide
Government regulations regarding the safety of the population also prompted the building of shelters.See Maryborough Chronicle regarding copies of  the Protection of Persons and Property Order No.1, gazetted 23 December 1941 being sent to Maryborough. Queensland Heritage Register states "Queensland's Premier William Forgan Smith ordered the Brisbane City Council to construct 200 public surface shelters in the city area. Another 24 local governments in Queensland's coastal areas were ordered to produce surface or trench shelters for the public. A large number of businesses also had to build air raid shelters. Owners of any building in the coastal areas where over 30 people would normally be present at any one time were required to build shelters either within the building, or adjacent to it." The railway built a total of  five air raid shelters for use of their employees according the the Maryborough Chronicle. One shelter remains at the Old Maryborough railway station despite a large demolition program after the war. Maryborough Chronicle details the permission to keep these shelters here.
Maryborough Chronicle 30th December 1941 from Trove 
Maryborough Chronicle 6th January 1942 from Trove
Maryborough Chronicle 14th August 1945 from Trove
Queensland Heritage Register retrieved on 12.12.2018 from
Queensland Heritage Register retrieved on 12.12.2018 from

Tags #WW2 #Railway #airraid #shelters #Maryborough #frasercoast #station

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Maryborough's Biggest Flood

Maryborough Floods 1893 Source: Maryborough Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society Inc.
Fraser Coast Libraries in partnership with the Maryborough Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society Inc. have provided access to historical images from the 1890 and 1893 floods in Maryborough. These images can be found here .

Maryborough Floods 1893 Source: Maryborough Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society Inc.
With high quality copies of this image able to be purchased from the Maryborough Wide Bay & Burnett Historical Society Inc. Contact email and quote the identifier on the image.
Maryborough Floods 1893 Source: Maryborough Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society Inc.

Flooding has been a common event in Maryborough. The most recent flood came in January 2013 followed by another a month later. The January flood was the fourth highest in recorded history. Flood waters in 1974 came up a slightly higher than the 2013 flood level. The 1955 flood was the second highest flood with the 1893 February flood breaking the record. New flood barriers have been put in place to protect the city and flood information can be found on the Council's Disaster Management Dashboard under the Regional Flood Map tab.More Fraser Coast Flood Information can be found here Below are flood levels taken from this site:
  • 1857 - Above 9m
  • 1864 - Above 9m
  • 1870 - Above 9m
  • 1875 - Above 9m
  • 1887 - Above 9m
  • 1890 - Above 9m
  • 1893 February - 12.27m
  • 1893 second flood - 9.89m
  • 1898 - Above 9m
  • 1955 - 11.24m
  • 1968 - Above 9m
  • 1974 - Above 10.8m
  • 1992 - 9.48m
  • 1992 second flood - Below 9m
  • 1998 - 6.64m
  • 2013 27th to 30th January - 10.7m
What are your memories of the floods?

Tags # Floods #Maryborough #Frasercoast #disaster #management

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Coal Miners from Howard District

./6ye3qFormer university lecturer Dr Rae Norris has spent the last year researching Coal Miners from the Howard district. The lack of  information about their work and lives inspired her to begin her project. As part of the Local History talk series Dr Norris introduced her initial findings. She has managed to add four more names to the Miner Memorial found at Burrum District Museum , bringing the total to thirty.-+
No 4 Mine Burgowan. Source: David Proctor Collection
Dr Norris utilised free access to and Find my Past from Libraries located in Maryborough, Howard and Hervey Bay. Using clues she gleaned from these sites, she then went to the cemetery to find their graves. She was surprised to find few headstones.  A major explosion in Torbanlea in 1900 killed five men and she located a grave that had both father and son killed in this event. She used the Fraser Coast Council's online Cemetery data bases to discover more information about the miners and their families. Dr Norris's full talk is available on Fraser Coast Libraries Youtube page here

3. Pit pony hauling a coal wagon at QC Gauchalland Mine, 1920.

 Pit pony hauling a coal wagon at QC Gauchalland Mine, 1920.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Yengarie Sugar Mill and Refinery

Ruins of the Central Sugar Mill. Source:Queensland Heritage Register 

Ruins of the Central Sugar Mill. Source:Queensland Heritage Register 

Yengarie was a hub of industry when the sugar refinery and mill were located there. The Queensland Heritage register has information about the the ruins of the Central Sugar Mill and the Yengarie Sugar Refinery  The remains from 1866 can be found near the Mary River at Yengarie. It serviced many sugar plantations in the area before closing, in the late 1890s. Sugar cane had been first brought to Australia in 1788 and by the end of the decade cane was being cultivated at Maryborough, Mackay and Bundaberg.

Ruins of the Central Sugar Mill. Source:Queensland Heritage Register 
According to the Heritage Register local timber millers Frederick Gladwell and Robert Greathead decided to build a mill  and wharves that would  enable cane to be processed from surrounding farms. Written agreements were obtained from local farmers regarding the supply of cane.
The Heritage Register States "In early November 1868 the Maryborough Chronicle reported that the mill's end of season production was estimated to be 70 tons of sugar and 75 hogsheads of rum. The first shipment of locally produced rum left Maryborough on 11 November when 19 hogsheads from the Central Mill and 20 tons of sugar left on board the Saxonia for Sydney. In 1869/1870 William Gibson, who had operated a sugar mill near Brisbane, purchased the Central Mill, which he ran until the mid 1880s. However, by 1877 the Central was operating only as a juice mill, crushing growers' cane and delivering the juice to the nearby Yengarie Refinery. This had been established by Tooth & Cran in 1867 and was upgraded in 1871 to be a large modern refinery producing a high quality white sugar".
Cran purchased the Central Mill in the early 1890s. In 1893 flooding damaged farms, the mill and the refinery. In 1899 and the Central Mill was taken over by the Kersnovske family, becoming the Central Plantation (Queensland Heritage Register). 
The structures of the Mill are now in disrepair. The front and one side wall of the refinery remain.
Yengarie Sugar Refinery Source:Queensland Heritage Register
Queensland Heritage Register retrieved on 30.11.2018 from
Tags #Sugar #mill #yengarie #maryborough #juice #