The Toowong and District Historical Society encompasses the area of the original Toowong Town Council, namely, Toowong, Milton, Auchenflower and parts of Mt Coot-tha. If you have anything to share about these areas (eg photos, stories, family histories), we would love to hear from you.

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The History of the Queensland Police Service

At our Members’ Meeting on 26th June 2015, we welcome Queensland Police Museum Curator Lisa Jones who will speak upon the Queensland Police Museum and the history of the Queensland Police Service.

All are welcome to the talk, and guests are invited to stay afterwards to join our members for morning tea.

Where: Toowong Library, top floor, Toowong Village.
When: Friday, 26th June, 2015 from 9.30-11.30am.
For inquiries please contact the Secretary, Toowong and District Historical Society Inc.

Here are some facts about Queensland’s fledgling police service.

Did you know that after the colony’s separation from New South Wales in 1859, the young police force was mainly concerned with patrolling the largest city, Brisbane?
Rural areas were still looked after by the NSW police. In 1863, a separate police act was endorsed and took effect on 1 January, 1864, and marked the beginning of an independent history for the Queensland Police Force.

The new colony was strapped for cash, and the deliveries of government services were consequently impacted. On 31 December 1864 the total ordinary Police Force of all ranks in the colony numbered 176 men, who were distributed around 28 stations. By 1865, the credit squeeze of 1862-65 eased, and during this year, 15 new stations were formed, with a consequent increase of the force

Four indigenous Troopers at the Mistake Creek Native Mounted Police Barracks 1880s.

by 38 Constables. Meanwhile, the overall population of the colony increased by 13,052 and was stretched over 22,331 square miles of new country.

Between 1864 and 1869 Queensland police occupied buildings in the City centre, and then in 1870 they moved into Victoria Barracks. In 1885 they moved next door into the old Brisbane Gaol buildings after the prisoners were moved to Boggo Road Gaol. One wing of the gaol was demolished while the second wing was converted into Police Barracks, later a second storey and verandah were added to this building.

From the Vault—the Early Days extracted from the Qld Police Museum webpage at:
THEN and NOW – Petrie Terrace Depot 1938 to 1972 extracted from the Qld Police Museum webpage at:

Can you help?

George_Rogers_Harding_thumbThe photograph on the left features George Rogers Harding IV, son of Judge Harding, standing outside a flooded house, presumably, although not necessarily, located in Brisbane’s inner western suburbs.

Click on the thumbnail for a larger image

A family history researcher has contacted our Society to request assistance with identifying the house and address and also asks for information about which flood it could be. It is before 1941.

Are you able to assist with information about the photo? If so, please contact the Society.

Congratulations to Melva


Melva A Welch OAM received a Special Mention Award at the Queensland Family History Book Awards presentation on June 11th at the Society’s AGM for her local municipal history book, Cradle to Grave – Toowong Council.

The book is a cameo record of the elected and appointed men who served Toowong’s local government from its 1880 formation until 1925 when the area became part of the Brisbane City Council under the Greater Brisbane Act.

Melva compiled Cradle to Grave – Toowong Council for the Toowong and District Historical Society and it was published in February, 2013. Many of the councillors’ descendents attended the book launch, which was hosted by the BCC Toowong Library. The book was launched by Denver Beanland, former local and then state government representative, as well as former Deputy Mayor of the City of Brisbane and former Queensland Attorney General.

After the formalities were completed, a large framed photograph of the Toowong Town Council 1915-16 was presented to the BCC Archives to be hung in Toowong BCC Library. Cr Peter Matic accepted the photograph on behalf of the BCC Archives.

The Queensland Family History Book Award Co-ordinator described the book as “a fine book with excellent presentation and an excellent index”.

President Paul Meyers said, “The Society is delighted that Melva’s scholarship has been thus recognised by her peers. It is well deserved. She has produced an excellent piece of work, and the details of genealogical and other historical facts have been meticulously researched. On behalf of the members, congratulations, Melva!”

Copies of Melva’s award winning publication can be ordered through on the Publications’ page.

Volunteers needed


  • typing
  • clipping newspapers
  • sorting materials for filing
  • scanning
  • library expertise to advise on aspects of cataloguing
  • writing, proofreading and editing.

Come along and join the working bee!

Call Mobile: 0401 180 092 if you would like further information.

If you are registered in a ‘Work for the Dole’ scheme, then please consider volunteering to assist the Toowong and District Historical Society Inc.