Toowong District Historical Society - High street and Sherwood road Toowong Brisbane c1890

A brief history of Toowong

In 1842, the former Moreton Bay Penal Settlement (est. 1825), was made available to free settlers with land in the CBD offered first. These early colonists did not recognise that the penal colony occupied key Meanjin land and waterholes which lead to numerous conflicts.

The 1850s saw the auction of land in what became the Toowong shire and the construction of several grand houses. On 8 July 1851 the first parcels of Crown Land along the river bank in the Milton area of the Parish of Enoggera were proclaimed as Freehold. Between 1 March 1852, when the first blocks were sold in Milton, and May 1854, all the allotments along the Milton and Toowong Reach of the Brisbane river that had been offered for sale had been purchased. Among those to first purchase land made in the district were James Charles Burnett, Ambrose Eldridge, Isaac and John Markwell, James Powers, Michael O’Neill, James Henderson, Henry Buckley, Robert Towns and George Christie (tenants-in-common) and Robert Cribb.

In Toowong, parcels of Crown Land were freeholded on 10 June 1853. Robert Cribb purchased the first block, an area of more than 38 acres, 3 rooms and 30 perches and described as Allotment 28, on 16 December 1853. There were also other sales of land further away from the river bank offered in the Toowong and Auchenflower area. Gradually settlement spread further westwards in the district. Much of the land was purchased by people who became well known figures in Queensland such as Robert Towns (after whom Townsville is named), Arnold Weinholt, and WC Bellbridge, the government printer.

By the 1860s Toowong is a recognisable place within the settlement of Brisbane. However there is a severe economic recession in Queensland affecting growth and development which is linked to the economic crash in England, May 1866.

The 1870s sees considerable change and growth in Toowong brought about primarily by the opening of the Brisbane Ipswich Railway line with a station opened at Toowong. The Toowong cemetery is established and a number of businesses and churches are developed along the commercial Centre of Toowong (Moggill Road between the station and Burns Road Bridge and also along Sherwood Road). Shops included a grocery, butchery, an ironmongery, a bakery, a drapery meant there was no need to travel further for necessities. There were also carpenters, contractors and stone masons. New housing estates of Sylvan Grove and Kensington are released for sale.

By the mid 1870s much of these large blocks were subdivided. Properties were purchased by people who became well known figures in Toowong such as architect, Richard Gailey and Professor Samuel Kaye, the musician and music teacher for whom Kaye’s Rocks is named.

In the 1880s the Shire of Toowong was created. Milton and Toowong are early village business centres with schools opening in 1889 and 1879 respectively, and each with railway stations (Milton station opened in 1884). The shopping precinct at Toowong features ribbon development, which is typical of rural pioneer times with the shopping strip strung along the main road, then called Moggill Road, but later renamed in 1885 as High Street.

The Brisbane economy is booming as is immigration and new commerce and this is reflected in Toowong which expands enormously as land estates are subdivided and put up for sale. Estates known as Villa Estates are established. These are sizable rural properties with farms and vegetable gardens, staffed with cooks, maids and grooms, large enough to feature a stable for a coach or horse and sulky to facilitate transport to the city where many were employed in government or banking roles.

The nature of residents in Toowong changes as many more working class families move into the area which had previously only housed wealthier families on large estates. This is assisted by the growth in public transport from Alfred Roberts Omnibus and the railway line.

Following the economic boom of the 1880s Toowong is now a significant size and continues to develop with a number of fine houses were constructed in the shire including Dunmore, Fairseat, Moorlands. Davies states that, “Toowong was a satellite suburb favoured as a residential area by many politicians, civil servants, business leaders and professionals. As their large homes were set in spacious grounds, there were only 950 houses spread over four square miles. More than other suburbs, Toowong was a community in its own right with churches, private schools, sporting clubs and choral society.”

However the economic boom/excesses of the previous decade leads to a financial crisis with a decline in real estate and economic activity. Several banks suspend business and this combined with the floods in 1893 make it a difficult decade for Brisbane and consequently Toowong.

Queensland weathered this economic downturn better than its Southern counterparts and by 1895 there were signs of improvement, the colony was growing, unemployment had decreased, public works recommended and commerce revived. Davies p 142 The following decade saw a number of developments in Toowong including the electric tram, gas lighting and a pool established. In 1895 Pugh’s Almanac described the area as a ‘fashionable township’ with gas and water at the principal shops and villas.

From about 900 dwellings, the number grew to about 2500 by the early 1920s. In 1925 Toowong municipality was incorporated into the Greater Brisbane council.

References

ARCADIAN SIMPLICITY. J.B.Fewings memories of Toowong. Edited by Helen Gregory.
FEWINGS, John Bowden.Published by Bowen Hills. Boolarong Library., 1990
Auchenflower: the Suburb and the Name, John Pearn, Amphion Press, 1997
Brisbane Diseased: Contagions, Cures and Controversy, Brisbane History Group papers no. 25-2016, 2016
‘Historic Auchenflower’, The Brisbane Courier 21 Feb 1931, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/21671601?searchTerm=Historic%20Auchenflower
Historic Brisbane: Convict Settlement to River City, Susanna and Jake De Vries, 2013, Pandanus Press.
Lang Farm Estate Toowong: An 1877 subdivision and the people who made it home, Bull. L, 2019, Toowong and District Historical Society.
Milton, Queensland Places website, 2018, Centre for the Government of Queensland – University of Queensland, https://queenslandplaces.com.au/milton
Surveying Success: The Hume Family in Colonial Queensland, Davies, HJ, 2011, Brisbane History Gorup, Boolarong Press.
The 1893 Financial Crisis in the Colony of Queensland. Stanford, Jon. (2012). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281280635_The_1893_Financial_Crisis_in_the_Colony_of_Queensland
Toowong, Queensland Places website, 2018, Centre for the Government of Queensland – University of Queensland, https://queenslandplaces.com.au/toowong
Warrior: a Legendary leader’s dramatic life and violent death on the colonial frontier. By Libby Connors, Allen and Unwin. ( https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/queensland-historys-hidden-warrior-20150501-1my8ac.html);

Toowong Key dates

1839 – surveyor Robert Dixon and assistants Granville Stapleton and James Warner map land in the area (creating the Parish of Enoggera) for sale to new arrivals. He cleared land on Mt. Coot-tha of trees leaving only one as an anchor point. This gave the area its name of One Tree Hill. 1843 – one of the first major roads out of Brisbane is the one to Moggill with a stretch along the river later known as River Road and then Coronation Drive (1937)

1862 – Richard Langler Drew bought land on the outskirts of Brisbane and set up a signboard to describe the area: ‘This is the village of Toowong’

1864 – William Shaw apples for a licence for the Toowong Retreat Hotel which he formally purchased off Drew in April 1865. The Hotel is situated on Moggill Road consisting of six rooms as reported in the Brisbane Courier, 19 Sept 1864.

1865 – The Reverend M. Bell applies for land at “One Tree Hill” later known as Mount Coot-tha said to be an Aboriginal word for honey.

1871 – Toowong is chosen as the site for a new Brisbane General cemetery to replace the burial centre at Milton.

1872 – Alfred Roberts establishes a form of public transport, a horse omnibus between Eagle St in the city and TARINGA allowing people of more modest income to travel between these areas.

1875
The new Brisbane General Cemetary (also known as the Toowong cemetery) is officially opened.
First Indooroopilly Bridge is constructed.
the Brisbane to Indooroopilly (and Ipswich) railway line was opened, with a station at Toowong and Milton. The naming of the station at Toowong caused the whole district from Patrick Lane to the intersection of Moggill Road and Stanley Terrace to adopt the name.
The Regatta Hotel was opened on River Road (Coronation Drive) overlooking Toowong Reach.
Toowong Post Office established and operates out of Toowong Railway Station.
1877 – Toowong Town Council acquires the land to establish Anzac Park opposite the Toowong Cemetery. This land was originally gazetted as part of the Toowong Cemetary (Brisbane General Cemetary) in 1871.

1879
The Toowong Division was established on 11 Nov 1879 under the Divisional Boards Act 1879
Toowong State School opens in Aston St

1880
the more populated part of Toowong Division ( population 1000) was proclaimed the Shire of Toowong, while the remaining part of the Toowong Division was renamed as the Indooroopilly Division. The Shire of Toowong included Torwood and Milton (south of Boundary Road), Auchenflower and Toowong southwards to Toowong Creek. The western boundary approximated the summit of Mount Coot-tha.
Mt. Coot-tha area was gazetted as a public park/reserve

1881
Patterson’s Sawmill, the Bon Accord, moved to a site near Toowong Station which used to be a waterhole.
Hiron’s Biscuit Factory established in Sherwood Road

1883
One Tree Hill name is changed to Mt. Coot-tha (said to be an Aboriginal word for honey).

1886
The first Regatta hotel building is replaced by the present Regatta Hotel building which was designed by Richard Gailey .
The Royal Exchange Hotel in High Street, Toowong was initially known as the Railway Hotel, and it is also believed to have been built in the 1880s and designed by Richard Gailey.
Toowong Post office relocates to High Street. A purpose built facility was opened in High St in 1899.

1887 – The Metropolitan Rifle Range used by the Queensland Rifle Association was moved to Toowong (Anzac Park area) in 1887, then Enoggera in 1910 and finally Belmont in 1964.

1893 Floods in February and March devastate Toowong and see the railway line submerged and water rising 18 inches (45cm) over the second floor of the Regatta Hotel

1895 – Pugh’s Almanac describes Toowong as a ‘fashionable township on the Brisbane River’ where ‘gas and water are laid on in the principal shops and villas’

1903
The Toowong Shire became the Town of Toowong.
An electric tram service began in 1903 along Milton Road to the cemetery, and then along Dean Street and Woodstock Road to the terminus.

1908
Royal Exchange Hotel, established ca. 1908.
Gas lighting is established in Toowong., 15 Oct 1908 as reported in The Brisbane Courier.

1909 – Toowong Swimming Pool established on Coronation Drive by popular subscription on the western side of Coronation Drive.

1910 – new Toowong Rowing Club with boat sheds near the Regatta is formed. This replaced an earlier club based close to Park Rd Milton which was destroyed in the 1890 and 1893 floods

1911 – December – Toowong Pavilion opens – open air picture theatre around 51 Sherwood Rd

1913 – Picture Palace opens on Jephson Street (until 1916)

1915 – Anzac Park is established at Toowong opposite the Cemetery when the Toowong Shire Council purchases land previously set aside for the Cemetery

1918 – Toowong Memorial Park, Sylvan Road was officially opened in 1918 in honour of those who enlisted from the Town of Toowong during World War I

1920 – Stuartholme school opens in March with 5 pupils

1922
the Soldiers’ Memorial on top of the hill at the Toowong Memorial Park on Sylvan Road was dedicated
Savoy Theatres built the Gaiety in Jephson street which operated until 1961. It was renamed the Jubilee in 1935 (celebrating 25 years since the coronation of King George V)

1925 – the Town of Toowong was one of many local municipal authorities that amalgamated to form the Greater Brisbane Council.

1931 – Brisbane Boys College, formerly a day boarding college in Clayfield est 1901, opens at Toowong

1937 – River Road is renamed Coronation Drive

1957 – ABC Radio station moves to a new studio at Toowong

1961 – The Toowong Municipal Library Building was built 1961 on Coronation Drive opposite the Toowong pool, and was formerly the district library for the western suburbs.The library was designed by Brisbane City Chief Architect James Birrell, and is one of the few remaining examples of his work. The library is now used as commercial premises.

1962 – over the 1962-63 period the bus services replaced the Toowong tram service, the first move in a process to retire the metropolitan tram service in 1969.

1970s – Woolworths takes over the Brisbane Cash and Carry site (High street & Sherwood Rds)

1977 – Wesley Hospital built in the grounds behinds Moorlands house

1986 – Toowong Village drive-in shopping centre built (1986)

2013– ABC Radio moves from its Toowong site to South Bank Parklands

2016 – Woolworths Toowong closes

References

ARCADIAN SIMPLICITY. J.B.Fewings memories of Toowong. Edited by Helen Gregory.
FEWINGS, John Bowden.Published by Bowen Hills. Boolarong Library., 1990
‘Auchenflower: the Suburb and the Name’, John Pearn, 1997, Amphion Press, p21
“Classified Advertising” The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933) 19 September 1864: 1. Web. 16 Sep 2021 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1262147>.
‘Gentlemen of Honour – A history of Brisbane Boys College 1902’ – 2002 by Dr Noel Quirke.
Historic Brisbane: Convict Settlement to River City, Susanna and Jake De Vries, 2013, Pandanus Press.
“Historic Toowong ABC antenna tower demolished”, Jorge Branco February 2, 2015, Brisbane Times, Web 16 Sep 2021, https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/historic-toowong-abc-antenna-tower-demolished-20150202-1340d1.html
‘Honouring our history’, BBC website, 16 Sep 2021, https://www.bbc.qld.edu.au/why-bbc/honouring-our-history/.
“LIGHTING OF TOOWONG.” The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933) 15 October 1908: 2. Web. 16 Sep 2021 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19544692>.
“Milton”, Queensland Places. Centre for the Government of Queensland, University of Queensland, web, 16 Sep 2021, https://queenslandplaces.com.au/milton
https://brisbanehistorywest.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/reflections-on-2014/.
The History of Mt. Coot-tha, Janet Spillman, 2013, Boolarong Press
Toowong: Bridging the Rail at Burns Road, Leigh Chamberlain
Toowong State School history, Toowong State School, web, 17 feb 2020, https://toowongss.eq.edu.au/our-school/history
“Toowong”, State Library of Queensland Blog, JOL Admin, 14 October 2008. https://www.slq.qld.gov.au/blog/toowong.
“Toowong”, Queensland Places. Centre for the Government of Queensland, University of Queensland, web, 16 Sep 2021, https://queenslandplaces.com.au/toowong
‘Village of Toowong – Drew’, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/1264341?searchTerm=Royal%20exchange%20hotel%20Toowong

Mt Coot-the picnic at waterfalls - image courtesy SLQ

Mt. Coot-tha is part of the Taylor Range and lies Eight kilometres West of the Brisbane CBD. It was declared a public reserve in 1880 and by the 1930s it was a popular picnic spot.

Mt Coot-tha – Key Dates

1839 – surveyor James Warner and his team cleared the top of the mountain of all trees except one large eucalypt tree.

1865 – The Reverend M. Bell applies for land at “One Tree Hill” later known as Mount Coot-tha said to be an Aboriginal word for honey.

1873 – In 1873 the forests were declared a timber reserve to supply timber for railways.

1880 – Mt. Coot-tha area was gazetted as a public park/reserve

1882 – the Duke of Clarence and Prince George (later King George V) commemorated their visit to Mt Coot-tha by planting two Moreton Bay figs on the summit.

1883 – One Tree Hill name is changed to Mt. Coot-tha (said to be an Aboriginal word for honey).

1886 – first shelter shed is built around the location of the kiosk

1890 – Gold was prospected and mined at Mt Coot-tha intermittently from 1890-1950

1890 – Mt Coot-tha was proclaimed a reserve for native birds

1902 – around this time the metal plate engraved with directional lines pointing to distant landmarks and views establishes the site as a viewing spot.

1918 – Mt. Coot-tha reserve was put under the management of Toowong Town Council  and Brisbane City Council upon municipal amalgamation in 1925.

1918– larger kiosk is built and this forms the basis of the present day one.

1920 – The park is expanded under Mayor William Jolly.

1924 – Subdivision planned for Mt Coot-tha 1924 (SLQ image M E0986) did not go ahead as BCC Mayor Arch Watson wanted to prevent the erection of buildings on the mountain, The Brisbane Courier 2 Dec 1925 shows the council agreed to resume the land….

1930s – Mt. Coot-tha is a popular picnic spot with walking tracks

1942 – August 1942 -1945 Mt. Cootha area is used by the US Navy as an ordnance depot.

1960s – television towers are built

1970 – Mt. Coot-tha Botanic Gardens established

1976 – Mt. Coot-tha Botanic Gardens opens

1978 – planetarium at Mt. Coot-tha opens

1983 – new summit restaurant is built

References:

USN Mine and Torpedo Depot (Camp Cootha), 30 June 2014, Queensland WWII Historic Places, Queensland Government, Web, 17 Sep 2021,
https://www.ww2places.qld.gov.au/place?id=964
“Mt. Coot-tha”, Queensland Places. Centre for the Government of Queensland, University of Queensland, web, 17 Sep 2021, https://queenslandplaces.com.au/mount-coot-tha
Mt Coot-tha Reserve (Mt Coot-tha Forest)14 August 2001, Brisbane City Council, web, 17 Sep 2021, https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/things-to-see-and-do/council-venues-and-precincts/mt-coot-tha-precinct/mt-coot-tha-reserve
“Mount Coot-tha Lookout & Kiosk‘, Queensland Heritage Register, Queensland Government, web, 17 Sep 2001,
https://apps.des.qld.gov.au/heritage-register/detail/?id=601564
“Looking at Mt. Coot-tha”, by Janet Spillman, 7 October 2010, Queensland Historical Atlas, web, 17 Sep 2021, https://www.qhatlas.com.au/content/looking-mount-coot-tha
“SHIRE OF TOOWONG.” The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933) 14 September 1883: 3. Web. 17 Sep 2021 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3421971>.

Milton View across Milton Heights from Rosalie

The suburb of Milton is thought to have been named after the house and farm owned by Ambrose Eldridge from the river to east of Cribb Street. He named his property  ‘Milton’ after his birthplace, Greater Milton, near Oxford in England.

Milton – Key Dates

1824 – John Oxley, Surveyor-General for NSW camps on the river near Milton as part of a visit to look at possible settlement sites

1843 –  the North Brisbane Burial ground was established at the current site of Suncorp Stadium

1853-4 – Milton House built by Ambrose Eldridge on high ground on the northern shore of the Milton Reach of the Brisbane River, east of Cribb Street.

1868 – the Bishopsbourne Anglican residence  was built at 233 Milton Road for Brisbane’s first Anglican Bishop, Edward Tufnell.

1870 – The first church (Anglican) is established near the burial grounds (now Suncorp stadium)

1874 – Tram service established along Milton Road

1875 – the Brisbane to Indooroopilly (and Ipswich) railway line was opened, with a station at Toowong and Milton.

1878 – The Milton Distillery, later Castlemaine Perkins (Fourex) brewery opened

1888-9 – Cook Terraces constructed on Coronation Drive by Brisbane Builder Joseph Blain Cook  as a two-storeyed brick row of six houses in 1888-1889.

1889 –  Milton State school opens in 1889 on the site of Red Jacket Swamp which was drained to allow construction of the school. It was originally called Rosalie State Schoo, but soon changed its name.

1890 – first State of Origin match held at Lang Park

1913 – The Morrow biscuit factory opened in December 1913 on the north-east corner of Coronation Drive and Boomerang Street. This became Arnott biscuit factory in 1949

1914 – Milton State School gets a pool making it only the second school in Queensland to have a pool

1915 – Queensland Lawn Tennis Association formed its headquarters at Frew Park.  across the road from Milton Park. The Milton Tennis Centre had 19 hard courts and four grass courts

1916  – old North Burial Ground Open is named Lang Park in 1916 and used for athletics, circuses and the accommodation of trenches during the war.

1930 – Milton Tramways Workshop established in Little Cribb Street

1956 – Frew Park hosted the Davis Cup

1964 – The Coronation Motel, The ‘Coro”, the in spot for functions and accommodation until it was demolished in 2002.

1988 – Savoir Faire precinct at Park Rd established with its iconic Eiffel Tower

1990s – Arnott’s Biscuit Factory moved to Geebung

1999– Milton Tennis Centre closes

2008 – Milton Bowl closes

2014 – Frew Park, including the Roy Emerson Tennis Centre, opens on  the former Milton Tennis Centre and Milton Bowl site.

References:

Bull, Lee. Lang Farm Estate Toowong: An 1877 subdivision and the people who made it home, 2019.
John, Pearn. Auchenflower: The suburb and the name, 1997.
John Pearn, ‘Auchenflower:  the Suburb and the Name’ Amphion Press, 1997, p21
“Classified Advertising” The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933) 19 September 1864: 1. Web. 16 Sep 2021 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1262147>.
“Milton”, Queensland Places. Centre for the Government of Queensland, University of Queensland, web, 16 Sep 2021,  https://queenslandplaces.com.au/milton
https://brisbanehistorywest.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/reflections-on-2014/.
“Milton – suburb of the City of Brisbane (entry 49246)”. Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved. 16 Sep 2021, https://www.resources.qld.gov.au/qld/environment/land/place-names/search#/search=Milton&types=0&place=Milton49246
Fisher, R & Shaw, B (Ed’s) People, Places and Progress. Brisbane History Group 1995
“Frew Park: former Milton Tennis Site”, Brisbane City Council, web, 16 Sep 2021, https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/things-to-see-and-do/council-venues-and-precincts/parks/parks-by-suburb/milton-parks/frew-park-former-milton-tennis-centre-site
“Milton Heritage Trail”, Must Do Brisbane, web, 16 Sep 2021, https://www.mustdobrisbane.com/outdoors-walks-heritage-trails/milton-heritage-trail-milton
“Rosalie, Brisbane’s Forgotten Daughter”, A.T. Miles, presentation 23 October 1980, web, 16 Sep 2021, https://espace.library.uq.edu.au

Auchenflower Toowong

Compiled by Lee Bull for TDHS

During the convict era the Brisbane settlement extended as far west as Boundary Creek, while the area beyond was home to the Jagera and Turrbul people.

However as more pastoralists and timber getters moved into the region the land was surveyed and the area was soon characterized by large farms with stately homes on hilltops. Chemist Ambrose Eldridge built Milton House in 1854 and the area west of Brisbane became loosely known as Milton. Further along River Road, Robert Cribb built Dunmore House and nearby was John Markwell’s 52 acre property Moorlands Villa, which was later purchased by the Mayne family. Other property owners included Randall MacDonnell, inspector of schools who built Rathdonnell House in the 1860s and Arnold Weinholt whose Weinholt estate was part of the family’s large holdings of grazing land.

By 1875 the railway line was constructed with stops at Milton, Toowong and Indooroopilly. As more people moved to the area, the large estates were broken up. The Markwells sold the western section of their property to John Ward, who built a grand colonial home on Milton Road. This property was bought by Thomas McIlwraith in 1880 and renamed Auchenflower. Meaning ‘field of flowers,’ the name reminded McIlwraith of his uncle’s Ayrshire estate in Scotland.

Sir Thomas McIlwraith was three times premier of Queensland and he refurbished and extended the house, which became the hub of Brisbane society in the latter part of the nineteenth century. With the premier living at Auchenflower, a whistlestop train station was added to service the local needs.

Immigration in the 1880s caused Brisbane’s population to expand rapidly. As the demand for land increased gradually more estates were subdivided into 16, 20 and 23 perch allotments and sold to working class families. In 1887, Torwood was broken into 161 blocks; in 1899 Robert Cribb’s Dunmore Estate was subdivided into 461 blocks; and in 1903 Auchenflower Estate was divided into 98 allotments. With a surge in building, a tram line was laid along Milton Road in 1904 to service this growing community.

Although these estates were divided into small allotments with a commuter suburb in mind, people frequently purchased several blocks, thus enabling them to build large federation style homes with room for stables and kitchen gardens, along with poultry, goats and the essential house cow. Hence the mix between small cottages and grand homes at the turn of the century, as the subdivisions continued.

A century later the pressure for land in the western suburbs continues at an unprecedented rate as the federation homes and cottages are rapidly giving way to units. Dunmore Terrace where Robert Cribb once lived is now dotted with high rise apartments and a section of Auchenflower House has been relocated to Tambourine, where it currently forms part of the Albert River Winery.

REFERENCES:

John Pearn, ‘Auchenflower:  the Suburb and the Name’ Amphion Press, 1997
Trove: The Brisbane Courier 21 Feb 1931 p19 ‘Historic Auchenflower’
“Historic Auchenflower: A Pleasing Landscape.” Article in the Brisbane courier, Sat 21 Feb 1931. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/21671601


Auchenflower – Key dates

1876 – Brisbane ironmonger, John Ward, acquires land near the present Auchenflower railway station and builds a substantial house.

1880  – John Ward’s house was sold to Thomas McIlwraith, Queensland Premier (1879-83) who named it Auchenflower after the McIlwraith family estate in Ayrshire, Scotland.

1887 – Auchenflower’s station opened in 1887

1892 – Moorlands House (now Heritage protected) was constructed for the Mayne family, designed by architect Richard Gailey and replaced an earlier timber structure that was known as Moorlands Villa

1903 – Auchenflower Estate subdivision offered for sale

1904  – the opening of the electric tram line along Milton Road

1904-5 – Drysllwyn (later Raymont Lodge) is built in Cadell St, Auchenflower, a homestead for Welshman William Davies esq. a gold mining magnate

1905 – Randall MacDonnell built Rathdonnell  house in Rathdonnell Street, Auchenflower.

1911 – Rathdonnell Estate, Auchenflower, (including Rathdonnell House) offers 84 allotments of land for sale on Milton Road, Wienholt Street, Irving Street (now Bangalla Street), Heussler Terrace (now Birdwood Terrace and Haig Road) and an unnamed road (Rathdonnell Street).

1913 – Auchenflower Presbyterian Church established in stables of Rathdonnell House in Weinholt st (1913). This later became the church Hall

1920 –  “Drysllwyn Estate” made up of 37 allotments was advertised to be auctioned

1922 – Auchenflower Infants’ Provisional School opened on 30 January 1922. It closed in 1960.

1923 – St Alban the Martyr Anglican Church, Milton Road was dedicated by Archbishop Gerald Sharp on 18 November 1923.

1927 – Auchenflower House was acquired for a Carmelite Monastery in 1927

1957 – The Chinese community, which once had market gardens in the suburb’s lower lying areas, established a Chinese Club in 1957, but it closed in 1982.

1986 – From 1975 to 1986, Auchenflower was officially a neighbourhood with the suburb of Toowong, but obtained independent suburb status on 16 November 1986.

References:

John Pearn, ‘Auchenflower:  the Suburb and the Name’ Amphion Press, 1997
Auchenflower, Queensland Place Names Search, Queensland government, web, 16 Sep 2021,
“Auchenflower – suburb in City of Brisbane (entry 49850)”. Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 16 Sep 2021, https://www.resources.qld.gov.au/qld/environment/land/place-names/search#/search=Auchenflower&types=0&place=Auchenflower49850
“Item ID2627737, Queensland Place Names Act 1981 – Approval of Place Name. – Mr W.H Glasson”. Queensland State Archives. Retrieved 16 Sep 2021, https://www.archivessearch.qld.gov.au/items/ITM2627737
“St Alban’s Anglican Church Milton Road, Auchenflower”. Organ Historical Trust of Australia. January 2017, web, retrieved 16 Sep 2021, https://www.ohta.org.au/organs/organs/AuchenflowerAng.html
Auchenflower”. Queensland Places. Centre for the Government of Queensland, University of Queensland, web, 16 Sep 2021, https://queenslandplaces.com.au/auchenflower
“Advertising” The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 – 1947) 6 May 1920: 12. Web. 16 Sep 2021 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article179030156>.

Archer Street is named after Alexander Archer (1828-1890), manager of the Bank of New South Wales in Brisbane and a member of the Queensland pioneering Archer family. His wife was Mary Louisa, a daughter of Sir Robert Ramsay Mackenzie, 10th Baronet (1811-1873), a Queensland Premier (1867-68). The Archer residence, ‘Arley’, sat on the river bank at Toowong high above the flood zone of the Brisbane River.

The Archer brothers were explorers and pastoralists and were among the earliest European settlers in Queensland. Seven sons of William Archer, a Scottish timber mer- chant, they spent varying amounts of time in the colony of New South Wales, mainly in parts of what later became Queensland. A substantial number of locations in Queensland were either named by or for them. The first of the Archer brothers to settle in Australia was David, who arrived in Sydney in 1834. He was joined by William and Thomas in 1838. In 1841 David and Thomas, joined by their brother, John, travelled to the upper reaches of the Stanley River, an eastern tributary of the Brisbane River. There, near present-day Woodford, they established Durundur Station, a holding of 200 square miles (520 km2), which is equal to 128,000 acres (51,800 ha). Charles Archer arrived in Australia in 1841, and joined his brothers at Durundur in 1843.

Alexander Archer and his wife were aboard the R.M.S. Quetta, bound for England from Queensland, when on Friday, 28th February 1890, the ship foundered without any warning on a calm moonlight night within a few miles of Albany Island, at the entrance to the Torres Straits. Of the 293 people board, no fewer than 133 persons were drowned. The ship’s master was Captain Sanders, and with Captain Keatinge aboard, was piloting the ship through the Torres Strait. Destined for Thursday Island, the ship turned into the Adolphus Channel to round the Cape York Peninsula. The pilot was experienced, the weather fine and visibility good, but at 9:14pm the ship struck an uncharted rock in the middle of the channel near Albany Island. The rock ripped a hole through the plates from the bow to the engine room amidships, four to 12 feet wide, sinking Quetta in 5 minutes and sending 134 of her passengers to their deaths. When the disaster struck the Quetta had 292 people aboard: a crew of 121, comprising 15 European officers, 14 from other trades and 92 lascars from India; 70 Javanese in temporary deck houses, travelling to Batavia after working in the cane fields; and 101 other passengers. At the time, Quetta’s loss was thought to be the worst maritime disaster of Queensland.

The Quetta now lies on her port side in 18 metres (59ft) of water and is a protected historic shipwreck under A ustralia’s His- toric Shipwrecks Act 1976. As a memorial to the lives lost on the Quetta, the Quetta Memorial Precinct was established on Thursday Island, comprising a church (later a cathedral) a rectory and a Church Hall.

Bywong Street 1967 courtesy BCC

As the Toowong and District Historical Society has been meeting at the West Toowong Bowls Club since July last year (2020), it might be of interest to our members if some information is provided about the local area.

The West Toowong Bowls Club is located diagonally opposite the Queensland Academy of Science Mathematics and Technology (QSMAT) on the flats of Toowong Creek on the western side of Bywong Street. Change in the local neighbourhood has occurred over time, and some of these changes can be discerned after a close examination of the 1904 map.

In 1904, Bywong Street was then named Grosvenor Street. The name change most likely occurred ca.1938 onwards when the BCC insti- gated a policy of removing duplicate street names across Brisbane.

Grosvenor Street may have been named for Hugh Lupus Grosvenor, KG, PC, JP (13 October 1825 – 22 December 1899), the 1st Duke of Westminster. He was known as the Marquess of Westminster. His titles were Viscount Belgrave between 1831 and 1845; Earl Grosvenor between 1845 and 1869; and 3rd Marquess of Westminster between 1869 and 1874. He was created the first Duke of West- minster, the most recent dukedom conferred on someone not related to the British royal family, and created by Queen Victoria, in 1874. He was an English landowner, politician and racehorse owner. Although he was a Member of Parliament from the age of 22, and then a member of the House of Lords, his main interests were not in politics, but rather in his estates, in horse racing, and in country pursuits. He developed the stud at Eaton Hall and achieved success in racing his horses, winning the Derby on four occasions. Grosvenor also took an interest in a range of charities. At his death he was considered to be the richest man in Britain.

The origin of the street name of Bywong Street is not known at this stage, and more research is required. When the Brisbane City Council (BCC) decided to change street names it appealed to the public for suggestions. A list was drawn up, and as names were altered the next name on the list of suggestions was selected. Due to the manner of street name reselection there was no guarantee that the any new name applied had any connection to the area to which it was to be allocated. As names were used, they were crossed off the list. Sometimes there appears in the BCC files a notation which was added to the column against the new street name selected with infor- mation as to the origin of the name.
One suggestion that has been made is that a Chinese market gardener named Wong operated a market garden nearby in Market Street, and the street was named ‘Bywong’ because the street went ‘by Wong’. Was there a market garden at Market Street as well as on the creek flats at where the Toowong State High School was later located ? It is quite plausible that a local resident submitted this sug- gestion to the Brisbane City Council and it was adopted. If Irving Street, named for Mr William Irving, a long serving Town Clerk of Too- wong, could be renamed as Bangalla Street, after the home of the Phantom, anything is possible.

So perhaps there is a notation in the files of the BCC Archives that gives more information. This is yet to be researched.

Badger’s house Arlington, Toowong Brisbane

Badger’s house Arlington; now known as Endrim

Address: 28 Woodstock Road, Toowong

Arlington was built in 1905 for American Joseph Stillman Badger. Badger named the house Arlington in honour of the United States National Cemetery. He became known as ‘Boss Badger’.

Badger, a qualified electrical engineer, came to Brisbane in 1896 at the age of forty-five on behalf of the General Electric Company as its chief engineer to oversee the electrification of Brisbane’s out-dated horse-drawn tram network for the Brisbane Tramways Company (BTC).

After the sudden resignation of BTC project manager, Mr Walklate, due to ill health in 1897, the BTC directors approached Badger to become not only BTCs Chief Engineer but also as to assume the duties of General Manager as well. Badger consequently resigned from GE. A proud American , Badger named the house Arlington in honour of the United States National Cemetery.

Arlington house in Toowong, 1906

Arlington, 1906 | Photographed by Frederick Munro Hull and courtesy of Genevieve Kennett [Toowong and District Historical Society Inc.]

 

Well-known local Toowong resident Percival Hanlon, who used to work at the BTC workshop prior to assuming the lease of the Toowong cross-river ferry, always maintained that the house sat upon tram tracks which were used as bearers. Speculation and rumour circulated Toowong as to whether this story was correct, so when the property eventually came up for sale many locals attended to check this out for themselves. As Hanlon’s son, also named Percival (‘Percy’), later related, ‘I went under the house and there it was!’

Verification that Badger had used tram tracks as bearers for his house did not dispel speculation, but instead added to it. As a result, particularly more recently, locals wondered whether he was using his position at the BTC to cream off monies from the Tramway Company for his advantage. Badger acquired a reputation which could be described in common parlance as being slightly ‘smelly’ and eyebrows were slightly raised at the notion of Badger’s integrity. The speculation resulted in an article being written a couple of years ago in the local newspaper Westside News which described Badger as being ’notorious’, which was the first time such speculation actually was recorded in print as being a fact (and without any supporting primary documents or evidence). Formerly, it was suggested in verbal asides only.

However, reminiscences collected by TDHS in 2003-05 from several elderly former residents, aged between their late 90s to over the age of 100, do not include a suggestion that Badger had a tainted reputation. These included the childhood memories of99 year-old Len Hall in 2003-4 whose parents operated the local shop in Woodstock Road across the road from Badger. So the speculation seemingly appears to be more recent in origin, gaining more credence since the decade 2000-10 when the earlier generation of residents had by this time died.

To further investigate these innuendoes, TDHS examined the title deeds for the property. One person keen to know the truth was Percy Hanlon who did the legwork. The information was passed onto Badger biographer David Burke (then researching for his book titled One American Too many Boss Badger and the Brisbane Trams). David kindly provided the information that the names on the title deeds were board members of the BTC.

This implies that Arlington was financed by the Brisbane Tramways Company, possibly as part of an executive salary package, but Badger appears to have had a free hand in the house’s design as the architecture has an American flavour. It would seem that more than half a century later speculation fueled by ignorance has sullied Badger’s reputation. But at the time the house was built, the fact that the BTC owned the house was well-known, and hence no eyebrows were raised at the mention of Badger’s name at that time. Otherwise, why would the upper echelons of Society so admire Badger, socialize with him, queue up to pay patronage to him and do business with him? Badger’s business acumen was admired far afield, not only in Brisbane, but also in Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide and also as far afield as in London and New York.

Prior to living at Arlington, by 1900 Badger and his family (who had joined him from America) lived at ‘Belle Vue’, a large house and property on the hill in Miskin Street, just short distance from where the construction of the tramline along Milton Road to terminate at the Brisbane General Cemetery was in progress. This tramline opened on 22 July 1904. Then Badger moved his family to ‘Arlington’. This was when work commenced upon the extension of the tramline from the gates of Brisbane General Cemetery, down Dean Street, and into Woodstock Road to terminate at the (Toowong) Tram Terminus situated just near his front gate. The Toowong Council had campaigned to extend the tramway down to terminate at Toowong, and there were plans to build more termini along Sherwood Road. But to protect its suburban railway traffic, the Railways Department made sure the track was kept apart from Toowong station and so the extended tramline and termini did not eventuate.

Badger used a gate built into his side fence to walk down concrete stairs built into the steep slope of the ridge to access the tram stop near to his residence where his private tram collected him to go into work. Claims published recently (in 2018) by The Courier-Mail that the Woodstock Road terminus is built upon Badger’s property are incorrect, as the terminus has been built behind the footpath at the base of the hill upon the publicly –owned Miskin Street road reserve.

Endrim House undercroft showing steel tram tracks.

Steel tram track floor bearers in the undercroft of ‘Endrim’ (2016).

A recent photo of the residence now known as ‘Endrim’ (2016). Photographs courtesy of Christopher Sapsford {Toowong and District Historical Society Inc.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Badger was partial to moving. Between 1913-15, he moved again to Hargreaves Road, West End, and later elsewhere. He liked to move to an area where the tramway was being constructed so he was immediately upon the spot to supervise. Badger was very much hands on!

Due to both his role in the electrification and extension of the Brisbane tramway network and his hardline opposition to unionism and the role he played in the lead up to the General Strike of January 1912, the residence has ever since been associated with his name. However, people refer to it as Endrim, the name the property was later called, and not as Arlington.

Endrim has attracted more controversy lately with plans to build a childcare centre being lodged with the Brisbane City Council (BCC). Concerns have been expressed over a wide range of issues, with one being an expected increase in traffic and the another being the impact upon the heritage of the house.

References:

Leigh Chamberlain and Lindy Salter, Toowong; A tram ride from the past, Toowong and District Historical Society Inc., 2018, p.124.
Leigh Chamberlain, Interview with Len Hall, ca. 2003
David Burke, One American too many. Boss Badger and the Brisbane Trams, Queensland Museum, 2012.
Certificates of Title and survey plans, Museum of Lands, Mapping and Surveying

Brisbane General Cemetery ca 1889 courtesy SLQ

The Brisbane General Cemetery’s picturesque setting maintains the visual allusion of the Victorian concept of a mortuary park on the outskirts of the city. After a sizable portion of land was set aside for cemetery purposes at Toowong in 1861, the appropriateness of the site at Toowong for the purpose of a General Cemetery was an issue contested for the next two decades. It’s isolation and doubts about the suitability of its site, with a lack of access and public transport, fuelled dissent and debate while the public continued to use the cheaper, more accessible familial grounds at Paddington.

The State government passed the Cemetery Act in 1866 providing the means to establish general cemeteries under the control of government appointed trustees. In 1868, a further portion of Crown land, 53 acres in area, north of the cemetery reserve was added to fulfil of the Trustee’s requirement for the entire cemetery to be surrounded with public roads. The reserve was gazetted and the Cemetery Trust established in October 1870. The grounds at the Cemetery were laid out by the prominent surveyor, George Phillips and the Cemetery was officially opened on 5 July 1875.

The first burial here was that of Colonel Samuel Wensley Blackall (1 May 1809-2 January 1871), an Irish soldier and politician who served as Queensland’s second Governor. He served from 14 August 1868 until he died while in office. As his health was declining, in 1870, he selected the highest burial site at the new Toowong Cemetery. Shortly after, he died in office on 2 January 1871. His memorial is the largest and most prominent in the cemetery with commanding views of the city and surrounds.

Between Governor Blackall’s burial and the official opening of the Cemetery, there were six burials. The next interment was Ann Hill, wife of Walter Hill, superintendent of the Botanical Gardens on 2 November 1871. Thomas and Martha McCulloch were buried in November 1873, Teresa Maria Love on 16 March 1875 and Florence and Ethel Gordon on 4 July 1875.

The distinctive Cemetery gates are an example of the Victorian concept of a mortuary park and were designed by F.D.G. Stanley, who later resided in Church (now Jephson) Street, Toowong. The gates were erected in 1873-74.

Just inside the gates is the Temple of Peace. This memorial was erected by Richard Ramos as a memorial to his four sons, three of whom had died in WW1. Victor Ramos died at Messines, his brother Henry died of wounds in Belgium, and the youngest son, Gordon was killed at Gallipoli. An adopted son, named Fred, was killed in an accident in 1923. Ramos’s grief was so profound he designed and built the temple for his sons in 1924, and also for the family dog which was poisoned.

 

Badger’s house Arlington, Toowong Brisbane

Introduction:

Toowong and its neighbouring suburbs feature many places of historical interest.

Some places are well-known to the wider community and are regarded as being iconic to the area. These include buildings such the two hotels, Regatta and Royal Exchange; churches such as St Thomas’s Anglican Church and St Ignatius Catholic Church; residences such as Warrawee, Moorlands, Milton House and Dovercourt; and businesses such as the Castlemaine XXXX Brewery and Peerless Dry Cleaners.

Significant places in Toowong aren’t necessarily always buildings and houses.  The divided road in High Street, now officially known as Patterson’s Folly, is in this category, as is the Crow’s Ash Tree on the corner of Sylvan Road and Milton Road.

There are others places less well known and these are hidden gems. These include Toby’s the Dog Postman’s Memorial and the Clock Tower in front of Toowong Village.

Other places can be described as localities or vicinities. In times past locals referred to the business area of Toowong as ‘The Village’—hence the origin of the name for the shopping centre now located in Sherwood Road. Other examples are Kayes Rocks and the bus turnaround in front of Toowong Village.

Yet other places have disappeared from the streetscape—some a long time ago and others more recently. These places may have disappeared but they still remain in the memory of those who still live here and also of those who used to live in the area. Sir Robert Philp’s former residence ‘Mallow’ is in this category—long gone due to fire, but still fondly remembered. Another is the Brisbane Cash and Carry (BCC), later bought out by Woolworths. Now Woolworths is also gone!

And who would forget Patterson’s Sawmill? Gone now for many, many years but still recalled nostalgically.

This article is the first segment of a series of articles about places of historical interest. Stay tuned as more articles will be added at a later date.

25/4/2018  


Part 1

Badger’s house: Arlington; now known as Endrim

Address: 28 Woodstock Road, Toowong

Arlington was built in 1905 for American Joseph Stillman Badger. Badger, the manager of the Brisbane Tramways Company, had been sent to Brisbane in 1896 as its chief engineer by the General Electric Company to oversee the electrification of Brisbane’s horse-drawn tram network, but left GE in 1897. A proud American, Badger named the house Arlington in honour of the United States National Cemetery.

Badger’s house Arlington, Toowong Brisbane

Badger’s house Arlington, Toowong Brisbane

The property was financed by the Brisbane Tramways Company, possibly as part of a salary package. Badger appears to have had a free hand in the design as the architecture has an American flavor. Rumours that the house was rumoured used steel tramway tracks as bearers has subsequently verified.

Badger moved to Arlington when work commenced upon the extension of the tramline from the gates of Brisbane General Cemetery, down Dean Street, and into Woodstock Road to terminate at the (Toowong) Tram Terminus situated just near his front gate. Badger used a gate built into his side fence to walk down concrete stairs built into the steep slope of the ridge to access the tram stop near to his residence where his private tram collected him to go into work.

Due to both his role in the electrification and extension of the Brisbane tramway network and his hardline opposition to unionism and the role he played in the lead up to the General Strike of January 1912, the residence has ever since been associated with his name. However, people refer to as Endrim, the name the property was later called, and not as Arlington.

References:

Leigh Chamberlain and Lindy Salter, Toowong; A tram ride from the past, Toowong and District Historical Society Inc., 2018, p.124.

David Burke, One American too many. Boss Badger and the Brisbane Trams, Queensland Museum, 2012.

Brisbane Boys’ College Rowing Shed

Address: Opposite the Regatta Hotel, Coronation Drive, Toowong

The Brisbane Boys College (BBC) boatshed was built on the river bank opposite the Regatta Hotel. After BBC relocated to Toowong from Clayfield in 1931, the school used the facilities of the Toowong Rowing Club. An application to build a new shed for the school was submitted to the Brisbane City Council (BCC). In response, the BCC closed off a public road located at the proposed site which allowed the application to proceed. Finance was raised through debentures offered to the Old Boys, from the college sports fund, and from the sale of the school’s former Breakfast Creek rowing shed. The use of Relief Labour during the depression years allowed the new rowing shed to be ready for use in September, 1933. After the 1974 flood in which the rowing sheds were destroyed the Toowong Rowing Club and the BBC rowing sheds were reconstructed next to The University of Queensland at St Lucia. The original ramps used to launch the shells at Toowong are still visible. GPS schools regattas were held on the Brisbane River up until 1973. After the 1974 flood a variety of venues have been used.

Brisbane Boys College Rowing Club c1947


Brisbane Boy College Rowers Carry Scull from Boathouse at Toowong, Brisbane, 1947 .
Brisbane John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Reference:

Noel Quirke, Gentleman of Honour: A History of Brisbane Boys College 1902-2002, Brisbane Boys College, 2001.

Brisbane Cash and Carry, Toowong

Address: High Street, Toowong

The arrival of Brisbane Cash and Carry in 1923 changed the nature of how ordinary Australians did their weekly grocery shop and was the first Australian self-service grocery store. Claude Fraser and his wife, Gladys, travelled to America to investigate the advent of self service grocery stores. Customers embraced the concept.

On the 7th November, 1953, BCC Store Pty Ltd purchased a large block of land in High Street, Toowong, where a new branch of BCC was opened. William Land, butchers of Toowong provided meat to BCC. Kevin Cocks, son of Leslie Cocks whose family had operated Cocks grocery store across the road in Sherwood Road, attributes the closure of the 2-generation Cocks family-run business to the arrival of BCC in the Toowong shopping precinct. By 1965 the Cocks Family business had closed. BCC continued to trade here until early 1967. Later that year new owners, Guardian Assurance Co, Ltd. leased the property to Woolworths (Queensland Ltd) for 40 years. Woolworths continued to trade here despite changes in land ownership until January 2017.

Reference:

Webpage at https://australianfoodtimeline.com.au/brisbane-cash-and-carry/  extracted 2018.04.18.

Castlemaine Perkins Brewery

Address: Milton Road, Milton

The Castlemaine or Milton Brewery was established at Milton Brisbane in 1878 by Fitzgerald Quinlan and Co. The brothers Nicholas and Edward Fitzgerald had established brewing interests at Castlemaine in Victoria and then in Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Newcastle. In Brisbane Quinlan Gray and Co had taken over interests of the Milton Distillery that was established on the site at Milton in 1870. The first brew by the new Milton Brewery was called Castlemaine XXX Sparkling Ale and was made to the same formula as the beer brewed by Castlemaine Brewery in Victoria.

Since medieval times when brewing was confined mainly to monasteries X, the sign of the cross, was a standard symbol of purity for alcoholic beverages. The number of X’s represented the strength of the beer. It was not until the early 1890s that the first trademark showing the 4Xs was applied for by the limited liability company Castlemaine Brewery and Quinlan Gray and Co.

Castlemaine Brewery at Milton Brisbane 1879

Castlemaine Brewery at Milton, Brisbane, 1879. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

References:

History of the Castlemaine Perkins Brewery, 1877-1993, compiled by the Public Affairs Department, Castlemaine Perkins Limited Public Affairs Department, Milton, Qld, 1993.

Melva A Welch, Bergin Beauty. John Delaney Bergin Family, 2014, p.36.

Cook Terrace

Address: Corner of Park Road and 249 Coronation Drive, Milton.

JB Cook, who was a builder, applied to the Toowong Shire Council to build an hotel on the corner of Cribb Street and The River Road in 1887, but the Council rejected the proposal as it felt it was not necessary. There were two other hotels in the district. J B Cook then built Cook Terrace as his own residence after the application was rejected. Architects of the building were Taylor & Richer of 169 Queen Street, Brisbane. By 1922 Cook Terrace were also known as the Home Flats. Mr and Mrs Frederick and Ethel Laugher, brother and sister-in-law of the Misses Laugher after whom Laugher Park was named, leased a terrace house here c.1922-1929. By the early 1970s Cook Terrace had ceased to be a residential building and instead became commercial premises, which included restaurants. The property is a landmark in the district and is now heritage-listed.

River Road and Cook Terrace after 1893 floods, Toowong.

Subsidence along the River Road (Coronation Drive) after 1893 floods with Cook Terrace in background. 1893. Brisbane John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

References:

RHSQ Queensland History Journal, May 14 Vol 22, No.5, p396-7.

Leigh Chamberlain, The Laugher sisters of Toowong and their park, Toowong and District Historical Society, 2011.

Cross River Ferry

Address: across from the Regatta Hotel, Coronation Drive, Toowong

The ferries have existed since convict days and have been a vital transport facility for Brisbane. The first ferry in the district ran from Park Road Milton to South Brisbane commencing around 1914, and ceased in the 1940s. Percival Patrick Hanlon, the lessee, commenced the new Toowong–Hill End ferry service which operated from near the Regatta Hotel to Ferry Road, West End in 1922. It ran until1953. He first commenced operation using a row boat and then graduated to motor boats. An elderly Toowong resident recalls enjoying a ride across the river on the ferry for one penny. Various fares applied but “elephants were free’’. When Mr Hanlon became ill his wife Elizabeth Hanlon, nee Dale, obtained her Master’s license and ran the ferry during her husband’s illness but in 1953 Mr Hanlon was forced to retire from work. This ferry service continued until January 1974 when the Australia Day floods destroyed the jetty and pontoon.

 Ferry - Toowong 1920's. Brisbane City Council (1920).

Ferry – Toowong 1920’s. Brisbane City Council (1920).

References:

John, Pearn, Auchenflower. The suburb and the name, 1997.

Percy Hanlon, ‘Oh-ver’: History of Brisbane Cross River Ferries, 2000.

Percy Hanlon,Memories of a Ferryman’s son’. p124 in Leigh Chamberlain and Lindy: Salter, Toowong. A tram ride from the past: Toowong and District Historical Society Inc., 2008

Toowong District Historical Society - High street and Sherwood road Toowong Brisbane c1890

The history of local government in the Toowong area 1880-1925

The story of Toowong’s municipal governance is part of a wider story which dates back to 1859 when Queensland separated from New South Wales as a colony in its own right in 1859.

The colony inherited New South Wales’s local government legislation, the Municipalities Act 1858, which allowed the creation of a municipality with its own elected council to manage local affairs, upon the petition of householders in the area.

Not many local areas took up the opportunity to establish local municipal bodies, and by 1878, only eighteen towns had incorporated in this way. Therefore, the Local Government Act 1878, based on Victorian legislation enacted four years earlier, was passed with the aim of allowing more diverse forms of local government. Each board had a number of councilors and a chairman who was appointed from amongst their number.

The Toowong Division was established on 11 November 1879 under the Divisional Boards Act 1879 with a population of 1789.

In May 1880, the more populated part of Toowong Division was proclaimed the Shire of Toowong, while the remaining part of the Toowong Division was renamed as the Indooroopilly Division.

In 1903, the Toowong Shire became the Town of Toowong. Over its period of tenure (1903-25) the Toowong Town Council continued to administer local governance to Toowong, Auchenflower, Milton and parts of Mt Coot-tha.

In 1925 the Town of Toowong was one of many local municipal authorities that amalgamated to form the Greater Brisbane Council. The City of Brisbane Act 1924 received assent from the Governor on 30 October 1924, thereupon, on 1 October 1925, 20 local government areas of various sizes were abolished and merged into the new city.

Today, Toowong, Auchenflower, Milton and Mt Coot-tha are described as suburbs of Brisbane.

Thanks to Melba Welch OAM for providing the research that this article is based.