Saturday, April 16, 2016

BRS 18 Development of the area around Bald Hills

The development of the area Bald Hills encompassing Bracken Ridge, was very well documented over the decades.   The farmers though required access to markets to sell their crops.

Researching the different owners of lands has revealed a "pattern".  The two types of buyers have been settlers, and speculators.   The question though, what made the land attractive to the speculators of the 1870's?

Initially the land speculators focused on the agricultural aspects of the lands, buying the huge parcels, and then sub-dividing them over time.  Perhaps the answer to the 1870's attraction was the surveying of a railway from Sandgate to Bald Hills!  The idea was made public in 1879, but for how many years had this concept been under investigation within Government sources?  

Snippets from the  articles written, and the numerous advertisements for the sale of land and farms, give an indication of life for the residents.
In 1857, the magistrate visited, weekly,  his name was Mr William Brown, and he also owned land in Bracken Ridge, along with David Brown.

The Moreton Bay Courier (Brisbane, Qld. : 1846 - 1861) Saturday 5 December 1857 p 2 Article
... -vious evening from his weekly visit to the settlers in the neighbourhood of Sandgate and the Bald Hills, made a

The article has been abridged due to the content 

In 1862 more land  lots were available to be sold.

The Courier (Brisbane, Qld. : 1861 - 1864) Monday 7 April 1862 p 4 Advertising

... Hills Creek-Lot 23, 93a3r; 24,77 a j 25, 105 a; 26,143 a ; 27, 13o a; 28,102 n. On the Bald Ilills Creek ... tho North Pine River-Lot 17,85 o ; l8, 78 a ; 19,106 a ; 20, 111 a ; 21,50 a ; 22,140 a. Near the Bald

Including Lot 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28,
17, 18, 19, 20,21,22

That puts the timeline of the information on maps to at least 1865
Railway Hotel in 1864

Application for the first pub in Bald Hills was made by Mr Laver in 1864.
The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Saturday 26 November 1864 p 6 Advertising
... Bald ? Hills Road, in tho Colony of Queensland, do hereby give notice that it is my intention to apply ... appurtenances there-unto belonging, situated on the Bald Hills Road, in the Parish of Enoggera, and containing ... 

In 1887 Mr Harry Lang was approved as the licencee.   In 1888 he was insolvent!
In 1889 Miss Ellen Landers was the licencee, until 1893 then Mr Wilson.
In 1905, after his death it transferred to Edward Smith
In 1907 Smith transferred to to Mr Long
In 1908 from Smith to Gordon Snodgrass
In 1909 from Snodgrass to Otto Nofke
In 1909 from Nokfe to Francis Callaghan
In 1909 from Callaghan to John Olsen
In 1910 Olsen to Dennis Ryan
In 1911  Ryan to John Howard
In 1911 there was a reception for 60 guests in the Reception rooms to farewell Mr Perrin

In 1912 from Howard to Ellen Quirk
In 1912 Quirk to William Hooper
In 1913 Hooper to Mary Ann Wilcox
In 1913 Wilcox to Tom Waters
In 1922  Waters to Roberts
In 1924    Thomas Cross the licencee was charged with Sunday trading
In 1927  James Mc Carthy

Another rather protracted legal issue about trading on Saturday and Sunday and by 1928 the Railway Hotel is in the hands of the mortagee.

In 1928 James Cahill was the licencee

In 1936 Mrs Shaw was the licencee and her son and his aunt won the casket.

Mrs Shaw transferred to C Aylmore

In 1939 the licence of the Railway Hotel was changed from C Aylesworth to M Bulmer.

In the 1940's it was Elizabeth Collopy
and Ina Kier

The Railway Hotel is known as the "Bonney View"  and  in 1922, it was a substantial landmark in driving instructions.  Unfortunately no images have yet been sourced in its original condition.


Bald Hills State School  1866
A  grant to build a National School was reported in May 1866.  The school opened in September 1866.
The School's 150th Anniversary is also in 1866.  
The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Tuesday 5 September 1882 p 4 Article

... from drowning Ernest Capnor, a boy under six years of age, is attending school at Bald Hills, Pine ... -way, was clearly never intended for publication, and ought never to have been pub-lished-tells a story of ..

This poor boy almost drowned in a well at the school, in 1882.

Questions were then asked about the lack of water provided at the school.


File:Queensland State Archives 6599 Bald Hills State School Brisbane July 1959.png

The Bald Hills State School's headmaster's residence 1960.  

Once again the local correspondents offer their reports  This one in 1866

SEEING you have correspondents everywhere else, I think it necessary that the beauties, advantages, faults, and failings of the district surrounding the Bald Hills should be represented  in your columns. some of your readers, and especially those of an official cast, may be at a loss to know whereaway the district in question is situated, and what the people there located do for a living. I will at once enlighten them. 
The road to the Bald Hills runs past the Acclimatisation Society's grounds, to Kedron Brook. After crossing the brook, which even at present runs with beautiful water, the road through the bush could scarcely be missed. The distance from Brisbane is usually set down at twelve miles, which I consider very near the correct .mark. 
Many improvements have been made during the past year in the first part of the road. Beautiful residences exist all along, interspersed with snug cottages, each situated in a larger or smaller garden; the home of the respected Justice Lutwyche bringing up the rear, just as the brook is reached. 
Some very creditable specimens of gardening and small farming are also to be seen on the road, and altogether I think those who have gone over it will bear me out in saying that it forms a, very pleasant bridle or carriage route. 
After crossing Kedron Brook the road for fire or six miles through a series of grass tree ridges, on which I am sorry to see a number of families have lately settled, I trust they do not intend to farm such land as that. If they do, their labour will surely procure in rain, as nothing, vegetable or animal, will thrive on such soil  In fact, the Government or officials who lay out such places in " farms" are guilty of great neglect and ignorance, as grass-tree soil is barren ; and it is highly destructive to the interests of the colony to beguile poor people into buying it. 
A half-chain wide road is at present being cleared through the grass-tree country, which  is highly appreciated by the settlers, to whom it will prove a great boon.  The folks at the Bald Hills, and North and South Pine Rivers, though not long ago rank , radicals and oppositionists, now go in like one man for the Government. This change has been  brought about through a share of attention ' being paid to their long expressed wants. 
A very fine bridge has lately been finished across the South Pine, which proves a blessing every day  in the year; as the old crossings were infamously bad, and frequently impassable. The improvements now being made, and a few promised culverts finished, one of the finest agricultural countries surrounding the metropolis  will be opened up for the inbringing of produce. 
A substantial culvert is also being thrown across  the camp in front of Mr. M'Callum's farm, which will open another outlet for the district towards Sandgate.  These improvements are being made in consequence of the very large sum paid into the Treasury, for land in the neighbourhood. 
You will see by the tenor of this letter that this is essentially a farming district, and at such, our news is of little interest to the majority of readers. Corn in the district looks well, and will average in many canes forty or fifty bushels to the acre. We seem to have suffered less from drought than any of the other places from  which I see communications in your paper. 
 The prospects for winter crops, however, look poorly, unless we have a heavy fall of rain to saturate the land. I have heard it said (but being interested, do not like to say so myself), ' that as good farming is to be seen here as in any part of the colony, or even in the colonies. 

 The implements in use are usually of Scotch , manufacture, while the character of the work . done takes mnch after the practice of that country, many native of which are settled here, making steady industrious citizens. We have a school supported by the residents, and hope shortly to have a national school .We also frequently have visits from clergymen ;
The Rev. Mr. Caldwell preaches regularly every fortnight. Not much news exists. The only item stirring ii a robbery of a young pig. The farmer was awakened in the middle of the night bj hearing a row among his " grunters." he got on his clothes under the impression that something had got amongst them. 
In this he proved correct, for he was just in time to see a human being rush from the pig-sty" with what proved afterwards to be a suckling under his arm. The thief is suspected, and as such customers destroy a neighbourhood, I trust a stop will be put to his career. 
A good many Queenslanders find their way here even at this early stage of the paper's existence. From what I hear the number who subscribe for it will be largely increased in a month or two, as the want of a journal containing the latest and reliable agricultural and market news has long been felt. The weather at present is finely tempered with a cool sea breeze (we are only two miles from the sea) and we have frequently families from the city or Sandgate passing our doors.

 And in 1867 

 At Mr Mc Callum's dairy the milk was fed to the pigs, as it could not be delivered to town.

(Interesting to learn that Mr McCallum had a dairy and pig farm)

By 1867 a French settler Monsieur Colin was growing grapes for wine.  

Bald Hills Mutual Improvement Society   1871

In 1871 fundraising had been carried out for the erection of a hall for the Bald Hills Mutual Improvement Society.

The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939) Saturday 21 October 1871 p 1 Advertising
... ND PINE RIVERS. A LECTURE will be delivered in the Bald Hills Church, in aid of the Building Fund of the

The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939) Saturday 24 June 1871 p 1 Advertising
... up to SATURDAY, Bth July, for the ERECTION of a BUILDING for the Bald Hills Mutual Improvement ... 

Telegraph line to Sandgate 1877
The telegraph line to Sandgate was opened in 1877, no doubt the reason for naming the road Telegraph Road.

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Friday 27 July 1877 p 3 Article
... and from the Bald Hills

Railway Line surveyed  c1879

The railway to North Pine was opened in 1888.  Deputations had begun in 1879 for the rail link to Caboolture.

When the idea of a railway  was first conceived, the plan and suggestion was to take a line from Sandgate, across to Bald Hills then up the Coast.  This way the farmers could get their crops to market.  Now what a difference it would have made to the suburb.  Perhaps also that was one of the reasons that speculators chose to purchase lands along the proposed corridor.   They were after all, men in high places, as their stories reveal.

Putting that description in perspective, was the intended surveyed route then from Sandgate station along Rainbow Street, and in a direct line to Bald Hills Road on the north?  Certainly would be an attractive proposition for speculators and capitalists.
"A railway line to Sandgate, thence to the Pine Rivers and Caboolture was proposed early in 1879.
As the lands were granted c 1862, the farmers stood to benefit if such a scheme eventuated.

The reasons advanced were that it would not merely be a suburban line but the beginning of a means of rail communication to the abovementioned places north of Brisbane.

It would also touch country where development could take place, provide access to the Brisbane markets for the products of the large agricultural areas of these districts. The advocates of the scheme drew attention to the development that had occurred in the western suburbs, e.g. Toowong, after railway passed through that district.

Sandgate with its added cooler climatic advantages would experience even greater development. "   



The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939) Saturday 5 July 1879 p 25 Article... should have a station at the Valley, and Mr. Ballinger pointed out that the construction' of the railway ... would open up a market to the farmers at the Pine river and Caboolture.

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Monday 8 September 1884 p 5 Article
... ' During tho discussion on the motion it was urged that the population on the Bald Hills aide of the sur ... see the line cut between the Bald Hills and the South Pine by way of Mr Lang s place,


The Week (Brisbane, Qld. : 1876 - 1934) Saturday 2 October 1886 p 23 Article... proceeded with. About the end of March we may expect to see the railway open as far as Bald Hills .

Clearly this person was banking on the railway going ahead!

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Wednesday 3 November 1880 p 4 Advertising
... 53 Acres, abutting on the Sandgate Re-serve. Price £5 per acre. Surveyed line of Railway to Bald ... Hills right through it. A splendid chance in the immediate prospect of a railway to_ Sandgate being an .

The official opening was attended by all  the important officials, and a carnival atmosphere made the day very special.  Now the residents could get to Roma Street, with their crops! 
Labourers worked 10 hour days for 35 shillings a week to erect a state’s initial ever rail line in a 1864, children as young as 12 worked alongside the men.
Railway workers were housed in tents, or lived in small houses close to the railway line, as my great aunt's was. High pitch roof, 1 bedroom, lounge, kitchen and verandah to the front and side.  Thankfully now the house looks nothing at all as it did when she lived there.

In 1881 there was submissions made for the upgrade of the road to Sandgate

Can you imagine building the bridge over the dairy farm on the Bald Hills Flats in 1880's?

In all my years living in the area, to travel by train over the flooded area in 2011, was an experience, the surge of the waters was so strong, that it was making "waves"

One of the delights that the people living on Gympie Road, overlooking the Bald Hills Flats have, is the visit from the residents, doing now as they did 150 years ago!

Selling the Farms and Lands
Advertisements for the sale of land dominate stories in the newspaper archives!  As these example show, to match each advertisement to its location is a bit like putting together a jigsaw!

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Saturday 6 May 1865 p 3 Advertising
... cleared, on Bald Hill Creek, within two miles of the Bay, delightfully situated on a prominence commanding ... B of the following Runs, pub-lished in the Government Gazette of the 17th of February, 1865, and also ... 

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Tuesday 24 August 1869 p 4 Advertising
... BALD HILLS CREEK, PARISH OF NUNDAH, Adjoining tho Well known Properties of Messers Buckby and Michael ... of the Bald Hills Creek. The land is all fenced in and subdivided by fencing and paddocks, and a ... 

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Saturday 28 May 1870 p 8 Advertising
... Blocks of Land in the immediate vicinity of Brisbane 120 ACRES Or PRIME LAND AT THE BALD HILLS, Within ... on the Bald Hills, which is proverbial for its first class agricultural land

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Thursday 23 March 1871 p 4 Advertising
... Real Proporty Act Terms at Sale 2373 MONDAY, MARCH 27 HIGHLY ATTRACTIVE FARM ON THE BALD HILLS CREEK ... BALD HILLS CREEK, known as SUNNYSIDE, being Portion 100, Parish of Nundan,

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Friday 1 September 1871 p 4 Advertising
... 3 Roods, at the Bald Hills Portion 85, Parish of Bulimba, 61 Acres Portion 86, ditto 45 ditto
The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Thursday 20 June 1872 p 4 Advertising
... , South Brisbane _Prico £30._5818 MONDAY, JULY 1. IMPROVED FARM AT OTC BALD HILLS. PORTION 160, PARISH OF ... 'clock, All that Pioco or parcel of Land situato at the BALD HILLS, being Original Government

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Tuesday 25 June 1872 p 1 Advertising
... 0ON1RAO1ORS TENDER3 uro rcquirod for the CONVLY ANCE of SUGAR CANE to the Port Royal Mill Bald Hills, aWo, for ... Memorandum und Articles of Vssocintiou, or nil) othor deed based upon tho piospect

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Tuesday 9 July 1872 p 8 Advertising
... late Mr. Broadfoot. 83 MONDAY, JULY 15. IMPROVED FAEM AT THE BALD HILLS. PORTION 169, PARISH OF NUNDAH ... or parcel of Land situate at the BALD HILLS, being Original Government Portion N

·  Classified Advertising        Sunnyside again, or still?

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Wednesday 6 January 1875 p 4 Advertising
... Splendid Property known ns SUNNYSIDE, with substantial improvements, situated between the BALD HILLS and ... Squatters' Advocate, pub-lished daily.
This property "Sunnyside"  was at Bracken Ridge


The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Tuesday 22 January 1889 p 7 Article  ... BALD BILLS. (FROM OUR TRAVELLING CORRESPONDENT.) January 14, 1889. That the township of Bald Hills ... , and a market within easy reach. During the construction of the railway, Bald Hills was no doubt a busy 


January 14, 1889.

That the township of Bald Hills has seen brighter days is made painfully apparent by the number of empty houses, closed shops, and dilapidated fences which stare a visitor in the face and produce a feeling of melancholy. The inhabitants are puzzled as to whether the railway One is to be regarded as a decided evil or an unmixed blessing, and the majority appear to incline to the former opinion. The place, however, possesses many natural beauties.

It is within an hour's railway ride from the metropolis, or an hour and a half's drive along an excellent road. The valley is divided into small farms, the largest of which has only 28 acres under cultivation. Lucerne and maize are the staple crops, and both grow to perfection. Dairying is carried on extensively, and with success. The farmers around here appear to be abundantly blessed-good soil, prolific crops, and a market within easy reach. During the construction of the railway, Bald Hills was no doubt a busy centre, now it seems falling to decay. And yet land has recently sold hero for £ 170 an acre.

Many of the residents affirm that if the price of land , were not so prohibitive, and if
travelling accommodation were provided on the railway, there would soon be a change, and Bald Hills would speedily become a most popular suburb of the metropolis. It is pointed out as an anomaly that while Sandgate is thirteen miles from Brisbane and the first class fare is 1s. 6d., the fare from Bald Hills, which is only twelve miles away, is 2s.1d.

This, it is said, prevents many people from using the line. Then the morning train, it is contended, should leave half an hour earlier, an extra train should be provided even if run at a loss, and special fares and special trains should run on Sundays. There is only one hotel in the place, and not a single policeman.

Several stores, a black-smith's shop, and some buildings of a nondescript character complete the township. Perched on the top of a hill is the State school and teacher's dwelling, from which a magnificent view is obtained. The school is one of the oldest in the colony, being known as No. 4. It was opened almost simultaneously with the Normal (Brisbane), Ipswich, and  Drayton schools.

Mr. J. J. Brown is in charge, assisted by his daughters, and the average attendance is about sixty.
The buildings and surroundings are all in good order. The Wesleyan and Presbyterian denominations prevail in the district.

The former body has a church-which requires painting badly-in the heart of the township, where the Rev. Mr. Gee occasionally preaches. Mr. Gee's district is an extensive one, and he resides at the North Pine. The Rev. Mr. A.Gray occupies the Presbyterian manse, a very neat cottage not far from the church, which should be knocked down as speedily as possible.

A new church is soon to be built, at a cost of between £250 mid £300, and a meeting is to be held to-night to consider the details. At Strathpine, about four miles away, and situated on the banks of the river, is Messrs. Gardner Bros.' distillery, naturally the most prominent feature in the district.

Some 300 or 400 gallons of rum are manufactured every week by the aid of two capital stills. The plant though small is complete, and the whole mill is in first class order.

The steamer Normanby collects tile molasses from mills on the Logan, Albert, Coomera, and Nerang; discharges at the Strathpine mills, and then loads rum for Brisbane.

Sugar crushing machinery is also on the ground, but as it did not pay when in use it has been practically abandoned.

Farmers around the Pine find maize and lucerne infinitely more profitable than sugar-cane. Mr. A. E. Ashley fulfils the duties of Government inspector, and Mr. C. Jordan those of distiller.

In 1887 there was a terrible flood, and the community of Bald Hills was affected.  

The Nundah Divisional Board were hopeful of a road connecting Bald Hills and Sandgate Stations, as well as improving the existing roads. C 1881

The report of the township in 1889 paints a far different picture than that of 20 years before.

James Carseldine opened the first shop opened in Bald Hills. In 1872 Cobb and Co coaches on the Brisbane to Gympie run began to stop here to pick up passengers and mail. In the first year the Bald Hills post office despatched 2822 items and received 1601. James was appointed the first local Postmaster and Newsagent, he received a salary of £12 per annum. In later years he also held the position of Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths for the district. The shop continued as a post office until the late 1930’s. James owned the shop until 1911 when it was sold to Alfred Stewart.

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