The lands to the east of the Bald Hills Township became known as Brackenridge in 1866
While Brackenridge was not formally named as a suburb until 100 years after it's inception, it was necessary to research the areas either side to gain a picture of what the area was like.
From Wikipedia - Regarding Hoop Pines at St Paul's School, the original settlement of John Stewart and Margaret Duncan. The Hoop Pines are symbolic with the early settlers of the area.
In 2002 the trees at the school were Heritage Listed. Which raises the question, why were they not chopped down like all the others?
In the early 1850s the McConnels and their associates, who supported John Dunmore Lang's vision of the development of a "cotton colony" north of Brisbane between Cabbage Tree Creek and South Pine River, lobbied for the establishment of a port at Cabbage Tree Creek, which they claimed was more convenient for shipping than the Brisbane River, offered safe berths for larger vessels, and in particular, would give more direct port access to the Stanley River squatters, who could travel via North Pine through Bald Hills to Cabbage Tree Creek.
The McConnels were joined by a number of prominent Brisbane businessmen, including John Richardson, Thomas Dowse, Robert Davidson and George Raff, who in 1852 called for a port to rival Cleveland, and the development of a resort suburb, at Bramble Bay. The New South Wales government had already set aside a village reserve at the head of Cabbage Tree Creek, and now the Scottish connection was pushing for its survey and the survey of a road from Brisbane.
The village was surveyed in 1852 and in November 1853 the first Sandgate town lots were offered at public auction. There was much interest, and high prices were obtained, with the McConnels, Dowse and Robert Davidson purchasing heavily.
Stewart made a preliminary trip to the district c. 1855 to select suitable land, not just for himself and the Duncans, but also for a large number of Hunter River settlers who were equally interested. Stewart immediately applied to the New South Wales survey office to have the land surveyed, but it was not proclaimed available for sale until December 1856, with Stewart finally purchasing land in February 1857.
Due to the delay in survey, most of the interested Hunter River settlers meanwhile had moved to the Clarence River where new land was available. Only Stewart and the Duncans and their families from the Hunter took up land at Bald Hills, moving onto their selections in early October 1857. They are generally acknowledged as the first non-indigenous settlers at Bald Hills.
After their experiences on the Hunter River, the settlers selected the higher ground for their farms, erecting their first houses (apparently slab and bark) on the low ridge above the South Pine River where St Peter's Anglican School is now situated. Fearing attack from Aborigines, their houses were loop-holed for rifles and located within sight of each other.
These precautions proved unnecessary, for at the request of Thomas Gray and other settlers in the area between Cabbage Tree Creek and Caboolture, a detachment of Native Police was stationed at Sandgate from 1858 to 1862. Under the command of Lieutenant Frederick Wheeler, the Native Police eliminated Aboriginal resistance to white settlement in the Pine Rivers, Cabbage Tree Creek and Caboolture districts by the early 1860s.
The Stewart and Duncan families cleared the gentle slopes along the South Pine River for their crops. By the end of the 1860s most of the valuable stands of red cedar and hoop pine in the Bald Hills district had been removed, although much scrub remained. Through the 1860s, 1870s and 1880s maize, potatoes and some oaten and wheaten hay were the principal cash crops, and John Stewart had early experimented with arrowroot and cotton, for which he won bronze and silver medals at the London International Exhibition of 1862. Following the opening of a railway to Bald Hills in 1888, dairying became the principal economic activity in the district. By 1929, dairy farmers at Bald Hills were supplying up to 1000 gallons of milk daily to Brisbane and Sandgate.
John Stewart and his family were well respected in the Bald Hills community and active members of the local Presbyterian church, John serving as an Elder for nearly 40 years. The earliest Presbyterian services in the Bald Hills district were conducted at the Stewart home until a small slab and shingled church was erected in 1863 at the corner of the Strathpine and Bald Hills roads.
In 1889 the slab church was replaced by a milled-timber building erected on land donated by John Stewart in 1887, further west along Strathpine Road. (This building was destroyed by fire in 1909, and replaced with the present building in 1911.) Two of Stewart's sons, James and Charles, became Presbyterian ministers. Rev. James Stewart was the founder of the Brisbane City Mission.
Many local events also were celebrated at the Stewart home, including the opening of the bridge over the South Pine River in May 1865, when a ball was held in the Stewart barn.
In 1890, John Stewart took out a £600 mortgage from the Brisbane Permanent Building and Banking Company Ltd, which may have financed construction of a new residence. If he did, the Stewarts occupied their new house for only a few years, for in 1895 the main portion of the farm - nearly 67 acres, including what is understood to be the site of the Stewart family's first residence and the possibly c. 1890 house - was transferred to William Thomas Taylor.
The remaining Stewart property was developed as the Woodlawn dairy farm, managed by Alexander Caldwell Stewart until his accidental death in 1900. The Woodlawn Farmhouse survives at 15 Listowel Street, Bald Hills. Jane Stewart died in 1898, and her husband John in 1905, but at least one son continued to dairy farm at Bald Hills for many years.
Taylor held the original Stewart property for only a few years, transferring it in February 1898 to Samuel Unwin of Eagle Farm, who in November 1905 took out a £600 mortgage on the property. The residence located on this property and which now functions as the Administration Building at St Paul's Anglican School, appears to date to the 1890s or very early 1900s, but it has not been established whether it was erected by Stewart c. 1890 or a later owner.
A photograph dated 1906 shows the house prior to additions and verandah enclosures, with the two already mature hoop pines forming a natural frame to the front entrance. From this evidence it is clear that the trees were not late 19th or early 20th century plantings, and it would have been unusual for them to have survived to the 20th century, were they not incorporated within the earlier Stewart house garden
Hoop Pines was listed on the Queensland Heritage Register on 22 February 2002 having satisfied the following criteria.
The place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland's history.
The Hoop Pines at St Paul's Anglican School, Bald Hills are indicative of the pattern of Queensland settlement, being associated with the evolution of non-indigenous settlement in the Moreton Bay district in the 1850s, and with the earliest development of the Bald Hills district in particular
The place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of Queensland's cultural heritage.
The larger of the two Hoop Pines is likely to pre-date non-indigenous settlement, and as remnant forest growth is rare surviving evidence of the valuable stands of Hoop Pine which made the Moreton Bay district so attractive for early colonial settlement, and which had been virtually removed from the Bald Hills district by the late 1860s. The two early Hoop Pines at St Paul's Anglican School are of horticultural interest and are rare specimens of trees of this age surviving in the Brisbane area.
The place is important because of its aesthetic significance.
The Hoop Pines have aesthetic significance for their landmark value on the ridge at Bald Hills.
The place has a strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.
They also have a special association for the community of Bald Hills as evidence of the work of the Stewart family, who, together with their relatives the Duncans, were the first non-indigenous settlers in the area, and were instrumental in developing Bald Hills as an agricultural district supplying Brisbane and Sandgate; and for the community of St Paul's Anglican School as marking the administrative centre of the school.
Research shows that the lands were used for agricultural purposes. The trees were removed, but why did these remain?
The answer may be due to Government legislation introduced in 1872 regarding the removal of trees on certain lands, or the realisation that the cattle needed shade!
On approaching manhood, Mr. Stewart left for Gympie, where the gold-seeking fever was high, and spent several years there. On returning, he went to Sydney and followed the plastering trade.
About 1890 he re-turned to Bald Hills, and settled down as a market gardener till the dairying industry became the principal, occupation of the Bald Hill farmers. He most successfully followed this till 1918, when failing health obliged him to retire from active life. He was an elder of the Presbyterian Church for I6 years, and he also took an active part in, local affairs. He was chairman of the State School Committee for several years, and the high esteem in which he was held was manifested by the numerous attendance at the funeral. He is survived by his widow, two sons and a daughter.
Bald Hills lies to the west and Sandgate to the east. The first records indicate the existence of Brackenridge in 1866. Initially the lands between Sandgate and Bald Hills were unnamed.
James Ferguson's Brackenridge was generally expressed as Brackenridge, Sandgate.
Like many statements about the area, that information differs. The cemetery opened no doubt in 1869
Historical information from the Moreton Shire Council states:
During the 1850s, in response to considerable pressure from immigrants who were clamouring for access to land, the New South Wales Government decided to survey and sell blocks of land suitable for more intensive farming. By the mid 1850s, surveyors had reached an area not far outside the present district boundary which became known as the Bald Hills Farms Subdivision. During 1857, the first lots of agricultural land in this area were offered for sale.
In many cases, however, new settlers simply sought out portions of land which had not been claimed as runs and leased land in the hope that they would be able to establish more secure tenure at some stage in the future. James Cash, who settled on the south bank of the South Pine River around 1851, was one such person who became well known in the Pine Rivers area. Eight years later, he became the first freehold landholder in what was to become the Pine Rivers Shire.
Closer settlement of the region commenced in earnest during 1862 with the sale of country farm allotments in that part of the Strathpine/Lawnton area east of Gympie Road and on the north bank of the North Pine River in the area then designated the Redcliffe Agricultural Reserve.
They faced challenges
The following Wikipedia information regarding Bald Hills and the Hoop Pines provides an overall picture of the vegetation of area as it was in 1850's. There are perhaps only two of these magnificent trees remaining, and they are in the grounds of St Paul's School
|The old Stewart Farmhouse, now housing the Archives of St Paul's School|
One lesson that stayed with me throughout my real estate career!
Some Historical Facts regarding Sandgate From the State Library of Queensland
- the first early lobbying for a settlement in the Cabbage Tree Creek area commenced from 1852.
- J.C. Burnett undertook an official land survey of the area (1852). The name Sandgate was first used as an official name in his published survey report.
- the site for the proposed village of Sandgate is gazetted (19 March 1853).
- the first official land sales in the area take place (9 November 1853).
- the first purchasers or settlers include Thomas Dowse and John Baxter (from 1853).
- the Slaughter, Davie and Loudin families settle from 1864/5.
- Mr. Slaughter became the first postmaster for the district.
- the first hotel, known as the Sandgate Hotel established by Charles Davie (1858).
- John Baxter’s café was established at Cabbage Tree Creek (1862).
- seaside cottages are listed in newspapers as being available for rent at £3 per week (late 1860s).
- there is growth in the number of accommodation houses including Villa Marina, Belair, Musgrave (from the 1870s).
- a horse drawn coach service was established by the Best family.
- soft drink manufacturing commenced from the 1880s.
- the Sandgate Hotel, later to be known as the Belvedere Hotel, established by Charles Davie (1858).
- the Claredon Hotel (David Mitchell) (1861).
- 1862 – the Sandgate Hotel, built by William Loudin in 1862. This was a different hotel to the Sandgate Hotel mentioned above, which by this time was trading as the Belvedere Hotel.
- the London Hotel built in 1863 for Thomas Cahill. This hotel was abandoned in 1864.
- 1865 – Brighton Hotel built for William Rae and dating from 1865.
- Masons Hotel (George Mason).
- 1867 – the Osbourne Hotel built for Hiram Wakefield (1867).
- 1861 – a bridge across Cabbage Tree Creek was constructed.
- 1865 – a company is formed with the aim of constructing the Sandgate Pier.
- 1868 – a regular coach service between Brisbane and Sandgate was established. In the initial phase this was not a daily service.
- 1873 – Sandgate State School was established with the original classes being held in the chapel of the Baptist Church. The first teacher was W.R. Barfoot.
- 1874 – the first permanent Sandgate State School building was constructed.
- 1876 – daily coach services from Brisbane to Sandgate, via Nundah commence.
- 1880 – Sandgate was proclaimed a Municipal Borough.
- 1880 – Sandgate was proclaimed a Town. The names of some of the first Town Councillors are honoured in the names of local streets including Townsend, Board, Bott, Kift and Deagon streets.
- 1881 – a railway construction contract was awarded for construction of a line to Sandgate.
- 1882 – (11 May) the railway line to Sandgate was opened.
|Australian writer Marcus Clarke wearing a cabbage tree hat, 1866|
In 1867, the Gympie Goldfield was discovered. A Mr Nash,, gold prospector, after many weary months of fruitless toil among the ranges, most fortunately was led to prospect a gully, afterwards well and favourably known as Nash's Gully. here he came across rich deposits of the precious metal. He reported the same to the authorities and claimed the one thousand pounds reward previously offered by the Government, together with a prospecting area.
The news spread like wildfire, both in Maryborough and Brisbane. Thousands wended their way to the new Eldorado. All sorts of vehicles and conveyances were pressed into the service. One man landed on the Field having wheeled a barrow containing his little ones and necessaries over a hundred miles. His indomitable pluck carried him through. A man of such stamina was bound to succeed, which was verified in his case.
He became one of the leading men of the town and held a prominent position there. This rich field came most opportunely for the country. It had universally been acknowledged as the salvation of Queensland. At one time over a thousand men (breadwinners) from the Valley alone were working at the alluvial ground, all getting something.
There was no capital required or months to wait before any return for labour expended, as in the case of deep sinking on the Reef, nor any costly machinery to invest in. The outfit consisted of a pick and shovel, prospecting dish and cradle, and to start work at once, and, possessed with a Miner's Right (a Licence to Mine), the field was before him