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What Queensland looked like in the late-19th Century Through Stunning Historical Photos

The wealth of Victorian-era gold began to flow to Queensland in the late-19th century. The first railway lines from Ipswich to Dalby and Warwick became operational in 1870. More than 200,000 Europeans lived in Queensland in 1880, with the most significant cities being Brisbane, Townsville, Toowoomba, Mackay, and Rockhampton. Darling Downs became a centre for pastoral industry in the 1860s and ’70s. Queensland had around three million cattle and seven million sheep by 1880. Sugar and cotton production increased in the 1860s.

During the Great Shearers’ Strike at Barcaldine in 1891, the Australian Labor Party was formed. Employers were arguing over whether they could use non-union labor during the strike. The police and troops were called in, some sheds were fired, and mass riots. The second shearers strike occurred in 1894. At the Queensland elections of 1893, sixteen union candidates won seats. The 1893 Brisbane floods caused much damage, including the destruction of the Victoria Bridge. The first cricket match was played at the Brisbane Cricket Ground in December 1896, on the land where it now stands. Native Police (Aboriginal Police) were disbanded in 1897. World’s first Labor government, led by Premier Anderson Dawson, lasted less than one week in power in 1899. During the Second Boer War (Second Anglo-Boer War) in July 1899, Queensland sent 250 mounted foot soldiers to aid Britain. Charters Towers gold production also peaked that year. Natural gas was first discovered in Queensland and Australia at Roma in 1900 during a water well drilling.

In 1899, the Mahina Cyclone struck the Cape York Peninsula and destroyed a pearling fleet in Princess Charlotte Bay. The cyclone killed approximately 400 people, making it Queensland’s worst maritime disaster.

#1 AMP society building, corner Queen and Edward Streets, Brisbane, 1898

AMP society building, corner Queen and Edward Streets, Brisbane, 1898

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#2 Victoria Bridge from Treasury Building towards South Brisbane and Mt Coot-tha, Brisbane, 1897

Victoria Bridge from Treasury Building towards South Brisbane and Mt Coot-tha, Brisbane, 1897

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#3 Paluma, 1893

Paluma, 1893

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#4 James Street, Fortitude Valley during The Brisbane Flood of 1893

James Street, Fortitude Valley during The Brisbane Flood of 1893

Crossing from the North Quay to South Brisbane the sight which meets the eye is appalling. The streets themselves covered to a depth of inches by a thick foul smelling mud were on Tuesday partially blocked by half-demolished houses, telegraph poles and posts with the wires (forming a trap for those who were not sufficiently careful in getting about), crockery-ware, dead animals, and articles of broken furniture. It was of course impossible to obtain anything like an accurate estimate of the number of houses destroyed, but it is safe to assert that quite two-thirds of the houses between Montague-road and the river has been carried away.

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#5 General Post Office, Queen Street, Brisbane, 1897

General Post Office, Queen Street, Brisbane, 1897

Is that a sailor on the steps of the Post Office? Is he posting a letter to his one true love or picking up his mail that has been waiting for his ship to come in? OR is a lady fighting with her parasol trying not to be blown away by the sturdy Autumn breezes?

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#6 The First Horse Tram in Brisbane, c1880.

The First Horse Tram in Brisbane, c1880.

The Brisbane Courier Wed 28 Nov 1888

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#7 Gympie Goldfield (No.2 S.G. Eastern Underground). 1897

Gympie Goldfield (No.2 S.G. Eastern Underground).  1897

Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette 4 March 1897

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#8 Charlotte Street, Brisbane during 1893 Floods

Charlotte Street, Brisbane during 1893 Floods

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#9 Shipwreck of the ‘Young Australia’ off North Point, Moreton Island, 31 May 1872

Shipwreck of the 'Young Australia' off North Point, Moreton Island, 31 May 1872

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#10 The Brisbane Flood of 1893

The Brisbane Flood of 1893

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#11 Victoria Bridge, Brisbane, 1871

Victoria Bridge, Brisbane, 1871

A new crossing, opened on 15 June 1874 by the Governor of Queensland, the George Phipps, 2nd Marquess of Normanby, was an iron structure and a toll bridge. The bridge was paid for by significant council borrowings that were to be recouped by tolls. However a lack of revenue forced its transfer to the Colonial Government. The tolls were abolished at this time. It included a turning span to allow tall masted river traffic to pass upstream. The position of the swinging span was fixed when the tram-lines were laid along the bridge. It carried a 6 in (0.15 m) and a 9 in (0.23 m) diameter pipe which supplied mains water to South Brisbane. This bridge was partially washed away in the 1893 Brisbane flood.

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#12 Edward Street, Brisbane, 1890

Edward Street, Brisbane, 1890

The flood reached its highest level on Sunday, was it was 9ft. 6in. above the flood mark of 1890 that being the highest previously on record. This measurement was taken at the corner of Edward and Queen streets. The machinery in the basement of the Brisbane Courier office was still 16ft. under water at noon on Wednesday. The loss of life, so far as ascertained, does not exceed 20 in Brisbane and Ipswich.

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#13 The Brisbane Flood, 1893

The Brisbane Flood, 1893

The water rose gradually all last night and until 3 p.m. to-day, when it was 8 inches below the mark of the great flood a of a fortnight ago. The flood is now slowly subsiding.

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#14 Boats grounded within the Botanic Gardens, 1893

Boats grounded within the Botanic Gardens, 1893

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#15 Edward Street, Brisbane during the 1893

Edward Street, Brisbane during the 1893

The water rose gradually all last night and until 3 p.m. to-day, when it was 8 inches below the mark of the great flood a of a fortnight ago. The flood is now slowly subsiding.

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#16 Charlotte Street, Brisbane

Charlotte Street, Brisbane

One of the most important reactions to the 1893 flood was recognising the need for a comprehensive river observation and warning network. This was demonstrated at the time by the prominent pioneer, and later member for Stanley (1904-20), H.P. Somerset. Overlooking where the Brisbane and Stanley Rivers combine, Somerset saw a ‘wall of water’ crashing past his Caboonbah homestead in early February. He subsequently sent a man to Esk with the following telegram message addressed to the post master general in Brisbane:

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#17 Victoria Bridge, Brisbane, 1893

Victoria Bridge, Brisbane, 1893

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#18 Adelaide Street, looking from the Old Lands Office on George Street, Brisbane, 1860

Adelaide Street, looking from the Old Lands Office on George Street, Brisbane, 1860

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#19 Flooded Margaret Street, Brisbane, February 1893

Flooded Margaret Street, Brisbane, February 1893

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#20 The Brisbane Flood, 1893

The Brisbane Flood, 1893

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#21 Main Street, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, 1890s

Main Street, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, 1890s

As the bells of the steamers tolled the hours the anxiety increased, for with the departure of each hour the river encroached foot by foot. Apprehensive, yet apparently unmindful, of their own danger families piled their furniture on the tables, and then raised the more valuable articles by degrees as the waters rose, hoping that with the receding tide of the early morning the flood would subside. But inch by inch the water rose upon them, until they were forced to forsake their homes and take to the rescue boats, which plied with difficulty, for the current was strong and the piles of debris which came down floated from the town reach across the narrow neck of land and made boating extremely dangerous.

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#22 Albert Bridge (railway), Brisbane River, between Indooroopilly and Chelmer which was washed away during the 1893 flood

Albert Bridge (railway), Brisbane River, between Indooroopilly and Chelmer which was washed away during the 1893 flood

A loaded train was placed upon the bridge, and, under the direction of MR H. C. Stanley, the Chief Engineer of Railways, the rollers on the top of some of the pier columns, which provided for the expansion of the bridge, were blocked with steel wedges to prevent swaying.

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#23 Queen Street, Brisbane during the 1893 flood

Queen Street, Brisbane during the 1893 flood

The damage done will amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds. It is estimated that 500 houses had passed down the river from within a few miles of Brisbane. One man counted a hundred houses come down and strike against the bridge within an hour. Six houses in a row came down the stream together, and were smashed to pieces against the structure with a loud report. They were thrown high into the air, and as the shattered timbers fell, they were engulphed below the bridge and passed through on the other side.

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#24 View of South Brisbane during the flood of 1893

View of South Brisbane during the flood of 1893

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#25 Panorama of flooded Brisbane

Panorama of flooded Brisbane

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#26 No traffic jams, just boats.

No traffic jams, just boats.

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#27 View of Brisbane, 1862

View of Brisbane, 1862

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#28 First permanent Victoria Bridge across the Brisbane River, 1877

First permanent Victoria Bridge across the Brisbane River, 1877

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#29 Victoria Bridge from Queen Street, Brisbane, 1880

Victoria Bridge from Queen Street, Brisbane, 1880

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#30 Parliament House, Cnr Alice and George Streets, Brisbane, 1890

Parliament House, Cnr Alice and George Streets, Brisbane, 1890

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#31 View of Brisbane from chimney of Bartons Electric Works and vicinity of Adelaide Street towards Treasury Building, 1897

View of Brisbane from chimney of Bartons Electric Works and vicinity of Adelaide Street towards Treasury Building, 1897

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#32 Roma Street Railway Station looking towards Mt Coot-tha, Brisbane, 1898

Roma Street Railway Station looking towards Mt Coot-tha, Brisbane, 1898

An alarming occurrence in the shape of a locomotive explosion happened at the Roma-street Railway Station last evening. As in the case of the recent explosion in the same vicinity, there was fortunately no loss of life, nor was there serious injury done to anything except the engine. The accident happened under especially fortunate circumstances. The engine was detached, and the lines were practically clear at the time. If by any chance the conditions had been different, it is difficult to conceive how a most serious catastrophe would have been avoided. The engine in question was No 62, one of the Baldwin type, manufactured in Philidelphia.

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#33 Brisbane from Parliament House towards Victoria Bridge, 1898

Brisbane from Parliament House towards Victoria Bridge, 1898

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#34 Roma Street Railway Station, railway construction

Roma Street Railway Station, railway construction

The first train carrying passengers from the Brisbane terminus started at half-past 6 o'clock yesterday morning, and, in spite of the earliness of the hour, a number of persons had assembled on the platform to witness this historical event. The utmost exertions of a large body of men had only sufficed to make the line fit for travelling, without being able to make a really finished job of it, the ballasting being only laid under the sleepers at considerable distances. The motion was, consequently, greater than will hereafter be the case. Work in ballasting was being continued all day yesterday with noticeable results.

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#35 The Brisbane River, 1890s

The Brisbane River, 1890s

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#36 Ploughing Queen Street, 1890s

Ploughing Queen Street, 1890s

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#37 The London Chartered Bank of Australia, 1890s

The London Chartered Bank of Australia, 1890s

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#38 Archer Household outside Brisbane military barracks, 1870

Archer Household outside Brisbane military barracks, 1870

Three of the Archer brothers and their families. The Archer brothers were among the earliest settlers in Queensland. They were explorers and pastoralists. Seven sons of William Archer, a Scottish timber merchant, spent varying amounts of time in the colony of New South Wales, mainly in parts of what later became Queensland.

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#39 Queen St, Brisbane, 1879

Queen St, Brisbane, 1879

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#40 George St, Brisbane, 1890s

George St, Brisbane, 1890s

George Street as well as Queen Street, Wickham Street and the area known as Petrie Bight were unsealed and often dusty before 1899. In 1897, the North Brisbane Council held an election on whether a loan should be raised so the streets could be woodblocked. Agreement was given after a close decision by only a third of registered voters, however the results were limited as the surface was very slippery during the rain and buckled during heavy rains.

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#41 Traffic Journeying Down Queen and Eagle Street in Brisbane, 1880

Traffic Journeying Down Queen and Eagle Street in Brisbane, 1880

The then Municipal Council funded the majority of the work and the remainder of the funds required was raised by public subscription. However, there was confusion as to the original purpose of the fountain, as donations were also being sought around the same time for a memorial to James Mooney, a young volunteer fireman who died in 1877 in the line of duty.

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#42 Tram and crowd scene in Queen Street near George Street, Brisbane, 1899

Tram and crowd scene in Queen Street near George Street, Brisbane, 1899

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#43 View of South Brisbane and Highgate Hill, 1870s

View of South Brisbane and Highgate Hill, 1870s

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#44 A Brisbane Omnibus, 1880

A Brisbane Omnibus, 1880

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#45 Old Roma street markets, Brisbane 1886

Old Roma street markets, Brisbane 1886

The incidence of railway construction particularly that which then terminated at Roma Street had an influencing part in determining the site of a new Brisbane market. A loan of £6000 for the erection of a new wholesale market was offered to Brisbane Municipal Corporation on a site in Upper Roma Street (near the original Roma Street Railway Station) and adjoining the (old) Albert Grammar School Reserve.

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#46 Looking south along Queen Street, Brisbane, 1880

Looking south along Queen Street, Brisbane, 1880

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#47 Sunday School Procession in Stanley St, Brisbane. 24 May 1887

Sunday School Procession in Stanley St, Brisbane. 24 May 1887

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#48 Victoria Bridge, Brisbane, 1890s

Victoria Bridge, Brisbane, 1890s

As a conduit for the colony’s exports, the river remained boon for the Queensland capital. But it was a fraught relationship. Development of the flood plain accompanied Brisbane’s rise and by the late 1880s a major a collision was imminent as the Brisbane Valley entered an unusually wet cycle. Low lying areas were inundated in 1887 and 1889 followed by a larger flood in 1890. Those who thought they had seen the last of this extreme weather were mistaken. Peaking over 30 feet at the post office gauge, the February 1893 floods eclipsed this by around three metres.

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#49 Petrie Bight showing National Hotel and Customs House, Brisbane, 1898

Petrie Bight showing National Hotel and Customs House, Brisbane, 1898

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#50 Trams at North Quay, Brisbane, 1898

Trams at North Quay, Brisbane, 1898

A Standard Combination tram and Nine Bench tram No. 63 at the old Victoria Bridge.

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#51 General Post Office, Queen Street, Brisbane, 1870

General Post Office, Queen Street, Brisbane, 1870

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#52 Sherwood Road, Toowong, Brisbane, 1890

Sherwood Road, Toowong, Brisbane, 1890

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#53 North Quay – Repairing wall on River Bank 1889

North Quay - Repairing wall on River Bank 1889

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#54 Wickham Terrace from Wharf Street.

Wickham Terrace from Wharf Street.

This single-storeyed porphyry stone church, the oldest Anglican Church in Brisbane, was erected in 1861, and rebuilt in 1869, for the Wickham Terrace District Anglican congregation. It is one of the few remaining parish churches in Queensland owned under the colonial provision of private trustees of church property.Courtesy of Queensland Heritage Register

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#55 Brisbane from Chimney of Bartons Electric Works Queensland, 1890s

Brisbane from Chimney of Bartons Electric Works Queensland, 1890s

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#56 Brisbane from Observatory, First Bridge Across River 1866

Brisbane from Observatory, First Bridge Across River 1866

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#57 Adelaide St From George St. The Methodist Church is on the right 1865

Adelaide St From George St. The Methodist Church is on the right 1865

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#58 View of Upper Edward and Leichardt Streets 1862

View of Upper Edward and Leichardt Streets 1862

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#59 Brisbane Hospital, George Street, Brisbane, 1865

Brisbane Hospital, George Street, Brisbane, 1865

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#60 Mrs White, with three children and members of domestic staff, on the verandah of Old Beaudesert Homestead

Mrs White, with three children and members of domestic staff, on the verandah of Old Beaudesert Homestead

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#61 Homestead and yards of East Talgai

Homestead and yards of East Talgai

After bounding along by railway from Warwick for a distance of seventeen miles, we debark at a rustic siding known as Clark's Crossing, the guard having previously admonished that there was a passenger for that point. At this place we are in the immediate vicinity of East Talgai, a name and locality too well known to all breeders of sheep to need any description here.

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#62 Ploughing for late crop of corn at F Warne’s Homestead, Teutoberg, Blackall Range

Ploughing for late crop of corn at F Warne's Homestead, Teutoberg, Blackall Range

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#63 Selectors homestead. No 160, 1897

Selectors homestead. No 160, 1897

Selection referred to "free selection before survey" of crown land in some Australian colonies under land legislation introduced in the 1860s. These acts were similar to the United States Homestead Act and were intended to encourage closer settlement, based on intensive agriculture, such as wheat-growing, rather than extensive agriculture, such as wool production. Selectors often came into conflict with squatters, who already occupied the land and often managed to circumvent the law.

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#64 Paul Beks Vineyard, Roma, 1890s

Paul Beks Vineyard, Roma, 1890s

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#65 Brilliant Extended Mine, Charters Towers, 1890s

Brilliant Extended Mine, Charters Towers, 1890s

By the end of the 19th century, Charters Towers gold mines and mills were producing their maximum yields. Over a hundred poppet legs rose above the town and the quality of life was unexcelled in Colonial Queensland. All this had happened in a period of twenty-five years.

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#66 Gathered miners at Brilliant Mine, Charters Towers

Gathered miners at Brilliant Mine, Charters Towers

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#67 Brilliant St George Mine, Charters Towers, 1897

Brilliant St George Mine, Charters Towers, 1897

The initial discovery of gold in the greater Charter Towers area was followed by a migration of 30,000 miners, speculators and entrepreneurs, they converged on Queensland’s most important goldfield seeking a piece of the enormous fortune during the height of one of Australia’s major historical gold rushes of the early era.

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#68 Charters Towers goldfield, Day Dawn Black and Wyndham. No 139, 1897

Charters Towers goldfield, Day Dawn Black and Wyndham. No 139, 1897

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#69 Charters Towers Pyrites Works, 1890s

Charters Towers Pyrites Works, 1890s

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#70 Six furrow plough, two horse driller, and four horse harrow at Green Hills Farm near Warwick, 4 May 1894

Six furrow plough, two horse driller, and four horse harrow at Green Hills Farm near Warwick, 4 May 1894

As evidenced in this photograph, the main power of the farm in the 19th century was the horse. Its strength was multiplied many times to draw the ploughs, harrowers and drillers which were made of wood and iron. Prior to drilling to plant the seeds, the field was ploughed to till the soil with the harrow following behind to break up and smooth the surface of the soil. The harrow created a parcel of furrows; using his horseman skills, an expert ploughman goal was to make furrows as level and straight as possible. The drills had to withstand the heaviness of the soil and the depth of the furrows.

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#71 Hay stacking, Green Hills Farm near Warwick, 16 November 1894

Hay stacking, Green Hills Farm near Warwick, 16 November 1894

During the 19th century, hay carters used horse drawn carts and pitchforks to move the fodder they grew and cut for the winter and drought months. In addition, if there was not enough feed for the grazing animals, the animals were moved from the unproductive land to greener pastures. The Warwick stock movements published in The Queensland on Saturday 8 September 1894 recorded that drovers moved 6000 ewes from Green Hills to Barcaldine.

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#72 Reaper, binder and stooks at Green Hills Farm near Warwick, 16 November 1894

Reaper, binder and stooks at Green Hills Farm near Warwick, 16 November 1894

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#73 Merino sheep ready for shearing, Jondaryan, 2 November 1894

Merino sheep ready for shearing, Jondaryan, 2 November 1894

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#74 Interior of wool shed, Jondaryan, 2 November 1894

Interior of wool shed, Jondaryan, 2 November 1894

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#75 Vineyard and grapepickers with house in background at Nudgee, 1897

Vineyard and grapepickers with house in background at Nudgee, 1897

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#76 McLean’s Station, Redford, 1897

McLean's Station, Redford, 1897

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#77 Cherry orchard with horsedrawn plough, Accommodation Creek, 1897

Cherry orchard with horsedrawn plough, Accommodation Creek, 1897

The smaller house is likely to be a separate kitchen (it was wise to separate the fire hazard the kitchen presented from the main dwelling). The smallest ‘house’ is the dunny. In the relatively cool climate of Accommodation Creek (some snow in winter) this farmer was pioneering cherry trees. These are relatively young trees (only about 6 feet high). The horse-drawn ploughs are possibly being used to prevent weed growth by turning the soil. The lush forested slopes must have been hard work to clear fell. However in the picture the clear-felled field was rich soil, and today we know the experiment came to fruition.

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#78 Greenhills farm (Addison Free’s), near Warwick, 1897

Greenhills farm (Addison Free's), near Warwick, 1897

Compared to the humpy, this weatherboard and high shingle-roofed home must have appeared comfortable and spacious. it appears to have a gutter pipe to collect roof water. The verandah roof gives some protection to the front of the house and its small windows.

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#79 Bales of wool from Claverton Station loaded on dray with workers nearby, 1897

Bales of wool from Claverton Station loaded on dray with workers nearby, 1897

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#80 Wool bales from Claverton Station at Wyandra Railway Station, 1897

Wool bales from Claverton Station at Wyandra Railway Station, 1897

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#81 Cornfield at Wilson’s farm, Warwick, 1897

Cornfield at Wilson's farm, Warwick, 1897

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#82 Sheep Shearing at Yandilla, 1898

Sheep Shearing at Yandilla, 1898

If you were the youngster leaning against the woodshed dividing wall you would have grown up considering the massive tall timber posts to be part of your landscape. The schooling you had may be in large part from your mother, an incredibly able woman. You might model yourself on the strong men in front of you, skilfully extracting their livelihood from tough dawn-to-dusk seasonal labour requiring high technical skills and physical skills and courage. You will have probably assisted to deliver new born lambs and hand-reared orphan ones, set broken legs of calves, have ridden half-wild horses and learned how to muster various animals. There is a brutal beauty about the harsh upbringing of outback people. The high market value of the merino fleeces is only one kind of value - the other values are harder to measure.

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#83 Lofgren’s Farm at Mount Crosby, 1898

Lofgren's Farm at Mount Crosby, 1898

It s surrounded by a palistrade fence to stop the cows from getting near the house. Down below, at the foot of the cow pasture, is a wooden milking shed near the river with a fence extending from either side to keep the dairy cows up in their paddock. This farm is a part of the history of a community and land which, 75 years later, became a suburb of Brisbane. This history of this farming area, called Mount Crosby, is the subject of a University of Queensland MA thesis written by Judith Anne Nissen “Creating the landscape: A history of settlement and land use in Mount Crosby“:

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#84 Wheat Stack, Roma, 1898

Wheat Stack, Roma, 1898

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#85 Repsteine’s orchard at Mount Sylvia, Gatton, 1898

Repsteine's orchard at Mount Sylvia, Gatton, 1898

However it must have been a journey from Ipswich that took considerable logistics in the 1890s (compared with 80Kms in just over an hour that it takes to travel this distance today). In the nineteenth century when this photograph was taken it would have been an expedition using horses or bullocks and would certainly also have required the planning, stocking up and carrying of provisions. Avoidance of rainy weather would have been a consideration too. There would not have been any coach service to this remote forested place.

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#86 Two horse single furrow plough and farmhouse near Rosewood, 1898

Two horse single furrow plough and farmhouse near Rosewood, 1898

The young ploughman in this photograph knew that before the ground could be ploughed, trees and other scrub had to be cleared.

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#87 Echa’s Farm, Inglesburg, 1898

Echa's Farm, Inglesburg, 1898

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#88 Handmilking at a dairy farm near Walloon, 1898

Handmilking at a dairy farm near Walloon, 1898

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#89 Packing grapes at Atkins vineyard, Roma, 1898

Packing grapes at Atkins vineyard, Roma, 1898

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#90 Atkins’ farm and vineyard, Roma Region, 1898

Atkins' farm and vineyard, Roma Region, 1898

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#91 Smith’s farm and vineyard at Roma, 1898

Smith's farm and vineyard at Roma, 1898

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#92 Hay carting at Clarke’s farm, Danderoo, 1899

Hay carting at Clarke's farm, Danderoo, 1899

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#93 Workers in field stacking wheat, Yangan, 1899

Workers in field stacking wheat, Yangan, 1899

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#94 On Moffat’s Farm Headington Hill Estate, 21 May 1898

On Moffat's Farm Headington Hill Estate, 21 May 1898

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#95 Veritz Farm near Peachester, Date Palms, Orange Trees, 1899

Veritz Farm near Peachester, Date Palms, Orange Trees, 1899

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#96 Orange Trees near Peachester, 1899

Orange Trees near Peachester, 1899

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#97 Jenner’s Farm, near Crohamhurst, 6 acres under oranges and lemons, 1899

Jenner's Farm, near Crohamhurst, 6 acres under oranges and lemons, 1899

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#98 Threshing at Wallumbilla, 1899

Threshing at Wallumbilla, 1899

Interestingly, the evidence gathered by the South Australian Government indicates for many farmers, the cheaper option - horse-driven threshing machines - was generally favoured for the grain harvest.

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#99 ‘Artemisia’ – First Government Sponsored Immigrant Ship.

'Artemisia' - First Government Sponsored Immigrant Ship.

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#100 A woman with a stack of cheeses at Mrs Bergann’s Farm, Teutoberg, Blackall Range, 1899

A woman with a stack of cheeses at Mrs Bergann's Farm, Teutoberg, Blackall Range, 1899

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#101 Strawberry field group picking at Simpson’s strawberry field, Blackall Range, 1899

Strawberry field group picking at Simpson's strawberry field, Blackall Range,  1899

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#102 Sweet potatoes, sugar bananas, farmhouse and people on horseback at Simpson’s farm, Maleny, Blackall Range, 1899

Sweet potatoes, sugar bananas, farmhouse and people on horseback at Simpson's farm, Maleny, Blackall Range, 1899

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#103 Hilling potatoes, Laidley, 1899

Hilling potatoes, Laidley, 1899

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#104 Four miners at face of reef in Gympie Goldfield, 1897

Four miners at face of reef in Gympie Goldfield, 1897

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#105 Cutting, Mt Morgan, 1894

Cutting, Mt Morgan, 1894

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#106 Gold mine, Lucky Valley. c.1897

Gold mine, Lucky Valley. c.1897

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#107 Gympie goldfield, One Mile and Monkland. No 271, 1895

Gympie goldfield, One Mile and Monkland. No 271, 1895

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#108 Cootharaba Mill, Gympie Goldfield, 1897

Cootharaba Mill, Gympie Goldfield, 1897

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#109 Gympie goldfield, Monkland. No 272, 1897

Gympie goldfield, Monkland. No 272, 1897

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#110 Columbia – Smithfield Gold Mine, Gympie, 1897

Columbia - Smithfield Gold Mine, Gympie, 1897

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#111 Four miners at head of winze, Columbia and Smithfield at Gympie Goldfield, 775 feet level, 1897

Four miners at head of winze, Columbia and Smithfield at Gympie Goldfield, 775 feet level, 1897

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#112 Mount Morgan, 1897

Mount Morgan, 1897

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#113 Sending boxes of gold 1890’s

Sending boxes of gold 1890's

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#114 Croydon King Mine, Croydon 1890

Croydon King Mine, Croydon 1890

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#115 Gold miners outside a bark hut, Queensland, 1870

Gold miners outside a bark hut, Queensland, 1870

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#116 Monkland mine and surroundings, Gympie Goldfield, 1897

Monkland mine and surroundings, Gympie Goldfield, 1897

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#117 Interior of Quartz crushing battery, Gympie Goldfield, 1897

Interior of Quartz crushing battery, Gympie Goldfield, 1897

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#118 Gold Sluicing, Mary River, near Gympie, 1896

Gold Sluicing, Mary River, near Gympie, 1896

Gympie was originally named Nashville after James Nash who discovered gold in the area in 1867. It was renamed Gympie in 1868.

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#119 Case of rich gold specimens from Gympie, Queensland International Exhibition, Brisbane, 1897

Case of rich gold specimens from Gympie, Queensland International Exhibition, Brisbane, 1897

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#120 Queensland International Exhibition. Mining Court. Two tons of tin ingots produced at Irvinebank Smelting Works, 1897

Queensland International Exhibition. Mining Court. Two tons of tin ingots produced at Irvinebank Smelting Works, 1897

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#121 Charters Towers from the railway station

Charters Towers from the railway station

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#122 Gill Street, Charters Towers

Gill Street, Charters Towers

"Charters Towers, the town they call ‘The World' was born to the sound of thunder and flashes of lightning.

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#123 Central State School, Charters Towers, 1890s

Central State School, Charters Towers, 1890s

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#124 View of Charters Towers, 1897

View of Charters Towers, 1897

By the end of the 19th century, Charters Towers gold mines and mills were producing their maximum yields. Over a hundred poppet legs rose above the town and the quality of life was unexcelled in Colonial Queensland. All this had happened in a period of twenty-five years. In 1897 the Editor of the Northern Mining Register wrote:

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#125 Richmond Hill State School, Burdekin Street, Charters Towers

Richmond Hill State School, Burdekin Street, Charters Towers

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#126 Girls Central State School, Bundaberg, 1890

Girls Central State School, Bundaberg, 1890

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#127 Boulia School, 1896