Hello and welcome

Brisbane History West is a collaborative resource set up to provide an internet presence for the history groups in the inner south western suburbs that don’t have their own dedicated website.  Its purpose  is to supplement existing activities and encourage community awareness and participation in the study and recording of local history.

Each of the groups focus on specific geographical areas which jointly cover the present day suburbs of Chelmer, Corinda, Graceville, Indooroopilly, Oxley, St Lucia, Sherwood and Taringa. Arbitrary boundaries aside, with some subtle variations the area shares a common history.

If you are unfamiliar with the blog format this Home page has all the articles uploaded to date in chronological order. Each has been categorised so if you are looking to minimise scrolling click on the relevant Topic (right hand side margin for PC users). The articles are a mix of frequently asked questions, meeting notices, research notes and papers,  and general news items.

Please feel free to contact us if you are working on a project and are wondering how to share your research effort, contributions are welcome. The site is self-funded and supported by the participating groups and societies which rely solely on volunteer resources. The individual groups retain their independence.

The publication Brisbane Spreads West– A local history 1840 to 1901 is the combined work of a number of local groups and societies, drawing on their research of the history of the western and south western suburbs of Brisbane. It is available from the participating groups or from the State Library Book Shop

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Local History Group Meetings

Please note that the scheduled meetings for the Indooroopilly, Oxley-Chelmer, St Lucia and Taringa groups have been cancelled until further notice as a precaution against the spread of the Covid19 virus. For other groups in the area, please check their websites.

For further information on the virus please refer to the government website

Time on your hands, why not browse the website or pen an article to share with our readers ?

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Moggill Historical Society March Meeting

7pm Tuesday  17 March 2020 at Room PY3, Moggill State School. This month Jankees Van der Have will give a talk on the origins and history of the McIntyre Centre, now part of HELP Disability Care. The McIntyre Centre is a community organisation which has provided affordable equine programs for people with a disability for over 50 years in the area. The founders, June and Peter McIntyre, were the pioneers of riding for the disabled in Australia.

HELP is a respected disability service provider operating in the not-for-profit sector since 1968 and exists to enhance the lifestyle and independence of people with disability. Jankees has been a non-Executive Director of HELP since July 2017, a member of Audit & Risk Committee since 2018 and a member & Chair of Disability Care Governance Committee from October 2018.

For further details contact Bobby Vollmer secretary@moggillhistorical.org.au

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Oxley-Chelmer History Group March Meeting

9.30am Friday 13 March 2020 at the Sherwood-Indooroopilly RSL Sub-Branch, Clewley Street, Corinda. This month our speaker will be historian Margaret Cook, author of A River with a City Problem: A History of Brisbane Floods. After her talk, the History Group will show a short slide show of some of the 1974 flood photographs of the local area.

For further details please contact Marion on 3379 1967 or ochginc@gmail.com

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St Lucia History Group March Meeting

Land resumptions are rarely popular, proposed valuations even less so. This landowner questioned BCC’s authority to acquire his land, most landowners the sums offered whilst acknowledging the resumption was for a worthwhile purpose (BCC Archives)

1pm Saturday 7 March 2020 at the Toowong Community Meeting Place, Josling Street, Toowong. This month we will take a look at the various land resumptions which created the site for the St Lucia Campus of the University of Queensland. For further information contact Andrew Darbyshire slhgcoordinator@gmail.com

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Toowong and District Historical Society February Meeting

9.30am Friday DATE 2020 at the Meeting Room, Toowong Library, Toowong Village Shopping Centre. This month our guest speaker will be former Toowong resident and now Ashgrove local, Peter Eedy, who will present a talk titled ‘Waterworks Road—People and Places’. The presentation includes a visual tour of the road, from Roma Street to Ashgrove West and St John’s Wood, discussing the road’s history, significant people and places, and some of its physical characteristics. Peter’s professional background is in architecture, but in his retirement he has become a hobby historian, with a particular interest in Brisbane’s physical, social and sports histories.

For further information tdhsoc@gmail.com

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Toowong History Group February Meeting

7pm Wednesday 19 February 2020 at the Toowong Community Meeting Place, Josling Street, Toowong.  This month Sharyn Merkley will present Minnie & Sandy – A Love Story a talk on the Archer family of Toowong. All welcome. For further details contact Prue on 3870 3886


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Warner’s Road north of the river

Diagram illustrating the provision made for road reserves as part of the initial sub-division of the area that would become St Lucia. 22 lots would be offered for sale (‘Portion’ numbers shown)

There has often been discussion at St Lucia History Group meetings about the reported difficulties experienced by the early European settlers accessing Brisbane in the late 1850s/early 1860s. The requirement to deliver their produce to market in town by rowboat is well recorded and reflects on the state of early road making.

When the surveyors prepared the original sub-division plans for St Lucia they included for ‘Government’ roads. In reality these were merely identified road reserves. They were provided to enable free access to each of the lots offered for sale, without the need for easements,  and in addition, common access to the riverbank. The individual lots (Portions) were in the order of 40 acres each and dedicated roads were kept to a minimum, road reserves generated no income. Interestingly the first lot offered, which was purchased in 1852, is described as Portion 7 of the Parish of Indooroopilly. It had no nominated road access. Continue reading

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