Logan Reserve


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Logan Reserve had its origins in the Logan Agricultural Reserve, which was proclaimed in 1862 to open up land to free settlers in Queensland. The reserve comprised 500,000 acres on both sides of the Logan River, and a punt (ferry) was used to cross the river to Waterford.

Cotton was the first crop grown commercially in the region. The 1868 post office directories list about 180 families living in the reserve lands, which included the areas now known as Pimpama, Bethania, Waterford, Greenbank and Loganholme. These families cleared the land, established houses and planted crops.

The first public building in the Logan Agricultural Reserve was a small bark Catholic church/school built in 1864–5 on a one-acre allotment subdivided from Portion 44, which had been selected by John Gavan. A graveyard was established in the road reserve, which gave access to the church. This initial building did not last long, as the slabs deteriorated quickly. A new structure was built further north on Deeran and Colgan's land in 1870. Catholic archives suggest the new building was on the south west corner of Portion 40, although the school files for the Logan Reserve and the Waterford schools show Bishops Dunne's school in Portion 42.

The first post office in the Logan Agricultural Reserve was located on John Beetham's property (Portion 16) from 1 April 1864. In 1867, local people agitated to move the post office to the Waterford township, and local newspapers criticised influential individuals for trying to make commercial gain from the relocation. The critics suggested that Waterford was nothing more than a grog shanty. By March 1871, the post office was transferred to the Waterford grog shanty run by William Huston at Eden's old hotel on the eastern corner of Loganlea Road. In August 1871, the post office was transferred to the Morning Star Hotel, on the western corner of Loganlea Road, which was operated by Richard Leo. It remained at the hotel until after the Waterford Bridge was completed in August 1876. In April 1877, the post office transferred across the river to Schneider's Store.

Some of the Logan Reserve children attended the Waterford school, when it opened in 1871. There may have been some religious interference, with representatives of the Catholic Church urging parents to send their children to the Logan Reserve school in 1872, at that time run by John Beetham. Logan Reserve School had originally been established as a Catholic school.

The Logan Reserve church/school was apparently dismantled and relocated in the mid-1870s to a site adjacent to Leo's Morning Star Hotel in Waterford West. The Bailliere's Gazetteer of 1876 noted a hardwood chapel adjacent to the post office, which Leo ran from the hotel. A graveyard was established adjacent to this church. The earliest grave on the site appears to be that of Richard Leo junior, who died in 1874 only seven days old. The land was not formally donated to the church until December 1892. It is possible that the church was externally clad when it was moved to Waterford West, as Schnieder's mill at Waterford apparently supplied timber for the church. The original building was a single skin structure. The church was known by different names, including Church of the Assumption, St Brigid’s, and later St Declan’s. In 1949 it was moved again, to Eight Mile Plains.

While the church remained adjacent to the Morning Star Hotel in Waterford West until 1949, the school had a chequered history. Around 1888, the school was relocated to a house in Portion 46, adjacent to the Lutheran Cemetery. The German population also used the school – as a German school on Saturday and Lutheran Church on Sunday.

In 1897, the new Bethel Church was built in the area, with a cemetery alongside. The tornado of February 1936 destroyed the church, but locals rebuilt it and it remained on the site until 1972 when it was demolished. The school remained on Portion 46 adjacent to the cemetery until 1914, when it was moved to its current site on the opposite corner.