Logan Village

Location

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History

Logan Village was a key site in the development of the region and its river traffic. Logan Village was the headquarters of the river’s navigation, with a major wharf and a store constructed in 1862 to service Robert Towns' plantation at Townsvale (Veresdale). The store was located in the vicinity of Anzac Avenue, on land owned by John Edwin Campbell, who was the town’s superintendent of Kanakas (Pacific Islander labourers).

The township was surveyed in July 1865, and the town wharf was upgraded in 1873. William Drynan, a former cedar cutter from the Richmond River district, selected land at Logan Village in 1862 and ran the Logan Village Hotel from 1864. He took out an annual publican's licence in August 1866, but did not renew it again until March 1871.

The Brisbane Courier reported about the upcoming Logan races, to be held on New Year’s Day 1865 between Quinzeh and Ooah Creeks. Mr Drynan would provide refreshments. In 1867, kangaroo hunts were promoted as an activity organised through Drynan's Hotel.

Early merchants trading from the township included Matthew Orr and James Honeyman, who were involved in the cotton industry. They owned a number of the boats which worked the Logan River, including the SS Amy from 1863, and the SS Louisa from 1884. Orr and Honeyman owned riverside land in Logan Village, between Logan and Wharf Streets. In 1869, the Hinchcliffe brothers purchased the wharf store. They were agents for merchants J and G Harris and Co.

The 1868 post office directories identify sawmills on the Chambers Flat side of the river and at Woodlands on the village side. In 1866, a ferry lease was offered at Logan Village, but it was never taken up because William Drynan ran a private punt there. In 1868, he took up an official ferry lease.

Drynan operated the first receiving office for the mail, from January 1870. He was also the agent for merchants Clarke, Hodgson and Co. By 1876, the Queensland Gazetteer noted that mail was delivered twice a week to Logan Village.

Timber getting was an important industry, and it is likely that Drynan was initially involved in it, given his background in cedar cutting and the name he gave to his property, Woodlands. The origins of the first sawmill are unclear, with conflicting reports on its ownership. It was either run by Walter Smith or the Olivers, and had a chimney constructed of local freestone mined near Quinzeh Creek. It apparently burnt down in 1872 (having supplied the timber for the new Logan primary school at Waterford the previous year), although the chimney stack survived until the 1887 floods.

The Logan primary school, like others in the region, had a shaky start. It began in 1873 at Stockleigh, in a structure built of bark, with a timber floor and glass windows. Logan Village residents lobbied for a school in the township, which opened in August 1875. In 1882, the community request a new school, which was not built until 1894. The school became a state school in 1900.

The school register of 1875 indicates that Logan Village was an important settlement. Architect Charles Smith was a resident, moving to Logan Village from the Gympie goldfields, where he designed a number of significant buildings. Smith’s most notable building in the Logan region was an Italianate-style home built for Adam Black on the Albert River. Black and Gilbert Muir of the Noyea plantation in Beenleigh owned significant gold interests in Gympie’s New Zealand Reef. They had previously worked the New Zealand gold fields, as had Smith. It is possible that Smith designed other buildings in the district, but there is no hard evidence to support this. Logan Village also included two blacksmiths, a veterinary surgeon, a wood turner, a bricklayer, river men and farmers.

The Logan Village community was strong. In September 1880, locals held a meeting in Drynan's Hotel to lobby for a road from Waterford, through Chisholm's (Canterbury College) to the village. This was eventually built, and opened new land for farming.

One of the largest sugar plantations along the Waterford road was Hugh Watson's Rosevaille, which was situated along Weaber Road with wharfage in what is now Newstead Park. This plantation was the furthest inland plantation in the region, but this did not stop its initial success. By 1883, the property was offered for sale, promoted as rich scrub land with over one mile of river frontage and 80 to 100 acres cultivated. The sugar mill on the property was still operational and there were workers’ cottages as well as the main dwelling, stables and sheds. Despite the new road, the river was used to transport goods and the proposed railway to Logan Village was a strong selling point. There was also a coal seam on the property.

In September 1885, the initial section of the Beaudesert Branch railway opened to Logan Village. The line linked into the Brisbane–Beenleigh line at Bethania Junction, but offered very limited service to Logan Village residents. The Beaudesert extension was completed in May 1888. Its services was less than ideal, with the circuitous route taking 3½ hours for the journey from Beaudesert to Brisbane.

The Logan Village Hotel was relocated a number of times over the years. It was originally located in North Street, and then relocated to the corner of North and Albert Streets. Once the railway was built in 1885, it moved to a site immediately opposite the railway station in Albert Street.

By 1892, timber getting was again in full swing in the region, with seven timber getters working the area. Logan Village was a vibrant settlement surrounded by farmlands, with the hotel, a store, blacksmith, painter, boot maker, two butchers and saddler. There was a primitive Methodist Church, and the Church of England and Catholic clergy visited occasionally.

For many years, the residents of Logan Village lobbied for a bridge. A ferry operated from Logan Village to Chambers Flat from at least 1866. On 6 June 1897, Mr E J Stevens opened the long-awaited bridge at Logan Village. Mr J Stodart, member for the district, presided at the banquet given to honour the occasion. Unfortunately the bridge had a short life because it was built at a low level. Although the low-level bridge reduced construction costs, it created a dam during heavy rain and flooding. The bridge trapped debris, which had to be removed to keep the river trafficable. The trapped debris could have damaged the structure of the bridge. By September 1898, cobra worm had attacked the piles, and they were encased in concrete. In March 1900, there was so much debris trapped around the bridge that a steam winch was installed to remove the rubbish. Eventually local resident Thomas Kirk was appointed as caretaker of the bridge to ensure it remained safe for road traffic and clear for river traffic.

The bridge did not survive the flood of 1 June 1903. It was swept away and remained upturned in a paddock until the council called tenders for its removal and the disposal of the timber. Chardons Bridge on the Upper Albert was also washed away and the Luscombe Bridge was extensively damaged. Waterford Bridge then became the new 'dam' and a huge amount of debris collected there. A ferry quickly returned to Logan Village, which operated for a few years before being discontinued. For farmers, the loss of the bridge made it difficult to transport their cream. Crossing on the ferry was expensive. This problem was solved in 1905, when the Queensland Meat Agency Company erected a wire rope, like a flying fox, to carry cream cans across the river. It is unclear whether the cream was being transported to the Beaudesert Butter Factory or to the Logan Village Railway Station for transport elsewhere.

The river was home to an unusual visitor in the early 1900s. Following repeated reports of an 'alligator' in the river, a crocodile was shot in June 1905. It was first shot by Charlie Gottch in the river opposite his property located between Melliodora Road and the River Glen Village. The injured crocodile travelled upstream to Logan Village to the old ferry landing, where it was dragged from the river and skinned. The skin hung on the wall at Logan Village school for many years. The risk of crocodiles did not stop local children from swimming in the river.

In August 1910, William Drynan sold his property (Portions 185-186) to John Storey, who moved to the area from Park Ridge. Storey was an agent for the Morton Creamery.

Sand mining has developed as a significant industry near Logan Village in more recent years. The mining draws on the significant deposits along the riverbank that result from constant flooding. Waterford Sands Pty Ltd operates in the vicinity of Deer Lane. The sand in the area is covered with 13 metres of overburden (soil), which is sold as topsoil. The sand is generally used as bedding sand or mixed with the overburden to produce top dressing for bowling greens and other grassed areas.

Despite the efforts of locals to secure a new bridge at Logan Village, it took 93 years for them to achieve success. In August 1996, a new concrete bridge was opened in Logan Village. It was named after the Beaudesert Shire Engineer, Geoff Philp.

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