Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Book Takes Peek into Our Past

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Book Takes Peek into Our Past

Article excerpt


YOU won't find an X marking treasure in a certain book of maps owned by a local, but you will find it buried inside the pages.

John Anderson possesses a bit of quintessential Queensland history: Roads of Queensland, the tome hailing back to a time when vehicles were few and far between on the roads Co an ironic twist considering John's long involvement in the auto industry.

The book was printed in 1913 and it was happened upon by John in the roof of the Port Curtis Motors building in Tank Street in the mid-1950s.

"It was in a metal container and I didn't know what it was when we pulled the building down; it was up in the ceiling," Jon said.

"We bought the dealership in the early '50s, pulled it down and built a brick one."

Touted as a compendium of valuable information concerning the industries and possibilities of the state of Queensland, the book remains in pristine condition almost 100 years after being produced.

For travellers, tourists, motorists, drovers, land seekers and all persons using the state's roads and railways, the publication also has a plethora of statistics from the time.

After reading the book, which provides excellent detail about Queensland during the pre-First World War years of dynamic growth, John was drawn to simply say: "It's magic".

He's quick to point out the interesting facts which give a snapshot of a place on the rise.

Gladstone was a thriving metropolis, according to the 1911 census, a town of 1294 people, while Miriam Vale was home to 223, Marmor 433, Murray's Creek 262 and Rosedale 258. The population of Many Peaks was basically neck-and-neck with Gladstone at the time on 1280.

Described as a pastoral, dairying, agricultural and mining district, Gladstone was deemed to be a prosperous thriving area, ripe for the picking.

As the book says "Sheep do not seem to do too well on the Coastal lands .... As a dairying country, it is coming into favour and this combined with swine breeding should prove a very profitable undertaking, given ordinary seasons . …

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