Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Redbank Discovery Was the Spark Coal Industry Needed; Pioneers like Cunningham Found Large Coal Seams throughout the Ipswich Region

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Redbank Discovery Was the Spark Coal Industry Needed; Pioneers like Cunningham Found Large Coal Seams throughout the Ipswich Region

Article excerpt

TIME PAST

with Beryl Johnston

THE existence of coal on the banks of the Bremer River was discovered about 1837, although the first record of coal being found dated back to 1827.

Captain Patrick Logan, commandant of the Moreton Bay penal settlement, discovered lime on the Limestone Hills, as well as coal above and below the homestead station.

He also found lime on the banks of creeks dipping to the Bremer river and in the bed of the river itself.

In 1846 it was recorded that: "A seam of coal was opened at Redbank on the banks of the Brisbane River it was alleged, by John Williams.

This area had been previously discovered by both Alan Cunningham and Andrew Petrie, who found the coal extended over a large area of country all the way in the direction of Pine Mountain, about 12 miles north of Ipswich.

Some three years later the first detailed table of exports from Moreton Bay for the six months ending March 31, 1849 stated that 210 tonnes of coal at the value of 94 pounds 10 shillings was sent away.

Another coal mine on the western bank of the Bremer River just a short distance from Ipswich was also noted as having been opened by Messrs Reed and Boyland. Later this mine was subsequently known as Ferrets coal mine situated at Woodend.

One man who was employed by the New South Wales Government to report on the coal fields around Limestone (Ipswich) was Mr Samuel Stutchbury FGS who worked from 1853 until 1855 in the southern portions of what is now Queensland surveying a wide area reporting the many places where coal was evident.

McCONNELL MEMORIES

"RED Gum" (T J Barker) recalled on 1913 having had a brief glance at a book of reminiscences published by David C McConnell entitled "Memories of Days Long gone by".

David McConnell her husband decided to visit Cressbrook a station he had established in the early 1840's near Toogoolawah and who had planted a Bunya tree which later became known as "grandfather's tree".

Mrs McConnell in describing the journey said they had passed through Ipswich and that when approaching Cressbrook they were met by the "Super" (manager) Appin Cameron a big burly Scotchman, who, with the men gave the group a great cheer and a hearty welcome and insisted on drawing their carriage to the house themselves. …

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