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Early Days of The Gap

While there is no doubt that the first inhabitants of our area were members of the Tarrbul (Turrabul) group of Aboriginals, a small number of Europeans squatted in small humpies, living the idyllic existence, dining on what nature provided, the official ‘settling’ of The Gap began in the late 1850s and by 1875, the area consisted of the following 19 landholders:

Moses-Adsett
A. Bailey
N. Bartley
J. Beeston
J. Bennett
L. Brockhurst
R. Cribb
Mary Fitzgerald
J. Hilder
C. Lilley
J. F. McDougall
Jesse Paten
P. J. & J. Paten
W. H. Paten
H. H. Payne
J. Porter
J. Quinn
C. H. Sigley and
J. Taylor

Prior to the above, it is recorded that a certain Mr Darby McGrath occupied the entire valley as a cattle and sheep station. I am unable to ascertain if he had in fact leased the land from the colony of New South Wales, or just took possession.

For the next 40 plus years, an occasional area would change ownership, be joined to an adjoining farm, or acreage sold off to create new property. In 1919 the area of 413 acres owned in 1875 by the Hon. J. F. McDougall was cut into 42 small farms and as “Soldier’s Settlement” was to accommodate 41 men, plus one nurse, returned from WWI to establish a poultry industry. Within 10 years, only eight of these original ‘settlers’ were still on their property, many being greatly traumatised by the ravages of war, or complete lack of knowledge of poultry and simply walked away.

Those who remained, quickly learnt that the text-books on poultry were for English conditions and learnt their skills by trial and error. Banding together to help each other, they formed the Soldier’s Settlement Co-operative Hatchery Association Ltd., which eventually lead to the establishment of the “Red Comb Co-op”. Many of these farmers and their off-spring added greatly to the second leap forward of the area.

After almost four years of debate and indecision by our then Citizen’s Municipal Organisation Council, as to whether further development or the Green-belt to the City of Brisbane would remain, agreement was reached that all homes on either side of Waterworks Road, west of Walton Reserve, would be sited back 100 feet, to give a grand tree-lined avenue into the area. Approval was given for the first residential sub-division to proceed with “Berry Estate-Walton Bridge” open for sale on the 14 January 1956 with the 27 blocks selling on the first day, all in excess of the reserve price.

Many more estates were to follow, with names such as Ashgrove Park, Beverley Hills, Parkdale, Curtisfield, Majestic Outlook, Alton, Grant-Lea, Glenbrae, Finlayson & Farrell, Eastern-Vista etc, which triggered the explosion of our area – and still continues today. I am often asked “who was the first settler in The Gap?” and would like to be able to reply that the Paten and Hilder families travelled side by side into the area in order to say “equal first”, but pipped by Darby McGrath. A conflict of opinions pervades this question.

John Hilder was one of eleven children of Thomas and Leonara Hilder of a small farming village of Mountfield, Sussex England, and he emigrated to Australia on the sailing vessel “Hastings” and arrived in Moreton Bay on 30 May 1857. On 5 April 1859, he purchased 35 acres (Lot 175) from the then Colony of New South Wales, at a cost of £1 per acre on which he established “Mountfield Dairy Farm” in the area now known as Hilder Road.

John and Harriet Paten of Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire England, arrived in Moreton Bay on the ship “Irene” in February 1858. With them was their second youngest of eight children, Jesse, who was born in 1842, his older brother Phillip and two sisters. Another brother William, had already made the journey to Adelaide in 1854. The family settled on 45 acres (Lot 168) in the area now known as the Walton Bridge Shopping Centre.

For a more detailed account of these two pioneering families from the pen of their descendants see Paten Family by Dick Paten.

 

  • 1875 Survey Map

    This is an 1875 Survey Map of The Gap and sections of St Johns Wood and Ashgrove
    Kindly donated by Historian, Meta Truscott

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  • 1919 Soldier’s Settlement subdivision

    Soldier’s Settlement subdivision, Settlement Road, The Gap, 1919

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  • 1919 Survey Map of Soldier’s Settlement

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  • Afternoon tea on the lawn 1920

    The genteel art of afternoon tea on the lawn was not forgone by our early settlers. Here (left to right) Barbara Anderson, her niece Jean Marshall, and sister-in-law Mrs. Jean Marshall, friend Peggy Corbett and husband Dave Anderson. Circa early 1920s.

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  • Anderson Family

    The Anderson family with the family car. Left to right – Jim, Dad (Dave), Marshall, Mother (Barbara) and Betty.
    Circa 1935.

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  • Anderson Family Home

    Dave and Barbara Anderson’s home on Settlement Road, The Gap – now the site of Maddison Place – featuring their poultry sheds.

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  • Anderson Poultry Farm

    View of Dave and Barbara Anderson’s Poultry Farm in Settlement Road, The Gap. Now the site of Maddison Place development in 2000/01. Circa 1935.

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  • Army marching outbound in Waterworks Road

    Our army marching outbound on Waterworks Road almost at the Payne Road corner, circa 1930s.

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  • Army marching to barracks

    Our army marching back to barracks along Waterworks Road. The property on the left would later become The Ashgrove Golf Club later in the 1930’s. On the upper right in the background is the home of Alec and Daphne Anderson.

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  • Ashgrove Park Estate

    Ashgrove Park Estate Land Sale newspaper advertisement.

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  • Ashgrove Park Estates

    Ashgrove Park Estates land sale advertisement.

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  • Berry Estates

    Beginning of the development of Berry Estates. Circa 1956/7.

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  • Berry Family

    Joseph and Mary Berry with their 18 grandchildren.

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  • Berry Family

    Joseph James Berry with his wife Mary Berry (Nee Quirk), December 1958.

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  • Berry Farm – Walton Bridge Estate

    Looking down on the “Berry Farm” from the hill behind fish creek, circa 1944. Opposite waterworks road is the site of The Gap Village shopping centre. The spot marked xx is the original Paten property. “Berry Farm – Walton Bridge Estate” was the first residential estate in The Gap, opening 14th Jan, 1956.

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  • Berry Red Cross Certificate

    Mary Berry’s Red Cross Certificate.

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  • Betty Heyes and sister

    Betty Heyes and sister,  outside their home in Rockbourne Terrace, Paddington, prior to moving to cnr of Waterworks and Orchard Rd, The Gap, (orchard Rd now Furhill Rd).

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  • Earle Family Home Fairearth

    View south from the Earle Family Home “Fairearth”, circa 1948. The timber fence posts on lower left are situated near what is now Whitehead Road in 2001. This area was used to grow pine trees sold as Christmas trees.

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  • Earle Family House Site

    Bau Earle holding their first child on the future site for Edwin and Bau Earle’s home “Fairearth” on Payne Road at the corner of what is now known as Whitehead Road ( 2001). Mt Cootha is visible in the background. Her husband Edwin built their home on this site and sold out in 2000.

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  • Enoggera Creek 1931 flood

    Enoggera Creek during the 1931 flood showing the Ambassador Hall (Theatre), St. John’s Wood, now the site of The Woods Child Care Centre.

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  • Enoggera Creek in flood 1930s

    Enoggera Creek during a flood at St Johns Wood, circa late 1930s.

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  • Enoggera Creek in flood 1930s

    Enoggera Creek flooding at St. Johns Wood, circa late 1930s.

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  • Glenmore House and Diary

    Glenmore house and diary which later became Glenmore Estate.

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  • Joseph Bennet Horse & Cattle Brand

    Joseph Bennet Horse & Cattle Brand registration papers.

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  • Louisa Mary Jane Levitt with sons

    Louisa Mary Jane Levitt (nee Moss) sits proudly with three of her four sons, George Reuben (born 1/9/1888), Herbert Arthur (born 28/12/1886), and Sydney (born 16/1/1892). Not in picture was son William. Louisa was the third wife of Alexander Levitt (born Girton, England in 1835). His first wife died in childbirth, and his second wife Jane (nee Barton) died six months after the birth of their only child, Lilly Eliza.

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  • Marshall Family Home

    The home of Bob and Jean Marshall (circa 1920) stood on a knoll between Waterworks Road and Fish Creek, vicinity of Finlayson and Farrell Estate. Moved to Waterworks Road during establishment. Note: Sulkies as modes of transport stored under home.

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  • Mount Nebo Old gold mine shack

    Young lads Don Carnegie (left) and Mac Cameron at the old gold mine shack at Mt Nebo, circa 1930.

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  • Mount Nebo Road Construction

    The construction of Mount Nebo Road during the Depression years of the 1930s, by manual labour saw workers receive 5/- (50¢) a day.

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  • Panorama of The Gap 1956

    This panorama of The Gap was taken by Alan Smith as a teenager, circa 1956/57, showing an east to west view of D’Aguilar Range on the districts southern border. In the foreground is the start of Romea Street (Ron, Olive, Mavis, Eric and Alan Berry). Jevens Street (far left) and Easton’s Tennis Courts (site of The Gap Family Markets).

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  • Pickering Farm

    Left hand side Settlement Road Keperra (bottom) farm of Mr & Mrs Edward Pickering – Circa 1945

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  • Pickering’s Family Farm

    Bottom of Settlement Road – Keperra side – Mr & Mrs Edward Pickering family farm – Circa 1945. Note: Tiling to roof from Wunderlich Tile Factory.

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  • Ross Lane Black

    A young Ross Lane Black, circa late 1930s. On his return from World War II Ross married and the family lived in a cottage in Waterworks Road near Walton Bridge, The Gap.

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  • Settlement Road 1920s

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  • Soldiers Settlement 1920

    Soldiers Settlement community incubator operated by Mr and Mrs Mair. Helped by 3 daughters, Emily, Verdun and Bessie. Situated on right in Settlement Road, approx, 100 yards over Fish Creek.

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  • Soldiers Settlement Government Store

    Soldiers Settlement government store. On right in Settlement Road – 50 yard up from Fish Creek. Note. First public phone in district on left and the box was painted blue. Circa 1920.

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  • South from Payne Road

    South from Payne Road towards Herb and Ruby Levitts “Glenbrae” farm, circa 1940.

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  • St John’s Wood 1921

    St. John’s Wood 1921. View along Waterworks Road from Ashgrove State School.

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  • St John’s Wood 1921

    The view along Waterworks Road, St John’s Wood, 1921.

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  • St John’s Wood, Waterworks Road 1930

    St John’s Wood, Waterworks Road, circa 1930, house is on corner of Firhill St.

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  • St John’s Wood Ambassador Theatre

    Flood time in Enoggera Creek, Ambassador Theatre and tennis courts, St. Johns Wood.

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  • St John’s Wood Ambassadore Dance Hall

    “Ambassadore” Dance Hall, Owner ~ Bert Hyde, prior to projection room addition and conversion to Theatre. Note: Tennis courts on left fronting Royal Parade and overhead lighting for night use. 3 children on right playing beside creek.

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  • St John’s Wood Embassy Dance Hall

    “Tommy” Grazing at St John’s Wood Embassy dance hall while under construction. Arthur Whitehead who owned Tommy lives in the Paten’s workers cottage, Walton Bridge (approx site of McDonalds). Circa 1928.

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  • St John’s Wood Flooded Weir

    Flooded weir downstream from St John’s Wood Bridge. Roof of Ambassador Theatre visible.

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  • St. John’s Wood 1870

    St. John’s Wood 1870

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  • St. John’s Wood 1870

    St. John’s Wood 1870.

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  • Swamp near Kaloma Road

    Swampy area near Kaloma Road – 1920.

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  • The Gap Bus Service

    The Gap Bus Service operated by Cliff Holden during the 30s and 40s.

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  • The Gap Bus Service Picnic

    Local residents use The Gap Bus Service for many of their picnics.

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  • The Gap Bushfires August 1944

    Following a severe winter drying off the grass and undergrowth, summer fires were a yearly event here at The Gap. Among the worst fire in the area was on Exhibition Wednesday – circa 10 August 1944 – starting from a dropped cigarette at the Ashgrove Golf Links. A strong easterly wind had it reaching Mt Nebo township within six hours. Both Ranges – Taylor Range and D’Aguilar Range – were on fire at the same time with breathing from the smoke difficult, two elderly residents were hospitalised.

    Top left photo: Plowes home, middle left, and Menzies home, far right, with fire fighters on land below Taylor Range, left hand side of Waterworks Road where the cutting near the Quarry (now The Gap Tavern) was located.

    Top right photo: Sid Plowes uses a wet hessian bag to contain the spread of the fire.

    Bottom left photo: Fire fighters work along Plowes side fence, adjoining the Quarry (now the site of The Gap Tavern) containing the spread of the fire

    Bottom right photo: Having a breather – is the fire all out? Sid Plowes.

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  • The Gap Community Hall 1930s

    A lady on horseback and other locals outside The Gap Community Hall, Waterworks Road, on the outbound side at the corner of Settlement Road, (this site is the start of Illoura Street in 2001). Mrs Cameron’s old house is visible in the background circa mid 1930s.

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  • The Gap Hall

    A large crowd gathered an event at The Gap hall in the late 1940s.

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  • The Gap Junior Tennis Club

    The Gap Junior Tennis Club members, pictured in 1945, on Granny Bennett’s court, opposite Easton’s Store, corner Payne and Waterworks Roads, The Gap.
    Back row – (left to right) Doug Easton, Kath Martin, Laurie and Margaret Anderson, Richard Speechley
    Front row – John Martin, Janice Eacott and John Anderson

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  • Timber cutting Mount Glorious

    Early days timber cutting, Mount Glorious, note, no scaffolding.

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  • Toll Gates 1930

    Toll Gates – top of hill near Reservoir – close to Brisbane Forest Park Headquarters. Circa 1930. Photograph courtesy of Mrs. Rita.

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  • Turner Family

    “The Turner Family” lived in the old shop in Waterworks Road opposite the quarry gates, (now Glen Quarie Place) circa 1952.

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  • Vie Cousner playing cricket

    Vie Cosner having a game of cricket in Kaloma Road, circa mid 1930s. Denny O’Brien’s house and cow bails can be seen in the centre right and the large gum tree behind Vie stands on the right of the entrace to Denny’s property.

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  • Vie Cousner with family & friends

    From left: Jack Vinter, Vie Cousner, Mary Cousner, Unknown, and Roy Vinter, circa mid 1930s. The group are located at Kaloma Road, outbound with Cousner’s poultry farm in the background on the hill. The road to the Inwood’s and Badrick & properties (Woorama Road in 2003) can be seen below the large bushy tree.

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  • View from Payne Road 1950

    Standing on the crest of 258 Payne Road, The Gap looking south. This area is on the city side of what is now Whitehead Road. Circa 1950.

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  • Walton Bridge 1926

    James Campbell and Albert Sawyer. Walton Bridge 1926.

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  • Walton Bridge 1947

    Walton Bridge, The Gap 1947.

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  • Wilfrid Heyes with daughters

    Taken 1926 – proud dad Wilfrid Heyes stands with his daughters Betty (on his right) and Joan (on his left), site – Waterworks Road.

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  • Wilfrid Heyes with daughters

    Taken in 1926 this photo shows Wilfrid Heyes with his two daughters Betty on his right and Joan on his left. A short time later, he built the family home in front – still in existence at 632 Waterworks Road, Ashgrove. Situated on left hand side outbound just before Acton Street.

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  • Winstone farm

    The Winstone farm taken looking south, circa 1932, with the residence on the right at 883 Waterworks Road, The Gap. Note: The elaborate brick fence at front (design changed, still in existence). Easton’s store (left) was on the opposite side of the road with Payne Road branching off immediately on right of shop.

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  • Winstone Home 1932

    This photo taken 31-01-1932 is of the home of Mr & Mrs Mark Winstone, 883 Waterworks Road, The Gap. The farm was developed by Mark and son Tom into The Ashgrove Golf Club, founded, 1938.

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  • Winstone home 2010

    The Winstone home, 883 Waterworks Road, The Gap, was sold by son Jon Winstone in 1974 to Architect Paul and wife Anne Smith. Repair work and renovations underway in 1975. She residence remains the Smith Family Home – December 2010

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2019-12-23T03:33:27+00:00
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