The Port of Maryborough.
The town actually began with a wharf as once prospective settlers learned that the River Mary was navigable white pastoralist and cotton and maize farmers moved into the districts upstream from around 1848. Then in 1859 as the colony of Queensland was created from New South Wales a new international port was created at Maryborough. The town had moved from West Maryborough to the present site. Consequently the first Customs House was erected in 1861. In 1860 the first vessels arrived at the port of Maryborough direct from Europe with a load of immigrants. By 1869 nearly 7,000 immigrants had landed in Maryborough and by 1878 nearly 16,000 had landed here. In fact between 1860 and 1900 around 22,000 immigrants arrived directly in Maryborough from England and Europe. Maryborough also had a coastal steamer service to Brisbane and Rockhampton. From 1867 it also handled all the goods going into, and the gold coming out of, the goldfields at Gympie. In the last quarter of the 19th century the port of Maryborough handled sawn timber, sugar, wool, meat, gold, maize, etc. Before the end of the 19th century when river ports like Maryborough were about to be forgotten because they could not handle larger steamers its imports and exports were roughly in balance in terms of value. The most valuable exports were: gold, silver, copper, fruit, hides and skins, sugar and wool. Of these the most valuable were sugar £50,000, raw and refined, followed by silver/lead £33,000, gold/silver £9,000 and skin/hides £8,000.
Among the early immigrants were shiploads of German settlers from 1860. As the numbers grew the first Lutheran pastor arrived in 1864 followed by a second in 1867. These and later pastors came from Germany or Denmark, mainly the Schleswig district, which was occupied by Germany from 1864 after it defeated the Danes. Between 1860 and 1891 around 180,000 immigrants arrived in Queensland with an assisted government passage and some rights to lease land. Around 16,000 were non British mainly Germans, Danes, Norwegians and Swedes. Other Australian colonies only gave assisted passages to British immigrants except for Tasmania and Queensland. Most of the non-British immigrants were German but the QLD government’s agent in Germany also recruited Scandinavians, Swiss etc. Queensland became the colony with the greatest number of Danes and it had almost as many Norwegians and Swedes as NSW. Some of these non-British immigrant’s landed in Maryborough with the first ship load arriving in March 1871 on the Reichstag from Hamburg. The Scandinavians especially settled at Tiaro and Tinana near Maryborough, around Bundaberg, Pialba at Hervey Bay and in other places like Kingaroy where Sir Jo Bjelke-Petersen lived. The town of Eidsvold, near Gayndah is a Norwegian name and it was established by the Archer brothers from Larvik in Norway. As most of the Scandinavians were Lutheran (but some were Catholic), Danish, Norwegian and Swedish names are often linked to the Lutheran churches of the Maryborough district. Some Scandinavian names (mainly Danish) of Maryborough early settlers include the Jocumsen, Claussen,Madsen, Kehlet, Weinberg, Okeden, Boge, Möller, etc. Many Danish and other Scandinavian names can also be found in the Polson cemetery at Pialba Hervey Bay such as Christensen, Hansen, Mortensen, Nielsen, Petersen, Thomsen etc.
A stroll down Kent Street from Pallas Street.
1. On the left is Queen Elizabeth rose garden.
2. The Dominion Milling Company factory site. Now derelict. The Maryborough flour mill when erected in 1890 was the furthest north in Australia. It was acquired by the Dominion Milling Company around 1910. The distinctive entrance arch was erected in 1915. All operations ceased in 1977. In more recent years it has been a saw mill and an antiques centre.
3. The old power house from the 1920s when cities like Maryborough had their own electricity generator.
4. The Freemasons Centre.
5. On the right Maryborough High School. Its original grand buildings were opened in 1881 as Maryborough Girls Grammar School.
6. On the left beyond the school oval is Maryborough Boys Grammar School erected in 1881 and the gates erected in 1909. It is now the TAFE campus.
7. The Maryborough Central School. The first school was established in 1862. The grand two storey building was erected at the height of the European immigration period in 1875. More wooden classrooms were built in 1882 as the infant’s school.
8. On right is the City Hall. Built 1906 in American colonial style in red brick. Australia’s only pneumonic plaque outbreak occurred in Maryborough in 1905. Eight people died and a plaque commemorates that sad event.
9. On the left the School of Arts. 427 Kent St. This grand classical building was designed by Adelaide architect John Grainger. It was completed in 1888 replacing a former wooden school of arts building. In 1972 it was purchased by the City of Maryborough for use as a library. The rounded windows above oblong windows is unusual. Cost £3,500.
10. On the right. Finney Isles and Co store 1908. The building was designed by the prominent Bundaberg architect, F. H. Faircloth. Alterations were undertaken to the building in 1918 due to the expansion of Finney, Isles & Co business. The building was purchased by Fritz Kinne in 1923 and their name is in the central pediment. This German background businessman was an alderman and twice Mayor of Maryborough. 384 Kent St
11. On the left before the next intersection. This was the Stupart’s Emporium built in 1883. No 373 Kent St.
12. On the right. The Royal Hotel. Built in 1868 and given its “royal patronage” authority by Governor Bowen of Queensland in that year. Established in 1856 and totally rebuilt in this classical style in 1902.
13. On left at 331 Kent St. The former Australian Joint Stock Bank built in 1882. Great classical features but the windows are too narrow and spoil the effect. Main facade is on the side street. Its proportions are much better. The author of the Mary Poppins book P L Travers was born in the building in 1899. Her father Travers Goff was the bank manager at the time. She was born as Helen Goff. Her statue is next to the building. Look for the street crossing lights showing Mary Poppins.
14. On the left at 327 Kent St. Built in 1915 as the Queensland National bank. Now known as Woodstock House. Good height, grand pilasters up the sides of the building, fine pediment, Corinthian columns with acanthus leaves at the top, both triangular and rounded pediments above windows, good symmetry. A great classical style building.
15.On right at 310 Kent St is the former Francis Hotel. This was the site of the first hotel in Maryborough around 1852. A second storey was added in 1919 with lots of Edwardian woodwork on the balcony. It closed as a hotel in 1992.
16. On the right next to the hotel is the former stores of Douglas Helsham. Construction began in 1874 and was completed in 1875. Helsham employed a Brisbane architect James Cowlishaw.
17. On left at 297 Kent St. The former Royal Bank built in 1888 with almost some Art Nouveau curves. The architect was Italian Victor Caradini. The roof line pediment is “broken” and now includes the name Monsour. Fred Monsour was a Middle Eastern silk and fabric importer. With his brother they had several stores and warehouses but he name in the cartouche these days refers to Dr Monsour a local medical practitioner.
18. At the very end of Kent Street and to the right is the former Engineer’s Arms Hotel. This strange very narrow hotel between two streets was built in 1889 and is Maryborough’s answer to the Flatiron building of New York.
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