Central Queensland History

School of Arts, Mt Morgan, Central Queensland

I love Central Queensland. Rockhampton and the wide brown lands beyond are the home of my white ancestors for generations, and the lands just south, of my black ancestors for countless millennia. I am a Gooreng Gooreng man. This is my part of the world and it is me.

It follows that I love learning about the history of Central Queensland. A favourite passion is to manually translate interesting articles from old print newspapers, mostly from the 1800s, that may otherwise have been lost to history, and then share them in the Historical Newspapers section below.

I also write original pieces based on research I’ve done over the years and you’ll find them here as well.

Sir Thomas Mitchell, explorer of Port Curtis district, which would later become the cities of Gladstone and Rockhampton.
Sir Thomas Mitchell
pioneer & explorer
Surveyor-General NSW

The first question many people ask is “Why go to all that trouble? We have history books.”

True, but also true, is that history books are all too often tainted by romantic reflections of bygone days, or watered down to cater for modern sensitivities, or worst of all, distorted by the author for the purpose of propaganda or politics.

Contemporary newspaper articles however, are written right there and then. They capture history while it’s actually happening. Yes, they too can sometimes be tainted by the author’s point of view, but those articles have not been put through the societal filters and judgements we apply nowadays.

Because they are original works, not second, third, or fourth interpretations made by an irrelevant commentator in an irrelevant age, such articles are the truest, purest form of what life was really like back then. Only through such first-hand recounts, can we truly touch the history of the age.

I find this type of research constantly enlightening, and I hope you enjoy the articles I’ve gathered so far.

You can find the full collection of Central Queensland history below. It will continue to evolve over the months and years ahead, no doubt until I pop my clogs and join my ancestors in the sky.

Have a brilliant day,
Andrew Thompson, editor | historian

Local History Articles

The Darumbal Aboriginals

Rockhampton Early Settlement

Capricorn Coast Early Settlement

The Yeppoon Sugar Company

Capricorn Coast Railway

Historical Newspaper Articles

10 Sep 1853 – Call for Port Curtis Expansion (Moreton Bay Courier)

31 Jan 1854 – Gayndah Meeting – Queensland Colony (Sydney Morning Herald)

21 Jul 1857 – Port Curtis – Rockhampton settlement (Sydney Morning Herald)

14 Nov 1857 – Ludwig Leichhardt and Augustus Gregory (The Empire)

14 Nov 1857 – The Hornet Bank Massacre (The Empire)

1 Nov 1858 – Fitzroy Diggings – Canoona Gold Rush (Melbourne Argus)

15 Oct 1867 – Emu Park protests Sugar Lease (Rockhampton Bulletin)

4 Aug 1883 – Establishment of Sugar Plantations at Yeppoon (The Queenslander)

17 Aug 1886 – Recent Gold Discoveries around Rockhampton (Brisbane Courier)

22 Jan 1887 – Taranganba Gold Mine (The Capricornian)

29 Jan 1887 – The Taranganba Gold Mine (The Queenslander)

7 Feb 1889 – Taranganba Gold Scandal (Sydney Daily Telegraph)

29 Mar 1893 – Separate Central Queensland colony (Rockhampton Bulletin)

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