Early explorers unlock west

EARLY CAR: Transportation by car was in its infancy when this vehicle was built in 1896 by R E Olds.
EARLY CAR: Transportation by car was in its infancy when this vehicle was built in 1896 by R E Olds. Contributed

"ALPHEN - once the Woolpack Inn 1830-1860" was on a neatly printed notice on a tree near the entrance to the scrub at Spicers Gap, at a point some three miles from the foot of the Range.

Henry Alphen was a discoverer of the pass in 1828 and the Woolpack Inn became a well-known hostelry and mail stage. Nearby was another sign which read "To the grave 150 yards away".

It was there that the settlement of Alphen was established and at least the "Dust of some 12 of the colony's earliest pioneers was situated". Some years later Ipswichians erected a stone cairn 12ft high to the memory of those pioneers whose names for the most part are unknown. The plaque reads "To the memory of the unknown pioneers who sleep here. Till the day breaks and the shadows flee away".

It was thought that one of the graves was that of a Mrs Collins who fell from a loaded dray while it was descending a steep incline on the Range and this spot became known as "Mother Collins Pinch". It was approximately one and half miles from the foot of the Range.

It was during one of the explorations by Allan Cunningham that he, along with his party (which included Mr Harry Alphen) discovered Spicers Gap on August 25, 1828. Soon after the discovery, a road (of sorts) was constructed through Spicers Gap and Mr Alphen saw the possibilities of establishing a public house.

So Alphens Hotel was soon opened and before long a blacksmith shop and bakers oven joined Mr Alphen. Many years later, a Mr Percy Smith of Harrisville commenced fruit farming on the site of the old Woolpack Inn and built a comfortable home there.

A Mr and Mrs Adams were put in charge of the farm and souvenirs of the old inn were found. They included portion of a dinner bell, part of a tankard on which was embossed the words Success to the Bullock-drivers and token coins bearing the name of Hanks, a Sydney tea merchant. 



IN DECEMBER 1961, the Lyric Music Club Ipswich presented the musical "Trial by Jury" in the Town Hall.

Playing the leading roles were Ted Kelleher, Margaret Wellings, Neil Grayson, Duncan McMillan, Laurie Bailey and Jack Grayson. Mrs Billie Bailey was producer.



THERE were three Insurance Company Branches in Ipswich in August 1869.

They were the Liverpool and London and Globe Insurance with investment funds of 3,212,000 pounds with an annual income exceeding 1,500,000 pounds.

For fire and life insurance, the agent to contact was Edward Ogg of East Street with Hy Challinor as Medical Referee.

The Sydney Insurance Co appointed Geo H Wilson and Co as its Ipswich agent.

The United Insurance Co, with capital of 500,000 pounds, had its head office at 275 George Street, Sydney and appointed agents in Ipswich for the fire branch of the company's business. The agents were Messrs Cribb and Foote.


A GRAND Concert presented by the Silkstone-Booval Choral Union took place on 24th April, 1951. Along with the main choral items were artists Robert Thompson, June Molloy, Pat Rae, Gwn Jones, Queenie Marginson, Dorothy Verrell, Joyce Smith, Allison Jones and Alan Whybird. Conductor of the choir was Mr Thomas Bird and pianist Thelma Larter LRSM.


THE first re-union by mill hands of the Queensland Woollen Manufacturing Co, North Ipswich took place in late September 1898. More than 200 people attended the function which was held in the Building Society Hall, East Street, Ipswich. Committee members for the re-union were Messrs J Beattie, A Beckett, J Tait sen, W Farrar, D Battye, W McMahon, R Mullins, secretary and the Misses M Roberts, M Hogan, G Ball and J Bennett.

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