Beryl Johnston, The Queensland Times history columnist, is photographed in front of a portrait of her late grandfather, John Livingston Auld, who was a mine owner in the late 1800's in Ipswich.
Beryl Johnston, The Queensland Times history columnist, is photographed in front of a portrait of her late grandfather, John Livingston Auld, who was a mine owner in the late 1800's in Ipswich. Claudia Baxter

Laidley gets fall of snow in 1880

DIVE into times past with the QT weekly history column:

ISLAND VISIT

FRASER Island was in the news in 1871. It was in that year the Rev E Fuller went to the island (known as Wingin Wulluh) to try and establish a mission there.

Rev Fuller wrote some time later "We have pitched our tent at the south end of the white cliffs and have commenced felling trees. Whether this land, which is a continuation of sand and swamps, will produce vegetables we do not know - but the mosquitoes and sand-flies have given us a most hearty welcome".

"One side of the island was a place called 'Wow Country' or 'Saltwater' and it is here that mussels or cockles and kulbkine are plentiful," he wrote.

A later report from Rev Fuller stated he had sent samples of two kinds of soil found on Fraser Island to the mainland. One was a light silvery sand, the other consisting of decomposed limestone and organic matter found only in swamps. He was anxious to know what vegetables would grow in such soils.

When the island school had been established, supplies needed for it were sent from Ipswich as well as other Queensland towns.

Aboriginal people on the island were fond of singing and were taught to sing in their native language. On June 13, 1871 at Wingin Wullah, the Rev. Fuller married Miss Mary Winstone of Ipswich.

LAIDLEY SNOW

A fall of snow in the Laidley district was reported in July 8, 1880. This unusual occurrence had taken place on July 3 and snow covered the ground to the thickness of two inches.

Mr Alfred Skinner of the Mt Mistake sawmill just 16 miles from Laidley stated "It is rather an uncommon thing to hear of snow falling in this country; we were rather surprised to see the snow, but it gave trees and mountains a beautiful appearance".

The snow began falling about 2pm and continued until 10pm. A number of men engaged in putting a new shoot down the mountain for the purpose of lowering cedar, enjoyed themselves snow-balling one another.

Another report on the fall stated it was still to be seen in the afternoon of the next day in sheltered spots and there was some snow on Laidley Creek about 7 miles from the railway station.

FIRE CRACKERS

In earlier days fire-crackers could be purchased from many stores. They were imported in 1858 and sold at H Kilner, Druggist, Ipswich.

Among the types you could buy were Squibs, Crackers, Catherine Wheels, Roman Candles, Rockets, Fire Balloons and Triangles.

CLASSIC: An undated cheeky ad for the Palais Royal Hotel.
CLASSIC: An undated cheeky ad for the Palais Royal Hotel.

NIGHT SCHOOL

There was a Tivoli Night School in 1875. The school was conducted in a Congregational Chapel, three nights a week from 7 -9pm by a mine worker who had had previous experience in teaching.

Some 21 pupils all male, attended; their ages ranged from 11 to 22 years. Subsequently the school was carried on by an assistant teacher from the North Ipswich School

GOOD MANNERS

This is an example of "good manners" based on rules of the Children's National Guild of Courtesy - At school: be respectful to your teacher and help them as much as your can; their work is difficult and trying.

Observe the school rules, do not copy nor cheat in any way. Do not cut the desks, nor write in the reading books. Never let another be punished in mistake for yourself, this is cowardly and mean.

MINERALS

Mr Henry Adams reported in August 1906 there had been a good deal of prospecting in the Flagstone Creek district.

Samples of gold had been found in the ranges, opal was discovered in Norman Creek and there were also good specimens of slate and copper.

Also, Mr Arthur Bell had samples of lime he discovered in the vicinity of Dry Creek and at the property of Mr Bedford.

HEATWAVE

In January 1903 heat wave conditions were experienced in country areas around Ipswich.

On Jan 3, 4 and 5 Laidley recorded temperatures of 109F, 111F and 109F degrees respectfully, while on Jan 5 Hatton Vale experienced 113F degrees (40 degrees and over)

HOTELS

One of the many Ipswich hotels in the 1850s was erected in Nicholas St on property owned by Mr Martin Byrne. This hotel underwent many name changes and during the 1850s it was kept by "Black Perry", a famous pugilist from England. He named it the London Tavern and later it became the Melbourne Hotel.

Mr Byrne also had a pub in Bremer St known as the Steam Pocket. It later became the Waterview and had been known as the Governor Cairns hotel.

COLD ALE: An undated ad for the North Star Hotel.
COLD ALE: An undated ad for the North Star Hotel.


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