RIVER TRAVEL: The steam ship Settler traversed the Bremer River between Ipswich and Brisbane in the 1860s.
RIVER TRAVEL: The steam ship Settler traversed the Bremer River between Ipswich and Brisbane in the 1860s. Contributed

When steam ruled the Bremer

MR George Holt was the originator of the Bremer Steam Navigation Company in the 1850s. This organisation comprised Captain Hope, Messrs T Boyland, George Raff, W Wilson, a squatter of Peak Crossing, and George Holt skipper of the steamer "Bremer".

Others who later were mentioned in the river traffic between Ipswich and Brisbane were Captain Robert (Bobby) Towns, who put the steamer "Breadalbane" into service, and the A.S.N. Company ran the steamers "Sampson" and "Ballarat".

In due course, several wharves lined the southern bank of the Bremer River and these were opposite Bremer St from the end of Thorn St (Pantons wharf and slab receiving store) to the site of the A.S.N. Company's wharf, situated between Nicholas and Bell Sts.

What was known as "Bobby" Town's wharf afterwards became the Corporation wharf and was situated at the end of East St.

At different stages of that era, there were on the banks of either side of the Bremer River several boiling-down establishments.

Two of these were opposite Moore's Pocket (named after one of the early blacksmiths), those of Mr John (Schemer) Smith and the Aberdeen Company (known as Tooth's), and Mr H J Smith had a large boiling-down works at Town Marie (named after his wife) near Tivoli, North Ipswich.

The largest of the boiling-down establishments erected at a site known as "Ivory Estate" was that of Mr Joseph (Joe) Fleming, Bundamba.


A FIRE broke out in a wooden building, the property of Mr R (Bobby) Towns in May 1870.

The building was part of the Redbank boiling-down establishment and in a very short time the place was burned to the ground.

Property in the building consisted of 200 sheep skins and 100 hides and the total damage amounted to 120 pounds.


BLESSED by Rev A Horan of St Mary's Presbytery, Ipswich, on July 3, 1910, was the first Roman Catholic school at Goodna. It was named St Patrick's.

The stump capping ceremony of the new school had taken place on January 9, 1910, and was performed by the Rev W Lee assisted by the Rev Fathers Gowan and Hayes.

Contractor for the building had been Mr J Carrick of Brisbane and the cost amounted to 648 pounds.

Rev Horan had purchased the six acres of ground for a church and school around 1880.

Sister Mary Scholastica was in charge and the school was to be conducted by the Sisters of Mercy from Ipswich until a convent could be erected.


LORD Northcote, Governor-General of Queensland visited Ipswich on July 24, 1906.

He had arrived in Ipswich by train from the Darling Downs very early in the morning and rested in the train until taken to the Palais Royal Hotel to have breakfast with the Mayor, Ald F Goleby, Town Clerk Mr Albion Hayes and other guests.

While he was having breakfast, boys were arrayed on the southern side of Brisbane Street between Nicholas and Ellenborough Streets while the girls were on the sloping ground within St Paul's Church.

The remainder of the crowd stood where they could find room.


NEWS item from the North Australian paper on 27/9/1861: "St Stephen's Presbyterian Church, cnr Limestone and Gordon Streets had just received a valuable accession to its choir in the shape of a very superior Harmonium which was imported by Mr Murphy at the cost of 80 guineas.

"It is a beautiful instrument by one of the first manufacturers and we have no doubt that it will greatly add to the efficiency of the musical service".


TAKEN from The Queensland Times of February 28, 1917 was this item: "The Athenian Ladies Swimming Club held its weekly swim in the municipal baths.

"The main events were a 20 yard handicap and neat dive. The 20 yard handicap was won by F Roots; 2nd being E Thompson. The neat dive was won by E Roots with I F Roots 2nd and E Thompson 3rd".

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