Main street of Esk, the Brisbane Valley Highway
Esk is a town in the West Moreton region of South East Queensland, approximately 90 km northwest of Ipswich on the Brisbane Valley Highway. It was named after the River Esk in Scotland and England. It is the administrative centre of the Somerset Region. At the 2006 census, Esk had a population of 1,166.
The town of Esk is contained in the Queensland Electoral district of Nanango.
Town and district
The small town serves as a centre for a rich farming area, including an ostrich farm. Nearby attractions include Lake Somerset and Lake Wivenhoe, both lakes created by dams, and Ravensbourne and Crows Nest National Parks.
The land around Esk was first explored by Captain Patrick Logan in 1830. The town was established to service the short-lived copper mines of Eskdale and Cressbrook Creek. Settlers moved into the region during the 1840s. In 1886, the Brisbane Valley railway line reached Esk from Lowood. Several sawmills were built and in 1904 a butter factory opened. The timber industry declined in the 1920s and dairying slowed from the 1960s onwards, which has eventually led to the decline of the town's importance as a major rural centre.
Notable persons from Esk
- Douglas Berry (1907-1957), butcher and Liberal MP in the 1950s
- The Kransky Sisters, a comedy musical trio who claim to be "from Esk, in Queensland" before every show
- Henry Newton (bishop) (1866-1947), Anglican colonial bishop
War memorial and memorial park
The Esk War Memorial (pictured) was erected in 1921 to record the names of 462 Shire residents who enlisted during the First World War. It also contains bronze honour rolls bearing the names of 83 local men who fell during the war. Four commemorative plaques have subsequently been added to the structure. The war memorial stands in Esk Memorial Park, which also contains a memorial to Captain Logan, who was murdered while exploring the Brisbane Valley in 1830.
Esk has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- off Cressbrook-Caboombah Road: Cressbrook Homestead
- Esk-Kilcoy Road: Caboonbah Homestead
- Ipswich Street: Esk War Memorial and Esk Memorial Park
- Ipswich Street: St Agnes Rectory and Church
- Ipswich Street: St Andrews Presbyterian Church, Esk
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Esk (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
- Earley, David (11 May 2009). "Fire destroys Caboonbah Homestead". couriermail.com.au. Retrieved 17 September 2009.
- Environmental Protection Agency (Queensland) (2000). Heritage Trails of the Great South East. State of Queensland. p. 47. ISBN 0-7345-1008-X.
- "Esk War Memorial and Esk Memorial Park (listing QLD600494)". Australia Heritage Places Inventory. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Retrieved 18 September 2009.
- "Cressbrook Homestead (entry 15278)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- "Caboonbah Homestead (entry 15912)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- "Esk War Memorial and Esk Memorial Park (entry 15269)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- "St Agnes Rectory and Church (entry 15268)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- "St Andrews Presbyterian Church (entry 19527)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
Media related to Esk, Queensland at Wikimedia Commons