Maxwelton School, date unknown
|State/territory electorate(s)||Mount Isa|
Maxwelton is a small town in central North Queensland located on the Flinders Highway 1,625 kilometres from Brisbane by road. At the 2006 Census the population of the state suburb of Maxwelton was 107.
Maxwelton was a small railway siding, 50 kilometres west of Richmond now with a population of 3. It derived its name from Maxwelton Station, one of the original pastoral holdings taken up in the 1800’s. This station is just south of the rail siding. The site for the township was chosen in 1908, at the junction of the new railway line and the road from McKinlay to the Camp Hotel on the Flinders River. The first sod was overturned to begin work on this Great Northern Railway in Townville in 1879, and by February 1908 it had reached Julia Creek. Before the railway, bullock teams carted wool from Cloncurry to the East Coast, and Cobb and Co stage coaches travelled through with mail in 1871. Several hotels were being built along the Flinders River route, all of which are now in ruins and only recognisable by old stumps or an occasional post here and there. Pastoral holdings were then much larger and in this area, they included Tarbrax, Maxwelton, Clutha and Saxby.
Before the artesian bore was put down in 1929 at a depth of 1,260 feet, water was carted from the bore at the Talmoi Wool Scour, a couple of miles east of Maxwelton. Maxwelton is situated on a low flood plain and its biggest flood on record was in 1917. Waters back up for miles, from the Flinders and Alick Creek. A bridge was completed in 1926 called Hulberts Bridge. The Camp Hotel was known locally as the "one-eye" after one of its owners who had one eye, a one eyed horse and a one eyed dog. In days gone by, the little township has boasted a café, butchers shop, a dance hall, a pub, a post office and a school. The original Post Office began as a receiving office in 1880. It closed and opened many times firstly in 1885, reopening in 1891 and closing again in 1895. It was again reopened in 1907 when the Chatfield Creek receiving office some twelve miles away closed. It was elevated to a Post Office at the Railway Station in February 1910. It was made official in 1915 then unofficial on 1 September 1970. The Post Office was moved to its later position in 1928.
In 1970 the Post Office was run in conjunction with Telecom as one of the last manual exchanges in Australia. It was at this time reduced to a Post Office Agency. 6 April 1990 saw the Post Office Agency cease and a Community Mail Bag was put into operation.
The Maxwelton School was closed due to lack of children, but has had as many as 35 pupils enrolled in the past. The school first began in the old butchers shop in 1923, and the teacher was given board and lodging at the North Star Hotel for one pound per week. The first official school building was built on five acres of land south of the railway line in 1925 where it still stands today.
For the last 61 years the annual Maxwelton races have occurred at the town's racecourse on the southern side of the Flinders Highway. The future of the race is currently in doubt, but there has been a recent revival in public interest.
- 2006 Census QuickStats : Maxwelton (Richmond Shire). Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved on 19 April 2012.
- From Wyangarie to Richmond A Historic record of the Richmond District of North West Queensland. Compiled by Julie ann Authurs. 1995 Richmond Shire Council ISBN 0 646 25362X. Page 181-186
- Lisa Kingsberry & Julia Harris (10 June 2011). The last Maxwelton? Not if John Forster has his way. ABC North West Queensland. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved on 19 April 2012.
- David Bromage (2 September 2002). Australia: Chemical weapons. Retrieved on 19 April 2012.