Harrisville, Queensland

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Dugandan railway line cutting at Harrisville.jpg
Harrisville is located in Queensland
Coordinates27°48′42″S 152°40′8″E / 27.81167°S 152.66889°E / -27.81167; 152.66889Coordinates: 27°48′42″S 152°40′8″E / 27.81167°S 152.66889°E / -27.81167; 152.66889
Population427 (2011 census)[1]
LGA(s)Scenic Rim Region
State electorate(s)Scenic Rim
Federal Division(s)Wright
Localities around Harrisville:
Coleyville Mutdapilly Peak Crossing
Warrill View Harrisville Peak Crossing
Limestone Ridges
Wilsons Plains Milora
Wilsons Plains
Limestone Ridges

Harrisville is a town in the Scenic Rim Region of Queensland, Australia.[2] At the 2011 Australian Census Harrisville recorded a population of 427.[1] Warrill Creek, a tributary of the Bremer River, passes through the western parts of the town.


The town is believed to be named after brothers John Harris (1819–1895) and George Harris (1831–1891) who had a store and cotton ginnery in the area.[2] Cotton was a valuable crop at that time as the American Civil War had created a worldwide shortage.[3]

The area formed part of the old Mount Flinders sheep station established by William Wilson (and his brother Robert) around 1844,[4] soon after the Moreton Bay penal colony closed. Some of the land from this station became available to selectors in December 1860 with provision of the Ipswich Agricultural Reserve.[5] In 1863 Robert Dunn selected a portion from this Reserve,[6] from which the Harris brothers purchased their land in 1870.[7]

Prior to this settlement and others throughout the Moreton region, a survey baseline of 3 miles (4.8 km) in 1839 was marked out on the floodplain, then known as Normanby Plains, which now forms part of Harrisville, together with Wilsons Plains and Radford to the south. It was supervised by the surveyor Robert Dixon as the basis of a trigonometrical survey starting with Flinders Peak to the east and Mount Walker (then Mount Forbes) to the west,[8] which began the accurate interior mapping of Queensland. A monument to this work "In the Steps of Our Forefathers" is situated just west of the Harrisville township on the Warrill View – Peak Crossing Road, along where the baseline passed.

Harrisville Post Office opened on 1 August 1873 (a receiving office had been open from 1871).[9]

Queensland's first branch railway line reached Harrisville in 1882.[10] A private hospital operated from 1911 until 1973.[11]

Heritage listings[edit]

Harrisville has the following heritage sites:

  • 13 Church Street: Courthouse and Police Lock-up [12]
  • 5 Hall Street: School of Arts [12]
  • 16 Hall Street: Masonic Hall [12]
  • 34 Queen Street: Commercial Hotel [12]
  • 35 Queen Street: Former Royal Bank [12]
  • 43-47 Queen Street: Memorial Park [12]
  • 54-58 Queen Street: Sacred Heart Catholic Church [12]
  • 1-5 Wholey Drive: Royal Hotel [12]


The Harrisville Historical Society maintains a museum in Queen Street which includes a rain-gun used during the 1902 drought.

The centenary of Harrisville was celebrated in 1963 with a street parade and centenary ball organised by the Harrisville Centenary Celebrations Committee.[13] In 2013 Harrisville commemorated 150 years with a street procession and unveiling of a plaque by the Governor of Queensland.[14]


The Scenic Rim Regional Council operates a mobile library service which visits the Memorial Park.[15]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Harrisville (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 September 2014. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b "Harrisville (entry 15450)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  3. ^ "Scenic Rim Stories and Communities". Visit Scenic Rim. Scenic Rim Regional Council. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Index to Squatters and Graziers". The State Records Authority of New South Wales. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Agricultural Reserve". The Moreton Bay Courier. 1 January 1861. p. 3. Retrieved 8 June 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ Queensland. Parliament. Legislative Assembly (1860), Votes and proceedings of the Legislative Assembly ... with the various documents connected therewith, T.P. Pugh's Printing Office, pp. 634–635, archived from the original on 16 December 2017, retrieved 16 December 2017
  7. ^ "Early Days of Harrisville". The Queensland Times. 27 June 1945. p. 3. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  8. ^ Kitson, Bill; McKay, Judith (2006). "Control Surveys". Surveying Queensland 1839-1945 : A Pictorial History. Dept. of Natural Resources and Water, and Queensland Museum. pp. 40–41. ISBN 9780975111642.
  9. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Opening Fassifern Branch Railway". The Brisbane Courier. 6 July 1882. p. 1. Retrieved 8 June 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ "Harrisville and Normanby Shire". Queensland Places. Centre for the Government of Queensland, University of Queensland. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h "Local Heritage Register" (PDF). Scenic Rim Regional Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  13. ^ "OM78-37 Harrisville Centenary Celebrations Committee Records". John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  14. ^ "Queensland Governor visits Harrisville to mark milestone". Ipswich Queensland Times. Archived from the original on 16 December 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  15. ^ "Mobile Library" (PDF). Scenic Rim Regional Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 31 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • Collyer, Angela (1992). The process of settlement: Land occupation and usage in Boonah 1842-1870's (PDF) (M.A.). School of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Classics; The University of Queensland. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  • Pugsley, H.W., ed. (1963). Souvenir brochure of Harrisville centenary celebrations. Centenary Celebrations Management Committee. Harrisville district centenary, 1863–1963
  • Harrisville and District: 150 years. Harrisville Historical Society. 2013. 1863–2013

External links[edit]