Main Street, Kilcoy
Kilcoy is a small farming town and part of the Somerset Region local government area in South East Queensland, Australia. The township is on the D'Aguilar Highway, 94 kilometres (58 mi) north west of the state capital, Brisbane, and just to the north of Lake Somerset. The topography directly north of the town is dominated by the mountains of the Conondale Range and covered by forests, some of which are protected in state forests and the Conondale National Park. Kilcoy is located in the Somerset region.
- 1 History
- 2 Heritage listings
- 3 Sand Mining
- 4 Culture
- 5 Yowie Folklore
- 6 Climate
- 7 Notable residents
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The Aboriginal people of the Brisbane River Valley and Kilcoy region are the Jinibara People, traditionally a nation of five clans: the Dungidau centred in the Kilcoy region and the junction of the Stanley and Brisbane Rivers; the Dal:a or Dallumbara clan inhabiting the Conondale Range west to the Brisbane River; the Gurumngar around the southern end of the D’Aguilar Range; the Nalbo along the Maleny-Mapleton escarpment and the Dungibara on the Upper Brisbane River.
Kilcoy was the heartland of the Jinibara People and the name comes from a patch of lawyer cane (jini) on Mount Kilcoy; ‘bara’ means’ people’ or ‘folk’; thus Jinibara are the ‘People of the Lawyer cane’. Kilcoy was known as Bumgur, meaning the ‘blue cod’.
One of the most famous Aboriginal people in Queensland’s history, Gaiarbau, known as Willie MacKenzie, was born at Kilcoy in the 1870s; in the 1950s he recorded a series of tapes with Dr L. Winterbotham of the University of Queensland from which Winterbotham produced a typescript that provides the most detailed understanding of Aboriginal culture in southeast Queensland. This connection to country assisted with the Jinibara being given Native Title determination by the Federal Court of Australia in 2012.
The Kilcoy region is a rich Aboriginal cultural landscape. Mount Archer was known as Buruja, and also the name of a wetland near Villeneuve that was one of the main camps of the Dungidau clan. Bora rings existed at ‘Wellcourt’ on Somerset Dam and at Sandy Creek east of Kilcoy, Oaky Creek and Waraba Creek.
The junction of the Brisbane and Stanley Rivers was known as Gunundjin, meaning a ‘hollow place’, and a sacred place, called Gairnbee Rock, recalled a dreaming story of a girl who went swimming there and was turned by her father, a gundir (clever man) by magic into a rock to save her from a dangerous evil spirit. The Stanley River was also called Gairnbee, meaning the water gum. The Brisbane River was known as Mairwar or Mairrwarrh, meaning ‘platypus’ in Dungidau.
Early European Settlement
In 1841 Mr Evan Mackenzie, from the town of Kilcoy in Scotland, took up land west of Durundur [in the Stanley River valley] and began grazing sheep soon after land was opened to free settlement.
They sold the property to Charles A. Atherton in 1849. Atherton in turn sold it to Louis Hope and John Ramsay in 1854. The partnership broke up ten years later, and Hope became sole owner and built the Kilcoy Station homestead of bricks, made on the property, and red cedar. He stayed on in Kilcoy until 1900.
Station managers for Captain Hope were Bryant about 1860, Captain Talbot, 1864 and William Butler from 1871 until the sale, where he purchased the homestead block.
Establishment of Kilcoy township
The site of the 'Town of Kilcoy' was surveyed by W. E. Hill by April 1888, and the first land sale was on November 6 that year.
On 1 December 1892, a post office was opened at Kilcoy, and named Hopetoun post office, after Louis Hope. The township was referred to unofficially as Hopetoun until in 1908 the post office name was changed to Kilcoy, and the town's real name came back into general use. Captain Hope was the Uncle of the first Governor General of Australia, Lord Hopetoun, who was a visitor to Kilcoy Station.
Towards the end of the 1800s large properties and Government leases began to be divided up for closer settlement. Blocks capable of supporting a family were eagerly sought after, fenced and cleared. The main source of income for these settlers was dairying and they worked hard against the elements to ensure they were self-sufficient.
By the 1890s the only original lease country left was in the Mt Kilcoy and Sandy Creek districts, part of Durundur Station. This country was not opened for settlement until 1902.
Surveyed in 1888, the township quickly developed at the junction of Sheep Station and Kilcoy Creeks to service these settlers and their families. It was originally named Hopetoun but was later changed to Kilcoy to avoid incorrect mail distribution to other towns of the same name in Victoria and Western Australia.
Kilcoy’s first Provisional School was opened in 1884 at Sheep Station Creek, some five to six miles north of Kilcoy Homestead, the name changing to Sheep Station Creek Provisional School in 1892 when the Kilcoy School opened its doors in Hope Street in Kilcoy. At that time there were still no subdivisions north of William Street as that was part of Kilcoy Station which was sold up in 1907. The first Post Office was built in rented premises in Royston Street in 1892, the official Post Office in Kennedy Street still being some 21 years into the future.
Timber milling operations were established as early as 1877, with Frank Nicholson building at Villeneuve, followed by James Green (1888), Hancock Brothers (1897), George Seeney and William and Stan Kropp in the same vicinity. The turn of the century saw a huge increase in activity as Hancock & Gore timber mill began operation. Timber cutters and mill workers were needed and Kilcoy became a very busy place. At one stage up to 100 bullock teams worked between Kilcoy and Caboolture.
Within ten years there were several churches, hotels (Hopetoun – 1897; Exchange 1902/3), a bank (Union – 1907), more schools and many shops opened their doors for business. The telephone was connected to the Post Office in 1906 and to the first private residence in 1911. The period before the First World War saw a further increase in development with the building of a private hospital (1908-1945/6) and a general hospital (1912), Courthouse (1909), new Post Office (1913) and School of Arts (town hall -1911).
Establishment of Kilcoy Shire Council
In 1912 Kilcoy Shire Council was formed, becoming independent from its former inclusion in the Caboolture Shire, the Kilcoy Show Society was formed and the first locally owned motor car arrived.
The establishment of the railway line in 1913 created a surge in the timber industry with more mills opening near Kilcoy (Bert Woodrow – c. 1916; Thurecht Brothers – c. 1918, George Payne – c. 1919) and at Louisavale (1912), Monsildale (1912) and Yednia (early 1900s). 3 The rural areas within a relatively small radius of Kilcoy township catering for the settlers laboring in the industries of dairy, cattle and timber were flourishing with cultural activity and those early years around the turn of the century witnessed small schools and in some cases thriving villages spring up in West Vale (1887–1910), Villeneuve (1902–1960), Hazeldean (Stanley River, 1898-1973), Gregors Creek (1896–1963), Woolmar (1894–1941), Louisavale (1915–1940), Monsildale (1913-1922 and 1941-1961), Jimna (1923–2006), Yednia (1911–1946), Sheep Station Creek (1884–1942), Somerset at upper Mount Kilcoy (1915–1943), Mount Kilcoy (1909) and Sandy Creek (Winya, 1918-1960).
Kilcoy became a thriving, prosperous town providing all the services required to maintain all needs of the district. With distance travel still not largely contemplated, nor in most cases desired or even possible, countless local and strongly-supported social, sporting and community-based clubs and organizations were established, revolving around the mounting interest in pastimes such as cricket, tennis, football, golf, rifle shooting, draughts, automobiles (1926), horse racing, eisteddfod, choral, Masonic Lodge (1907), Friendly Societies, CWA (1924) and RSL (1919). Local support for the War efforts within our small district, both on the home front and in the matter of men and women enlisting for service, was typically characteristic of the spirit of country folk, with five Kilcoy men enlisting in the Boer War, 174 for the Great War, 288 in World War Two, twelve for Vietnam, two for Korea, one for Malaysia and 25 for National Service.
Somerset Dam was constructed between 1935 and 1959 with suspension of construction during the Second World War. The dam is situated on the Stanley River approximately 220 km upstream from the mouth of the Brisbane River.
Construction of the Somerset Dam created jobs and in 1953 Kilcoy Pastoral Company established the meat works and has steadily increased production to what it is today.
In the 1960s, road transport ensured the demise of the railway line (1964) and the old Kilcoy yard was converted many years later into a picturesque park and lake known as Yowie Park.
Deregulation of the dairy industry has caused a lot of these small properties to be unviable farms. Some have been further subdivided into “lifestyle” blocks, while others have amalgamated for grazing cattle. Closeness to the urban sprawl has seen many families move to Kilcoy to be within easy commuting distance and still others retiring from the city, looking for a quiet country lifestyle in beautiful surroundings.
The traditional Kilcoy dwelling is a detached home on land.
The main sources of employment are agriculture and the meatworks operated by the Kilcoy Pastoral Company. Kilcoy is also home to Searles Garden Products. There is a supermarket, a hardware shop, a Post Office, a newsagent, a pharmacy and various other shops.
Total Polulation as at the 2010 Census was 4,231. Australian Bureau of Statistics
Up until the early 1990s Mackenzie himself was a prime suspect but recent research suggests that he himself was probably not responsible for the massacre, since he was in Sydney at the time. The Mackenzies were admonished for this mass killing by attorney-General John Hubert Plunkett (1802–1869), who threatened prosecution if an official complaint was lodged. Though MacKenzie's involvement was never verified, this incident was mentioned in a select committee in 1861 and repeated by W. Coote in 1867.
The English overseer disappeared upon Mackenzie returning. Mackenzie organised the conspiracy of silence to protect the Englishman.
This is one of several massacres that were perpetrated by the white settlers of the area.
Kilcoy has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
Kilcoy claims to be the home of the Yowie, Australia's equivalent of Bigfoot or the Yeti, which is said to live in the hills around Kilcoy. There is a large wooden statue of the mythical creature in the town.
The Somerset region experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with hot and humid summers and mild to warm winters with cool overnight temperatures.
Median monthly rain fall at the Post Office weather Station in Kilcoy since records began in 1890 is 76.36 millimetres (3.006 in). The highest recorded annual rainfall was 1,422.4 millimetres (56.00 in) in 1893, the year of the 1893 Brisbane flood also known as the Black February floods. Records of rainfall for the year of the 2010–2011 Queensland floods in South East Queensland and for the period February 2010 to January 2011 are incomplete. Rainfall in January 2013, another year of floods was 364.4 millimetres (14.35 in).Bureau of Meteorology
- Erica Kay Avery - (1943–2010) - OAM was awarded for extensive Community Service 
- William Butler(1831–1917) - “The Grand Old Man of Kilcoy”, popular Kilcoy Station Manager for 36 years, remembered by the clock monument central to Kilcoy, respected by aborigines and pioneers alike.
- Dr Graham Butler - (1872–1949) Reported to be first Medical Officer ashore at the dawn landing at Gallipoli. Received Distinguished Service Order for conduct at Gallipoli Landing, ranked Colonel. He Wrote Official War History of Australian Army Medical Services.
- Louis Hope (1817–1894) – owned Kilcoy Station, built Kilcoy Homestead about 1857 entirely from local materials.
- Jeremiah Kennedy - (1869–1933) early settler, grazier and first chairman of the Kilcoy Council in 1912.
- Damien Kennedy - (1905–1976) – awarded MBE (1975) “For his work in promoting and developing the beef industry in the Kilcoy district”, Kilcoy Shire Councillor, organized the Kilcoy Troop of the Australian Light Horse (1937), then joined AIF and served overseas in WW2. ref:
- Larry Jenkinson - (1926–2012) In the Australia Day Honours List of 2009, Larry was awarded an Order of Australia Day Medal for services to the Kilcoy community, in particular, his contribution to various sporting bodies in the Kilcoy district and the development and promotion of junior sport through those bodies.
- Ian ‘Bunny’ Pearce - Leader of the Redcliffe Dolphins, he died on 1 December 1993. Bunny was a regular in Queensland Rugby League sides from 1974-1976; he was Brisbane footballer of the year in 1977 and the following year won the same award again along with the Rothmans Medal and Courier Mail Best and Fairest award. Redcliffe Dolphins
- Graham Fredriksen - (1956 -2010) The National Bush Poets Society honoured him for the best collection of poetry published in 1999-2000 for his book Paradise Revisited, the sequel to Another Day In Paradise which he published the previous year. As more of his poems became published, the awards began to flow in and he became only the 2nd person to have won the Bronze Swagman Award 3 times in its 40 year history.
- Gordon Nunn - (1922–2010) (DFC) Enlisted in RAAF 1942, trained in Canada, posted to England, served two tours of duty as Mosquito pilot, awarded DFC for continued Meritorious Service.
- Laurence Hansen - (born 1898) - Served in WWl and was awarded Military Medal and Bar for Gallantry in Action.
- Graham Weaver - (born 1897) Awarded Military Medal for bravery in the field in WWl.
- Rebel Morrow - Professional horse rider and with “Oaklea Groover” represented Australia at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Rebel Morrow - Equine Services
- Harold Brockhurst - For War Service during the Battle of Lai, he was awarded the Military Medal.
- Dr David Millar (b1904) (MBE) - Kilcoy’s Medical Practitioner, he served in World War II. Later he acted as a medical advocate for ex-soldiers seeking war disability pensions & in 1972 was awarded a MBE (Member of the British Empire) for his services.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Kilcoy (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
- Langevad, G. (ed.) (1983). Some Original Views around Kilcoy. Book I. The Aboriginal Perspectives; Book II: Queensland Ethnohistorical Transcripts Vol. 1, Brisbane: Gerry Langevad.
- Winterbotham, L. P., 1957. The Gaiarbau Story: Some native customs and beliefs of the Jinibara tribe as well as those of some of their neighbours in south-east Queensland, Brisbane: Archaeology Branch, Department of Aboriginal and Islanders Advancement.
- Steele, J. G., 1984. Aboriginal Pathways in Southeast Queensland and the Richmond River, St Lucia: University of Queensland Press.
- Gaiarbau cited in Winterbotham 1957
- Langevad 1983.
- Winterbotham, 1957
- National Native Title Tribunal (2012).
- Turnstone Archaeology, (2009). Southeast Queensland Archaeological and Cultural Site Location Data base, Sandstone Point: Turnstone Archaeology.
- Steele 1984
- Pioneers of the Kilcoy District Volume 1 Published 2002 by KDHS
- “Pioneers of the Kilcoy District volume 2. 1900 to 1920. Published 2002 by KDHS
- Kilcoy District Historical Society records
- Pioneers of the Kilcoy District Volume 2 Published 2002 by KDHS
- Pioneers of the Kilcoy District Volume 2 Published 2002 by KDHS
- “Pioneers of the Kilcoy District volume 1. 1900 to 1920. Published 2002 by KDHS
- “Pioneers of the Kilcoy District volume 3. 1920 to 1950, Published Kilcoy District Historical Society 2007
- Evans, Raymond (2007). A History of Queensland. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-87692-6. , p. 54
- "Kilcoy Homestead (entry 15413)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- Ecumenical Covenant Anglican Parish of Kilcoy and Woodford. Retrieved 5 December 2011
- About Us Anglican Parish of Kilcoy and Woodford. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
- Stanley River Catholic Church
- Ref: Kilcoy Sentinel 2010 and parliamentary records
- Pioneers of the Kilcoy District Volume 1, 1841-1901 (Published by Kilcoy District Historical Society Inc 2002)
- War Service Men and Women of Kilcoy (published by KDHS 2007)
- Pioneers of the Kilcoy District Volume 2 1900-1920 (Published by the Kilcoy District Historical Society Inc 2005) and parliamentary records
- Kilcoy Sentinel Nov 2010 and parliamentary records and Family Eulogy 2012
- Kilcoy Sentinel Nov 2010, Ref: family obituary; Australian Bush Poets Association Records
- War Service Men and Women of Kilcoy (published by KDHS 2007
- Anglican Parish of Kilcoy and Woodford
- Kilcoy Historical Society
- Kilcoy Tourism Body
- Landcruiser Mountain Park
- Somerset Regional Council