Albany Creek

Although the Albany Creek area was first referred to as being part of the 'Pine' or 'South Pine' district, for several decades during the 19th century, the portion of this area on the southern side of the South Pine River became known as Chinaman's Creek. In 1859, a survey map was published which shows a small creek of this name flowing into the South Pine River. No official record can be found of how the creek got its name, and there are several versions of the story, but it is thought that a Chinese man passing through on his way to the Port Curtis goldfields may have died there. Following the rapid influx of Chinese miners to the goldfields and the growth of anti-Chinese sentiment in Queensland, residents of the district petitioned the Government to change the name to Albany Creek. A short time later, this was consented to and the new name was gazetted on 6 June 1885. Albany was the original Celtic name for Scotland and the title of Duke of Albany was given to a prince of the blood-royal of Scotland; it appears that Albany Creek was named after the then Duke of Albany. This name was eventually confirmed by the Pine Rivers Shire Council in 1979 when the Shire's locality names were defined and gazetted.

The survey of "27 small farms on the South Pine River near Cash's purchase of 86 acres" in 1864 (Portions 4-30, Parish of Bunya) signalled the arrival of closer settlement in the area. These blocks were released for sale the following year and, by the end of 1866, all had been sold to a mix of new settlers and Brisbane-based entrepreneurs. A handful of farmers, such as Charles Ballinger, Frederick Greensill and Harrington William Mountford, were the first to clear the rainforest and plant crops in the fertile soil which was to be found along the floodplain of the South Pine River between James Cash's Portion 1 and the western bank of Albany Creek. During the late 1860s and 1870s, other significant pioneering families, such as the Eaton, Leitch, Draper, Cuthbert, Ireland and Morgan families, arrived in the area and leased land from the entrepreneurs or purchased it as it became available. Despite this early rapid development, the population of the area grew very slowly during the remaining decades of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. From a figure of only 67 persons in 1871, the population grew to 86 by 1881, 90 by 1911, 133 by 1921, 145 by 1933 and 163 by 1947.

The Albany Creek Cemetery, at the corner of Old Northern Road and Faheys Road East, is the oldest cemetery in the Pine Rivers Shire. It has major historical significance because of its age and association with many of the pioneering families of the Shire. It was originally gazetted on 6 March 1873 under the Cemetery Act of 1865. The first burial, which was that of George Edwards Draper on 9 February 1873, took place a few months prior to the gazettal. Sadly, many of the earliest burials were in unmarked graves and the precise location of some of the original plots now remains obscure. As indicated, the Cemetery is the resting place of members of the oldest families who settled in the immediate vicinity including, amongst many others, the family names of Cain, Cash, Cuthbert, Davis, Draper, Eaton, Greensill, Hart, Kremzow, Leitch, Lemke, Mecklem and Mole. Trusteeship of the Albany Creek Cemetery was ultimately transferred to the Pine Rivers Shire Council on 3 February 1973.

Former Cashs Crossing Bridge, opened 1934.
Former Cashs Crossing Bridge, opened 1934.

Because periodic flooding of the South Pine River routinely created difficulties for travellers fording the river at Cashs Crossing, a petition from local residents requesting the construction of a low-level bridge was presented to a meeting of the Pine Divisional Board on 6 March 1890. After much discussion and dissension, tenders were eventually called two years later and the first bridge was rapidly constructed and officially handed over to the Board on 21 November 1892. Only three months later, however, the bridge was swept away by the massive floods of February 1893. Although a new bridge was rapidly erected, further floods in April 1908 washed away both the southern and northern approaches. Amazingly, this damage was not repaired until February 1912. The final death knell for the second bridge came early in 1931 when widespread flooding took away two spans on the northern end, along with Doug Steven's kiosk. After this catastrophic event, it was decided to construct a high-level bridge upstream from the original crossing. The new 'Cash's Bridge' was officially opened on 20 October 1934. This third bridge was to serve the district well for half a century until the growth of the road system demanded its replacement by the two existing modern concrete structures; the first of these was completed in 1982. After the 1934 bridge was dismantled a decade later, construction of the second stage commenced to provide for separate northbound and southbound bridges, side by side. The new Cashs Crossing Bridge was officially opened on 13 August 1993.

Although postal services were provided in the district as early as 1874 when a local farmer, Henry Day, opened a Receiving Office, it was not until around 1905 that Seth (Salah Seth) Mole (1867-1950), the eldest son of local pioneers Samuel and Sarah Mole, established the first general store in Albany Creek. At the end of World War I, Pugh's Almanac listed only 19 farmers and 11 fruit growers in the district, along with one poultry farmer (Matthew Hale Campbell), a Head Teacher (Clement Bleakley), a Post Master (Ellen Jane Fiedler), a butcher (Robert John Morgan) and a storekeeper (Seth Mole). ). Mole's shop persisted as the focal point of the area until about 1934. The pace of change in Albany Creek remained slow until, commencing in 1960, parcels of farmland were progressively sold to various developers for residential subdivision. Due to the eventual popularity of the area, residential development gradually accelerated during the next two decades. From a total of only 280 residents in 1961, the population grew to 450 in 1966, 1,523 in 1971 and 4,552 in 1976. Since that time, almost all of the available land has been developed in Albany Creek, which rapidly became a very desirable residential address, but land is still being subdivided in the neighbouring localities of Eatons Hill, Warner and Cashmere.

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