2013 365 Photo Challenge

Photo # 13: Metropolitan Hotel – corner of Goondoon and Lord Streets –


One of the most popular watering holes in Gladstone in the early days of settlement was the Metropolitan Hotel, which stood at the junction of Lord and Goondoon Streets. It had originally been the residence of Richard Palmer, a storekeeper who arrived as a free settler at about the same time as Maurice O’Connell. In 1865, Samuel Watts Burge Evans converted the house into a hotel, which was to have been named the Prince of Wales Hotel, but at the grand opening held on 12 December 1865 he named it the Metropolitan. Used regularly as a meeting place for groups and committees, the hotel offered a ‘quiet retreat and moderate charges’. Evans was the licensee for the hotel from 1865 until 1876 when it was sold to Edward Bedford. The hotel was burned down in 1910.

PHOTO #12: Happy Valley Creek –

History photo for the day: Happy Valley Creek, Railway Dam – now known as Reg Tanna Park, or “The Duckpond”. The water from the dam is taking its natural course after heavy rain today and flowing down its old watercourse towards the Valley…. This watercourse goes under the Valley shopping centre (now called something obscure that I can’t remember but it’s where Little W is) – it used to go above ground but now goes underground through large storm water drains. When the Valley used to flood when I was little, and the flats and houses in Auckland Street and Off lane were flooded, my mother (Sybil Fohrman, nee Barker) would say: “Well of course the water is going down that way. I used to play in the creek in Off Lane when we lived in the Railway House down there.” (This house is now the QRI hall.)
Happy Valley Creek Railway DamHappy Valley Creek – Railway Dam

PHOTO #11: St Saviour’s Church of England, Gladstone: The first Church of England to be built in Gladstone was completed in 1876, although regular services were held before this time. The old church was unroofed and badly damaged during the 1949 cyclone. It was subsequently moved to South Gladstone and became St Matthew’s Church of England, and a new brick structure was completed in 1954.

Photo 12 St Saviours Church of England Gladstone

PHOTO #10: Police Creek causeway Gladstone : This is the old road crossing over Police Creek which is part of Auckland Creek. Police Creek got its name because in the early days of settlement (1850s) of Port Curtis/Gladstone district, the Native Police encampment was on the creek. It is unsure where the exact encampment was situated, but as there is a deep waterhole just upstream of this area, it seems likely that the encampment would have been nearby. When O’Connell and his party established the Government residence at Barney Point in 1854, water had to be carted from this waterhole to Barney Point by dray (see Photo #4 Thomas Riddell grave) until a dam was built in the area of what is now ANZAC (Central) Park on the corner of Goondoon and Tank Streets on Happy Valley Creek).

Photo 8 Police Creek causeway

PHOTO #9: CWA Hall Ubobo – This hall was originally the Post Office building at Many Peaks. After leaving Many Peaks it was used at Littlemore, then moved in 1959 to Ubobo as their new CWA building. Visit www.boynevalley.org.au and check out their various links for more info about local sites.

Photo 9 CWA Hall Ubobo

PHOTO #8: Nagoorin Progress Hall – this is the “new” hall built in about 1959. Situated on Gladstone-Monto (Degalgil) Road in Nagoorin. Many wedding receptions, dances and other shindigs have happened at this hall. Recently it has hosted fun Music Nights featuring local musicians. A beautiful old hall which has been retained in the old style. (The “old” hall was further up the road towards Ubobo.)

Photo 8 Nagoorin Progress Hall

Nagoorin Progress Hall

(click on Photo to enlarge)

PHOTO # 7: Nagoorin Railway Station building. Now situated in the grounds of the Nagoorin Progress Hall on Gladstone-Monto (Degalgil) Road in Nagoorin, this station building was previously sited across the road adjacent to the Gladstone-Monto Railway line. Locals caught the train here to go to town for the day. Townies would catch the train to go to the dances at the hall.

Photo 7 Nagoorin Railway Station

Nagoorin Railway Station

(click on photo to enlarge)

PHOTO #6: Milton Station on the Gladstone to Ubobo road at Weitalaba and on the Boyne River.

Photo 6 Milton Station

(Click on photo to enlarge)

PHOTO #5: The facade of the Embassy Theatre.

Situated in Goondoon Street, the Embassy Theatre was an ambitious project for Gladstone Theatres Ltd, a company whose chairman of directors was local businessman and grazier, Walter Ferris. Other directors were Hugh Neill Ballantine, Dennis Connellan, Edward Colyer and Henry Ambrose. The most luxurious picture theatre ever built in Gladstone, it had seats for
1000 patrons, modern décor, and a beautifully appointed dress circle. The theatre was managed by Stan Clapham who later took ownership.

The theatre had a number of near-misses by fires, but it was the fire in 1947 which started in the Embassy Cafe that destroyed the building, the surrounding shops and the Royal Hotel that stood on the corner of Goondoon and William Street.

The facade of the building still stands, as a reminder of the magnificent picture theatre which once stood on this site.

Photo 5 Embassy Theatre

Embassy theatre and cafe after fire

After the fire in 1947

PHOTO #4: The grave of Thomas Milles Stratford Riddell at Friend Park Barney Point:

Thomas Riddell was the eldest son of the Colonial Secretary of NSW. He accepted the post of private secretary to Captain Maurice O’Connell when O’Connell was the Government Resident of Port Curtis. Riddell was born in Sydney and received his education there. He arrived with O’Connell’s party in March 1854 on the “Tom Tough”. Until the town dam was built at the end of 1855, water ahd to be carted from Police Creek. This was done by bullock dray, and it was on one of these trips that Riddell met an early death. He was sitting on the pole of the bullock dray when he fell off, the dray’s wheel passing over his neck and killing him instantly. Riddell’s remains were taken to Barney Point, the site of O’Connell’s Government residence, and was interred in O’Connell’s garden. This area is now known as Friend Park. (A member of the Friend family bought the land and donated it to the Town Council, so that it could be preserved as an historical area). The sandstone slab which marks his tom was cut in Sydney and sent to Gladstone by his parents. In the 1920s the Royal Geographical Society built a concrete slab around the tomb and enclosed it with a steel and concrete fence.

Photo 4 Grave of Thomas Milles Stratford Riddell at Friend Park Barney Point Gladstone

(Click on photo to enlarge)

Photo #3 – “Velvet Waters” – the last dairy farm in the Boyne Valley.

Velvet Waters Dairy Nagoorin Qld


The Railway residence at Ubobo which is now used by the Boyne Valley Historical Society as their historical cottage.

“The Boyne Valley Historical Society Cottage was opened in 1988. The Society was formed by a group of enthusiastic volunteers with a desire to preserve the vast history of the Boyne Valley”. (Quote from http://www.boynevalley.org.au/organisations/historical-society/)

2 Stationmaster Station mistress house Ubobo

For 2013 I have decided to do a 365 Photo Challenge, where I take a photo a day. My photos will be of historical interest around Gladstone district. I’ll try to include a short description of the place/historical item for those who are interested in the preservation and recognition of the history around our district. My first photo is of the old road bridge over the Boyne River at Nagoorin. This bridge is on the Norton Road and has been replace with a concrete structure. The Norton road leads to the old mining district of Norton (pictures of Norton in the future). The old bridge is a popular place for swimmers as there is a deep swimming hole between the old and new bridge. It’s a lovely spot to cool off in summer, and a good place to launch a kayak for a leisurely paddle.

1 Boyne River bridge Norton Road Nagoorin 5 Jan 2013

PHOTO #1: 5 January 2013 – Boyne River old bridge, Norton Road, Nagoorin, Qld.


12 thoughts on “2013 365 Photo Challenge

  1. Since taking this photo 3 years ago and following the floods, the old bridge at Nagoorin (Norton Road) was severely damaged by large trees. It has now been cut back to about one-third of its original size, so no longer spans the Boyne River.

  2. Hi. Great to see the old photos of the area. I Am a train driver of 30 years and new to the Gladstone area and am interested in information on old railway stations and houses. I may have access to some old photos to share.

  3. Wonderful to see local history being recorded. To often its is lost forever. For a Cinema Historical Society article, I am after the history and particularly photos of all the old theatres of Gladstone – Olympia/Lincoln/Embassy/Civic/Regent/Glen Drive-In etc… and the people who ran them. I would love to hear from anyone who can help… Cheers, Kev.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s