Located at Cruice Park is the Durundur Station Memorial, a sandstone monument in tribute to 6 of Queensland's early settlers - the Archer brothers. The explorers and pastoralists who've a number of locations throughout Queensland either named by them or in honour of them.
The Archer brothers were the sons of William Archer, a Scottish timber merchant. 6 of the 7 brothers played a major role in the colonisation of Queensland, with the first of the brother's, David, arriving in Sydney in 1834. He was soon joined by William and Thomas in 1838. The brothers had planned to seek out pastoral lands on the Darling Downs, but this initial plan did not come to pass as all the best pastoral land had been staked out already by the time William and Thomas arrived in Australia. Instead, they turned their attention to the Stanley River region and established Durundur Station which is now the site of Cruice Park near present day Woodford.
Durundur was just the start of the brothers' quests for prosperity.
Thomas and David explored the Burnett Region and Fitzroy River, establishing Eidsvold and Coonambula runs, while Archibald Archer became a member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly in 1867 and served the state for 17 years. Brother Colin Archer not only became a successful shipbuilder in Norway, but was also the first to sail the vessel - Ellida, up the Fitzroy River to present day Rockhampton.
The Archer brothers named their station 'Durundur', which is the aboriginal name for the Moreton Bay Ash (Eucalyptus tessellaris). with the ambition to use the land for sheep breeding. However, the property proved unsuitable for sheep, so instead, Durundur became a base camp for travellers and pioneers.
Naturalist and explorer Ludwig Leichhardt stayed at Durundur for several months in 1843 and 1844, as he explored south-east Queensland. The property also became a popular stop for miners looking to strike it lucky at the Gympie Gold Fields.
The Durundur monument by Guy Robinson in Cruice Park reads:
Looking straight out through the doorway to the ridge on the near horizon you can see a tall hoop pine, a stout bunya pine and a large stand of bamboo. This is the original site of 'Durundur' homestead.
The first home was built on that site by the Archer brothers in 1841 and was a rough slab building cut from local timbers. This was followed by a much grander home built from Red Cedar that burnt to the ground in 1879, never to be rebuilt.
In 1841 it is believed to have been the most Northerly inland settlement of the colony of New South Wales not accessed bu ship. (The colony of Queensland was not declared until 1859) Brisbane remained as a penal settlement until 1842 and as a result an exclusion zone kept all freehold settlements at a distance of 50 mls (approx. 80 kms).
This monument was designed and created by Woodford Sculptor Guy Robinson and commissioned by the Woodford Historical Society with funding from the Moreton Bay Regional Council. The artist would also like to thank Jeff Horsley for his assistance transporting and installing this monument.
The 'Durundur Monument' was officially unveiled by Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC The Governor of Queensland 26th October 2013.
If your interested in reading a little more about what happened to the Durundur property in the 1900's, Bill Kitson published the article 'Repurchasing estates: the transformation of Durundur'.
Moreton Bay Region Libraries also has a number of publications on and maps of Durundur, these include;
Cruice Drive, Woodford QLD, Australia
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