Trace the historic footprints of a town steeped in Brisbane’s rich history that has now become a bustling hinterland village just 40 minutes from the city. The traditional custodians of the Samford Valley are of the Yuggera nation. Clan relations may well have extended into and from the Jinibara, Kabi Kabi and Waka Waka clans neighbouring this region as well.
The Samford Village Heritage Trail weaves its way along Main Street and just up Station Street, totalling 13kms and 13 historical sites and was created thanks to members of the Samford District Historical Museum Society Inc and the Rotary Club of Samford Valley.
Of all the areas in the Moreton Bay region, Samford is perhaps one of the most historic and the Samford Museum provides a portal into understanding how life was for the region’s early settlers from the 1850s through to more recent days. Even the museum itself is steeped in it’s own interesting history.
A milestone for the Samford community and an important part of the town’s heritage, the opening of the Mitchelton to Samford section of the Enoggera-Terrors Creek railway extension occurred on June 29, 1918. Just a few months out from the end of World War I and Samford celebrated as a steam locomotive pulled into a station, breaking a tape held across the line. In a short decade, this station consigned more bananas to Sydney and Melbourne than any other railhead in Queensland.
As motor transport became more common and railway stations were phased out, John Scott Park appeared. In 1955, when the line from Ferny Grove to Dayboro was closed, a local postmaster petitioned for the vacant land to be turned into a park.
The valley’s first licensed premises were established near the Samford Run homestead just north of the hotel’s present location. This enterprise has survived fire, a move, extensions, renovation as well as several changes of name and ownership over the past century.
Although the E.S. & A. Bank served the people of Samford with distinction for many years, it will be forever remembered as the scene of the first armed robbery to occur in the valley after World War II. Walk the heritage trail near Brisbane to discover the story.
After an over-crowded ball took place at the Samford School, the community realised they needed a larger venue. A building committee was formed and a hall – lying unused in Lutwyche on Brisbane’s north side at the time – was purchased. The hall was demolished for transportation and re-erected on its present site with the help of local farmers. The hall opened soon after the Railway Station.
Walk the heritage trail near Brisbane to learn about the history of Cash Avenue as a railway line before it was reclaimed and named after the first settler to take up freehold land in the area, a man who also helped build the town.
Filtering through several owners, this little butcher shop was generally known around town as Williamson’s Butcher Shop after that family operated the store for more than 30 years. Moving to Samford in 1934 to manage the shop, it became one of the busiest and most successful businesses in town before the Williamson’s sold the business in 1967.
During the war, the township of Samford created a ‘Comfort Fund’, gathering donations to provide offshore servicemen with items such as underclothes, knitted socks and food hampers. When the war came to an end, the remaining funds went towards purchasing the land for the RSL Memorial Park.
A landmark of the early Samford community, the Samford Garage undertook a variety of functions servicing horse-drawn and motor vehicles. Still operating throughout The Great Depression, it was not uncommon for farmers to settle their accounts with produce. Making it through those tough times, they were eventually bought out by Golden Fleece which then became the Caltex it is today.
Remember earlier with the Samford Farmer’s Hall and how a committee was appointed to find a new venue for the town’s celebrations. Well, as the committee couldn’t agree on a suitable name, a split occurred that led to the purchase of two halls. Though both have stories to tell, the Public Hall fell into disrepair and was pulled down in 1936.
Family-owned Weise’s General store has quite the story to tell on this heritage walk near Brisbane. Fred and Anne stocked just about everything the small, yet growing community would need and their son, George, built a garage next door. Anne was the first woman in Samford to receive her licence.
Formed in 1952, First Office Jack Mitchell received the British Empire Medal in 1982 in recognition for his service to the Rural Fire Brigade, but he’s not the only one who volunteered his time. Find out more on the heritage trail walk near Brisbane.