Rosewood History ©

Road-making at Tallegalla, Ipswich, 1890s – Michael Goos is holding the wheelbarrow.
(Photo: Picture Ipswich)


In May 1875, the Rosewood correspondent for the Ipswich Observer said that Mr. Henry Edward King had proved himself one of the best Ministers who had ever presided over the Works Department. Mr King had personally visited the Scrub and saw what the settlers really wanted. As a result of that visit, three or four gangs of men were at work clearing roads and making bridges over the creeks and gullies to enable the farmers to bring their produce to market, or at least to the nearest railway station at Rosewood Gate.

In June 1876, the Agricultural reporter for the “Queenslander” had this to say:- I arrived at an apparently recently ploughed strip of land between two fences. This turned out to be a road. We (that is, my horse and I) looked at it, in mute dismay. There was, nevertheless, but one thing for it. So on we plunged till time and careful sounding brought us to a house at the roadside. Leaving this spot of civilisation, I struggled along through what was, as I then thought, the worst bit of road in Queensland. Crossing the railway line I travelled on to Rosewood Gate station, still struggling through the most wretched roads I had hitherto seen. … The roads in the Rosewood Scrub!

Meetings of those interested in the state of the roads were held in 1876. The original main road leading from the railway station to the heart of the district was in a bad state. The Government officers had condemned it and advised that there would be a new road. The Government surveyor, Mr. Townson, completed his survey and public opinion was divided as to which road would better suit the local needs. Meeting were called to decide the question. The object was to try and get every man a road without spoiling any man’s farm.

Following are two reports on the two main meetings and one on the outcome. At the bottom of the page you’ll find a link to the “First Notice” of the new road.

Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser, Saturday 12th February 1876, page 3

A public meeting of the farmers resident in the Rosewood Scrub was held at the residence of Mr. Matthews, at Rosewood Gate, on Thursday evening last, for the purpose of discussing matters in connection with the roads affecting the whole district. It appears that, the original main road leading from the railway station to the heart of the district is very much out of repair, and that the Government officers reporting upon it have condemned it, and advised the formation of a new road, a survey of which has already been made by Mr. Townson on behalf of the Government. Public opinion seems divided as to which road will better suit the local wants, and the meeting was called to decide the question. There was a very good attendance. 

Mr. JAMES FOOTE member of Parliament for West Moreton, occupied the chair; and, in opening the proceedings, said that they were all doubtless aware that he had received an invitation to come and preside at a meeting of farmers at Rosewood Gate called to consider matters with reference to roads, and possibly to make known any other local requirements at present existing. He was happy to come amongst them on that occasion to hear what they did want, and to assure them that, to the best of his ability, he would further their interests. He might state at the outset that the Government possibly might not please them all at the one time, but he knew that, as far as practicable, they would do their beet to satisfy their local wants. They might not be able to do all that was wanted in the time expected, as it was no easy matter to get all done that was required in any district. It was open to any gentleman at the meeting to make any proposition he chose, and he hoped everything would be conducted in an orderly manner. 

Mr. JOSEPH HUDSON said he had a proposition to make to the meeting, but before reading it he would make a few observations upon the object for which the meeting had been called. It had been called, not for the purpose of finding fault with the chairman; neither was its object to take away a road from any man, nor to interfere with anyone getting a road. The object was to try and get every man a road; but they did not want, by getting that road, to spoil any man’s farm. Some talk had recently been heard of a grant of some £1300 passed during the last session of Parliament for the improvement of the roads of the district. Now, that was a nice round sum of money for any man to be able to put his hand upon and say be had that amount to his own personal credit; but, as compared to the requirements of the district and to the sums voted for other districts, the amount was but a flea-bite. But he would come to the question of the Rosewood Scrub. It was a wide district considered as a whole. But he would confine himself to one part of the district, two miles square, and would ask how many families resided within those two square miles? The answer was, forty families. How much money had these families paid into the coffers of the Government for land held and improved by them for the past five years? For land, too, which was the pest of the squatter-scrub-land-which nine-tenths of the people would not tackle at all, but which was taken up by a class of men such as had been the making of the old country, and men who would prove to be the making of Queensland. 

These men had paid in the shape of rent, in the time referred to, no less sum than £500. The settlers had also paid a great deal to the Government in the shape of railway freight. Some friends present at that meeting had told him that they had paid so much as £40 an one year into the Railway Department for freight for himself and the men whom he has in had employment. Taking the cost of the transport of produce to market, the average might be put down at £15 per year, making a total of £600 annually; and when the cost of articles brought back again by these people from market was counted, it amounted fully to another £15 per year for each, making a total of £1200 per year paid into the Railway Department by these forty families residing within two square miles. And this return of money to the Government was made by men settled on land out of which the Government could not make a farthing a year per acre. 

Yet with all this yearly income to the credit of the district, the entire sum voted for improvements was the paltry sum of £1300, while for the Brisbane River, no less than £10,000 had been granted. He believed the Brisbane River country was fine land. Any kid-gloved gentleman would take up land there very much in preference to the Rosewood Scrub. He contended that the Government were not dealing fairly with the farmers in the Rosewood Scrub, and he held that every farthing that came from the Rosewood Scrub for the next ten years should be expended upon it. The financial year was fast going out, and nothing had been laid out in their midst yet. No permission had been given to spend any money, and it did not seem as if they were going to obtain it. That vote, no doubt, had been made for the new road. [The Chairman: “No, no.”] He did not raise any objection to the new road; he would assist his friends in the back country to get a road. But there were the wants of others to be considered who had settled there long before the back settlers had taken up their land. They already had three roads running parallel with each other for a mile and a half, and he would ask were they going to have the scrub cut up into streets, or was a road in every half-mile not sufficient. 

The question was this, was it the intention of the Government to close the existing road by opening a new one? Some people had the impudence to tell them that no such thing was intended. But what was the fact? Mr. Townson came there and said they could not make the original road a good one. Yet it had been in use for four years. Mr. Walne, the Superintendent of Roads, said he would never lay out a penny on it, and Captain Whish endorsed his opinions. The residents of the district got up a petition to the Government upon the subject, and the Minister for Roads referred it to the roads officer, but his opinion had already been given.cThey got up a second and sent it to the Government, but it was never answered at all. Mr. Townson then came up and says, ” Oh, we’ll have a new road,” and condemns the old one entirely. Now the very worst pinch in the old road was only seventy feet high, and this could be lessened one-halt by a bridge erected in the gully, which would leave the pull to be only one in fifteen feet, which was a very easy pull, as engineers say that a horse can take a pull of one in ten feet. And yet Mr. Townson leaves this and goes to a line leading over a mountain 200 feet high, with a pull of half-a-mile up the mountain, besides several pinches of one feet in ten.  He contended that if they ought to go over such a mountain as that described to seek a road, and throw away a road already open, they might as well go to Brisbane or Moreton Bay at once and condemn every road that goes over a hill at all, and containing pinches of one in fifteen feet. He simply asked them to look at the justice of the matter. 

Was there any justice on the part of the officers or the roads department in their view of the case? He did not blame the Government; but he did say that they ought not to allow themselves to be led by the nose. There were settlers there who would not have taken up their land but for the road having been surveyed in front of them on either side. They had occupied their land for some four or five years, and the Government in the meantime had improved the road a little for their accommodation. By and bye the Government, when asked to repair the road permanently, pull a long face and say they can’t do it, as it would cost too much money. Was there any justice, he would ask, in such treatment? If they, in turn, went to the Government, when the latter altered the road, and offered to give up their land, stating that they could make nothing of it, the Government would call them very childish, and tell them that they should have known what they were about when they took up the land in the first instance. 

The Government, he held, were now breaking faith with the original settlers in making a new road, and leaving the old one in its present state. He had a proposition to make, which, could it have been held over for half-an-hour, would have had the support of a good many other friends not as yet present. The resolution was as follows: “That it is the opinion of this meeting that the old road as far as the dam ought to be put into thorough repair at once, believing as we do that it can be done so for less money, and would be a far superior road than the same length of Mr. Townson’s survey. It would, thus far, also answer the purposes of both the front and back settlers, and would be doing injustice and inconvenience to nobody. But to make Mr. Townson’s survey, or that portion of it, and leave the old road unrepaired would be the grossest piece of injustice possible to the early settlers.”

Mr. B. FARRELY briefly seconded the resolution. 

Mr. JAMES PONTING had an amendment to propose on the resolution. He should like to know where this great mountain was situated, to which Mr. Hudson referred. There was a consideration, too, which thot gentleman had overlooked. If the mountain was so high as he had represented, it was very easily reached from the side farthest from the railway, and then it was down-hill all the way. Produce would all be coming that way, and fifty tons would be brought down to the line for every single ton which would be taken back again. To the old road being repaired he had no objection. The least petition to the Government contained a request that they would make a road, wherever it could be made cheapest. The request had been made repeatedly, the situation of tie road being left to themselves. They merely wished to leave the whole affair in the hands of the Government, being content so long as they could get a way out with their produce. They were situated in the back country, and had no road, and had at the present time to take their produce a roundabout to town of seventeen miles, when three miles would bring them into the railway. If there had been longer notice given of that meeting there would have been forty or fifty settlers present to have supported his view of the question. He begged to move as all amendment:- “That the Government be requested to make a road to the Rosewood Station for the use of the back settlers wherever they think proper.”

He did not think they should point out to the Government where the road should be made. If there were three roads running parallel, they went in all directions, north, south, east, and west; and to follow their direction would be to make the most zigzag road in the colony. Besides, he knew of no road in which there would be so many ups and downs as the one they wished repaired. Why, it would take a great loan to make such a road good. When the farmers first settled in the scrub they had to cut tracks through the farms to get out, and surely it was time the Government should give them a good road. He begged to propose the amendment. 

Mr. CHARLES FREEMAN seconded the amendment. 

Mr. WYLES said he was not opposed to any man, but he maintained that the newly-surveyed road was the worst in the district. There was the road which the Government had reserved from his land, and he pronounced it to be the best road in the whole country. The fact of so much corn being brought down it in one dray, as was often the case-thirteen bags in one dray-was sufficient to prove that it was a serviceable road. £300 had been laid out on the survey of Cowell’s road, and he maintained that if it had been laid out on the repairing of the present road the back settlers would have had a way out and in to their farms. They would find, if they got a new road open, the first rain that would come would make the road so soft that they would go down to the bed with a heavy load. It would take £1200 to make a road in that direction. That sum would make the roads in tall directions to he passable in all weathers. He could not see the utility of the £1300 spoken of. That was a neglected district, and it was evident to all. He himself had paid as much as £25 in the year for railway freight. He had called upon  Mr. King, the Minister for Works, on behalf of several residents of the district, to ask him to be kind enough to log a portion of the road through the swamp. That gentleman took his statement, and said that he could not guarantee to take the men from the work upon which they were then engaged, but so soon as they were finished what they had in hands, the job spoken of should be attended to. From August till the present time the men had been half their time idle, and yet the swamp was impassable at the present day, and in many other directions the road was in the same state. 

Mr. JOHN LANE said it was no interest to him where the road went, but he thought that their friends the front settlers should not be a stumbling-block in the way of the back-settlers. He thought they should have a road, and that they should ask the Government to make it for them. 

Messrs. PONTING, WYLES, and CONRAD ISZLAUB here addressed the meeting briefly, and during the course of their remarks made several personal observations. 

The CHAIRMAN rose to order, and pointed out the irregularity of the points at issue.

Mr. D. DESBOIS said that although he was one of the few who are in no way interested in the matter, he could not let one statement go uncontradicted. It had been remarked that of the £1200 per year remitted to the Government from the district not one penny had been returned to it. Now, they should remember that they had a school granted them which costs the Government something like £300 per year. Some little expenditure had also taken place on the roads; so that it was not altogether fair to say that the Government had never returned a penny of the revenue from the district to be expended in it.

Mr. JOHN VANCE having pointed out the difficulty which seemed to exist in the minds of those at the meeting regarding the different lines of road proposed, suggested that if the Government repaired the read between Mr. Farrelly’s and the dam it would remove all difficulties. 

The CHAIRMAN then put the amendment to the meeting, which was lost, and the original resolution was carried by two to one. 

Mr. JOSEPH WYLES said thats some three years ago £400 had been granted for the road running from Mr. Samuel Wait’s corner south-west to the boundary of Grandchester, and the money, save an odd £50, had never been spent. The Government had come up to see after bridges, but little had been done in the district. He begged now to propose:-
“This meeting is of opinion that the road from Mr. Samuel Wait’s corner, running south-west to the boundary of Grandchester, and the three roads running north-west to the plain be put in thorough repair at once, before any new road in the given neighbourhood be opened.” 

Mr. RICHARD MASON seconded the resolution, which was carried unanimously. 

Mr. JOHN VANCE said that Mr. Hudson’s motion as carried only referred to the road from the railway station to the dam, and left the people behind the dam as badly off as ever. He had a resolution with reference to the bad part of the road beyond the dam which he would read without further comment, as follow:- “That it is the opinion of this meeting that the original road laid out by Government surveyors from the railway station is the most direct and shorter road to the plain, it ought to be improved and maintained from the dam to the plain at the public meeting.” 

Mr. D. PEDROZINI seconded the resolution. 

Mr. PONTING said that the third of those present did not understand the position of the back settlers. They did not want anything farther than that the Government should be requested to make them a new road to get out and in with their traffic, before they did anything to the old roads at present in existence. 

The CHAIRMAN pointed out that it was unwise of the meeting to fall out with one another. They were forgetting their own interests. The back settlers could easily have a meeting of their own. He knew there was another matter which required looking into. The back settlers wanted a dam as well as a road, for the lack of water in dry seasons had proved a great hardship. They should be amicable with each other and, as far as he was concerned he was determined that when he knew their wants he would take care that they should be attended to. 

After some remarks from Messrs. HUDSON and WYLES, and several questions having been put and answered, Mr. Vance’s motion, slightly amended from its original form to its present wording, was put and carried unanimously.

The CHAIRMAN then requested the meeting to let him know any of the other local wants, in the shape of roads, bridges, damn, culverts, or anything else, so that he might be informed on all particulars affecting their interests, and endeavour to get them satisfied. 

Mr. JAMES DALE called attention to the dilapidated state of the road between Seven-mile Creek and Rosewood Gate-middle road-which was in a most dangerous condition, and was required if anyone in an emergency would be necessitated to come into town a time when the train was not available. He begged to propose:- “That the road from the Seven-mile to the Rosewood gate be repaired.

Mr. ROBERT BOUGHAN seconded the motion which was supported by 

Mr. WILLIAM SCANLAN, who pointed out that £80 had been voted for the repair of the road when the old road boards were in existence, but through a difference in opinion between the road trust and Mr. Stringfellow as to how the work should be done; the money had never been expended, and the roads Department had promised to augment the amount when it was wanted to repair the road. He knew that a very light expenditure would put the road in good order. 

The motion was then put and carried unanimously. 

Mr. WYLES pointed out the necessity of a small portion of fencing being done around the recreation, ground at the school, so as to prevent accidents from stray cattle or horses while the children were at play. 

The CHAIRMAN pointed out that the means by which the want could be removed–viz., by collecting  one fourth of the sum required, when the Government would make up the balance. 

Mr. ROBERT BOUGHAN called attention to the unpassable state of the road alongside the railway line, forming the approaches to the station, and moved:- “That the approaches to the railway station alongside of the line, north side, ought to be opened and cleared between Rosewood and Walloon, including a bridge at the 33-mile siding.” 

The motion was seconded by Mr. WM. PERRY supported by Mr. PATRICK DALE, and carried unanimously. 

A hearty vote of thanks to the Chairman and the representatives of the Press terminated the proceedings, the meeting having also expressed their gratitude to Mr. Williams for granting them the room in which to hold the meeting.

Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser, Saturday 26th February 1876, page 5

On Thursday last a large meeting of the back settlers in the Rosewood Scrub was held at the farm of Mr. John Dart, for the purpose of considering sundry matters in connection with the formation of roads in the district, especially those affecting the back settlers, who are at present unable to find a way of egress with their produce, no roads of any consequence having been made in the district.

Mr. JAMES FOOTE, M.L.A. for West Moreton, having accepted an invitation to be present to preside at the meeting, he was met at the Rosewood Gate railway station by a number of the settlers, who had brought horses for Mr. Foote and the representatives of the two local papers, to carry them to the spot where the meeting was to have been held. A long and interesting ride-interesting from the difficulties which every where cropped up to impede the progress of the company and make them careful of their style of going brought the locality of the meeting in view, and large numbers of the settlers were congregated, awaiting the arrival of those who were to take the initiative in entering upon the proceedings. One could not help being astonished to find so many assembled in one spot, in a place which to all appearance had only a few settlers’ residences dotted here and there over the place; but a short time, spent in a survey from the best points of view of the different openings which had been cleared, and the amount of work which had been done, soon disabused the mind of the visitor of any dubious notions which might have possessed him as to the extent and importance of the district. After a short spell, the chairman was invited to a seat at a table under the shade of a closes lump of trees, where seats had been arranged, and under which the meeting was completely shaded from the rays of the sun. A “cooey” gathered the scattered knots of the settlers, and the business of the meeting was commenced.

The CHAIRMAN having read the advertisement convening the meeting, said that the object for which it had been called had not been exactly set forth in the advertisement in as precise a manner as could have been desired. The definite object of the meeting was to enable the back settlers in the Rosewood Scrub, as far as possible, to make their several wants known. They were not assembled for the purpose of discussing the necessity of the formation of one particular road, but to see what principal or main roads were required for the district. They could not get roads to each farm, but a main road was required in a direction east and west, as far as he could gather from the voice of the people. The newly-surveyed road ran almost in a southerly and northerly direction. He was so little acquainted with the scrub he did not know the exact bearings of the road or how it suited the accommodation of the bulk of the settlers; but they knew them, and what he wished was that they would let him know, by propositions, what main thoroughfares were required, and he would do his best to have their wishes carried out. There was evidently a vast population of a most enterprising class, settled in the Rosewood Scrub, and he was confident when their wants were made known to the Government they would do what they could to meet them. He did not know the reason why the Rosewood Gate was not a regular stopping-place for all trains, and he meant to know the reason; for he was aware that there was more traffic at it than at any other station on the line, and he thought the least the Government could do was to stop the trains at it with out the necessity of signalling. He had made several attempts previously to have an alteration made, but had not been successful. All that he had been able to accomplish was to get the waiting-room and goods shed for the place. He hoped they would have a quiet and orderly meeting, and that those who would ad dress them would do so in proper order, respecting one another’s feelings, and keeping down all ill feeling, each trying to help his neighbour in furthering the general good. 

Mr. SAMUEL COWELL then addressed the meeting. He said that the road running north and south, past Mr. Wyles’s farm, was undoubtedly the main road. Some two years ago that same road had been marked out by Mr. Stringfellow, the then superintendent of roads in that distract, and had also been approved of by Mr. Langlands, of the head office. A good part of the road had been cleared, and it had been used by the settlers. Certain opposition had been raised to another road running parallel with the Rosewood Gate. That was the one known as Cowell’s, which ran past the speaker’s ground, was a properly surveyed road, and interfered with no men’s clearing. It went past Wyles’s to the gate, and was a much shorter road than the other one spoken of. He begged to propose a resolution as follows, viz.:-” That the road running north and south past Cowell’s farm should be opened and cleared from John Dart’s to the Rosewood Gate.” Before arriving at a definite conclusion about this road he wished to point out that many of the settlers did not know very much about it. It was a good road, but was full of fallen timber; and before they spent any money, it should be cleared, and they would have an opportunity of knowing for themselves which was more desirable as a main road, and which was cheapest and best. He thought this would be a very feasible way of settling the matter. 

Mr. JACOB HANSEN said he did not approve of the road now proposed, as it would not benefit the general settlers. If this road was granted ever so, they should require a new road extending considerably farther into the heart of the settlement. It was a question of population; and the meeting was aware that the plain em braced the half of the settlement in the Rosewood Scrub.

Mr. JOHN VANCE seconded Mr. Cowell’s motion. The road referred to was the shortest and most direct, went over the range with a very good gradient, and came almost in a direct line to the railway station. He considered it one of the shortest and best routes to the gate-house. After the interchange of a few words as to the points mentioned by the last speaker. 

Mr. JACOB HANSEN moved as an amendment “That the newly-surveyed road be carried on to the Big Plain in a north-westerly direction, and cleared and opened immediately.” Mr. W. H. Austin seconded the amendment. 

Mr. CONRAD ISLAUB said that Mr. Hansen’s proposition would not be of much benefit to the people of the Plain. They wanted a level road, as far as possible; and as far as be understood the object for which the meeting had been called they were to consider a proposition for the opening of a road from the railway gate to the Plain. 

The CHAIRMAN explained that apart from anything mentioned in the advertisement, they were to hear what the district really did want. 

Mr. SMALLBONE said that the meeting had been called for the purpose of considering the new survey. Now, they had got some four miles farther back, and he did not see that they were likely to get back to the new survey again. The latter should be discussed first, and then they could take up other matters connected with the welfare of the district. The amendment proposed an extension of a work which it had not yet been decided should be carried out. He hoped that the meeting would permit the new survey to be discussed in the first place, and then they should take up other matters. He did not pretend to think that one road would be a sufficient outlet for everybody from the centre of such a large district. After a short discussion the motion and amendment were, with the permission of the meeting, withdrawn in the meantime.

Mr. JAMES PONTING said that he had a proposition to make, which was to the following elect, via. -” That the Government be requested to open the new road, lately surveyed by Mr. Townson, without further delay; it being the opinion of this meeting that it is the most direct road, and will be found to be the cheapest also.” He should like to say that the reason he did so was that at a meeting held about a fortnight ago at the gate-house, it had been stated by the settlers who were living in the front part of the Rosewood Scrub, that the old road leading on to the Sally Owen’s Plain was the one which would suit the back settlers. That was not the case; it was too much to the east ward. The Government must have been of this opinion also, for they had determined not to open it any farther than it reached at present. They in the back country had sent a deputation to the Ministry requesting that they would open some road to enable them to get out with their produce. It was impossible to get their corn out to market without a proper road being made to the railway station. They had never asked the Government to open any particular road, but had simply left it in the hands of the Government, to be decided by them on the recommendation of their overseer as to where it should be. He had been accused of having been one of the instigators in suggesting that a road be made through one of the front settler’s private ground, but he denied that be had ever been guilty of such a thing. He saw by the Queensland Times that the Government had gazetted the new road, believing that it would be of the greatest benefit to the settlers in general. They wished to impress upon them the necessity of opening it at once. He knew beyond doubt that it was by far the cheapest route to the railway station. It had been advocated that the road to the dam was a very good one. But admitting that it was, when they came to the dam an expenditure of £1300 was required; go on a few chains further, and £700 more would be required to make the road. The Government had made their estimates, and were aware that it would take this sum to make the road passable, and they had declined to go into such a heavy amount for repair, preferring to make a new road; and Mr. Townson had been sent up to find a new route. He (the speaker) had spent some time in showing Mr. Townson over the country to find the best track  and besides four or five of the settlers had been obliged to cut a bridle track for themselves, believing that the Government would make a road for them. The new survey would let out a whole colony of settlers, and that at an expenditure of something like £300 only; whereas the repairs to the old road alone would cost something like £2000, and then answer only for a certain number of the settlers. The old road was only three miles twenty chains from some of the back settlers’ farms, and yet it did not suit either the front or back settlers. By the new road they would be able to get their produce away without any extra expense, whereas at the present time they had to pay 3s. or 4s. a bag to get corn to market, while the outside cost should be something like 3d. per bag. The Government were not aware of the difficulties they had to contend with, and they should urgently put it to the Government that they had a right to get away with their crops. Their friends, the front settlers, appeared very much annoyed at them; but they never asked the Government to take away the land from those who first settled upon it. Everyone knew well that when they took up land they were subject to the regulations referring to the resumption of land for road purposes, so that there was no room for grumbling. One thing he felt, however, was an injustice which the settler should not have to contend with. He referred to the fact that if the Government came through any part of a settler’s land which was not improved, they ignored all claims for compensation for the part resumed. It was most unfair to the farmer, and he should like to see a measure brought into the House next session to remedy it. They had no money to throw away on fencing, and therefore they had to suffer. He held that the action of the Government amounted to an imposition, and hoped it would be dealt with in the proper quarter. He begged to move his resolution. 

Mr. AUSTIN briefly seconded it. 

Messrs. VANCE and PATRICK DALE having spoken against and for the motion respectively, 

Mr. HANSEN interpreted the motion to the German settlers present, after which 

The CHAIRMAN put the motion, which was carried unanimously.

Mr. HANSEN then proposed – “That the new survey be continued to the Big Plain in a north-westerly direction, and opened immediately.” 

Mr. L. SMALLBONE  seconded the resolution, which was supported by Messrs. PONTING and DALE, the latter pointing out the inconveniences to which the German settlers were subjected, from their imperfect knowledge of the English language. 

Mr. CHARLES COWELL’s motion was then put as follows:-” That the road running north and south past Cowell’s house should be opened and cleared from John Dart’s to the Rosewood Gate.” 

Mr. JOHN VANCE having briefly seconded the motion, it was carried unanimously. 

Mr. JOHN DART said he had a motion to bring forward, which was to the following effect, viz :-” That the Government be urgently requested to construct a dam-bridge on the east and west line of the newly surveyed road, between the farms of Mr. Eitel and Mr. Arndt, a bridge being necessary across the gully at this spot and the neighbourhood being entirely without water in the dry seasons. 

Mr. N. WEIGAN briefly seconded the motion. 

The CHAIRMAN pointed out the importance of this resolution, as there was nothing more urgently requiring attention than the supply of good water in that district. In fact it was an absolute necessity with them, and it was necessary particularly to impress the matter upon the Government. It would be a very easy matter of accomplishment to obtain a good supply of water, for many of the gullies were so formed naturally that they could be made at very little expense to hold as large a supply as would carry them from one wet season to another. He believed a dam-bridge could be erected cheaper and quicker than an ordinary one. In fact, they should have such bridges throughout the whole scrub. 

Mr. PONTING having supported the motion and explained the direful extremities to which the residents had been reduced in the last dry season for want of water, the motion was put and carried. 

Mr. JOHN DART then moved,-” That the east and west road be bridged or dammed where necessary from plain to plain. As it is already cleared it will be the means of bringing a great number of farmers on to the new surveyed road to the Rosewood Gate.” 

Mr. CONRAD ISLAUB seconded the motion, which was carried. 

Mr. JOHN DOVE proposed-“That a bridge should be built over the gully on the road leading from the dam to Mr. Bensley’s farm.” He said that about twelve months ago the Minister for Works had promised him an outlet, and the proposed work would only cost a few pounds. 

Mr. SAMUEL COWELL seconded the motion, which was supported by Mr. SMALLBONES and put and carried. 

Mr. PATRICK DALE proposed-” That a road of about one mile in length and half-a chain in width be made from the main road to the Pine Range, for the accommodation of certain German settlers there, who at present have no road or means of access.” 

Mr. JACOB HANSEN seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously. 

Mr. JACOB HANSEN moved, ” That as the people on the Big Plain are very much in need of water, the water-reserve be dammed, and that the road for about five miles be repaired, and culverts erected, in a north easterly direction towards Tarampa. 

Mr. YERGENSEN seconded the motion which was also carried. 

Mr. JOHN CARLESS moved,-.”That it is necessary to open the east and west road running between Mr. Charles Cowell’s and Mr. John Freeman’s, through Mr. James Harris’s farm, as it would be a permanent advantage to the settlers if that road were cut the distance of half-a-mile, about half a chain wide.” The motion was not seconded, and consequently lapsed. 

Mr. SMALLBONE moved-” That a copy of these resolutions be handed to the chairman, with a request that he forward them to the Government, and point out the necessity of immediate steps being taken to carry them out.” 

Mr. CHARLES FREEMAN seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously. 

A short time was then spent in a conversational manner, during which the subjects of a land-tax and the selling of leases of runs by auction were canvassed, the majority of the meeting dissenting from the advisability of such schemes being adopted. 

A vote of thanks to the chairman and the representatives of the press was then passed by acclamation, and the meeting terminated. 

We should not omit to mention that Mr. Christopher Eitel entertained Mr. Foote, the representatives of the press, and several other gentlemen in a most hospitable and handsome manner at the conclusion of the meeting, after which the town party started for home.

Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser, Thursday 23rd March 1876, page 3

For some months past there has been an extra-ordinary commotion among the settlers in the Rosewood Scrub, caused by the survey of a new line of road by Mr. W. P. Townson. Letters were written to the local papers, public meetings were held, and angry feelings excited, until at last the bulk of the settlers have ranged themselves into two hostile camps. On the one had it is asserted that the new road is required, not only for the convenience of many of the older settlers, but to reach those who have selected at the back of the scrub, and who at present are almost shut out from market for want of roads. On the other hand it is contended that the latter object can be equally as well secured, and at a much less cost, by improving the old roads-particularly the one known as Cowell’s road-and that this a great deal of injustice in resumption of lands, alteration of boundaries, and interference with vested rights to existing roads will be prevented. At the urgent request of several of the residents in the neighbourhood we visited the locality on Tuesday last, for the purpose of finding out for ourselves the merits of the dispute. 

We may premise that there are three roads running parallel with each other, which give access from the scrub to the Southern and Western Railway. For the sake of clearness we shall call the most easterly of these, which comes down to the Rosewood Gate, No. 1; the middle, or Cowell’s road, No 2; and the western road No 3. At about four or five miles from the railway these roads cross a spur of the Little Liverpool Range, called locally “The Range”. At right angles with them, and running partly along the top of the Range, is a road leading to Walloon, and beyond it a very large number of settlers, almost all Germans, have taken up selections. How these get their product to market is to us a puzzle. But to return to the roads which we travelled:-

The main road to the Rosewood Scrub which we have called No. 1, commences at right angles to the railway at the Rosewood Gate. For some reason which we could not understand, and which nobody could explain to us, it has been run as straight as it was possible to make it, totally regardless of the inequalities of the ground. The result was anything but satisfactory to those who were compelled to us it previous to the inauguration of Mr. Walsh’s road trust. Under these considerable sums of money were spent, and the road has been so far improved that a comparatively moderate expenditure would make it fairly passable. At rather more than half-a-mile from the railway a cross road running east to west intersects it. Here we noticed a very substantial and neatly finished bridge which was receiving its finishing touches, and which has been erected for the convenience of settlers to the east of the main road, who had previously to go a long way round to reach the railway station. A little farther on we saw where Mr. Townson’s deviation commences. It has already been cleared for some distance and a large gang of men were at work cutting down the timber and burning it off. About half-a-mile farther we came to the first serious impediment to traffic. It is a deep gully, over which a bridge was built some two years and a half ago from funds spent under the direction of a local road trust. If it had been built seven or eight feet higher, the road would have been passable for ordinary loads; but at present the banks are so steep that it is with considerable difficulty that even a small load can be taken across. We were, however, informed that there were parties who would undertake to raise the bridge six or seven feet higher, or convert it into a bridge dam for the sum of 150 pounds. 

About a quarter of a mile farther we came to a dam, the first constructed in the Rosewood Scrub, and undoubtedly the most important work yet done in this district by the Roads Department. Although the water, at the time of our visit, had anything but an inviting appearance, its presence has been felt as a real blessing by all farmers in its neighbourhood. It is to be hoped that in future, wherever facilities for them exist, no other kind of bridge will be erected in the Scrub. 

Another half-a-mile brought us to the worst part of the road-a spot called the Big Gully. The banks are so steep that the party had to dismount and lead their horses down. We question whether an empty dray could be taken up or down the banks by any horse in the district, and yet, as was pointed out to us, the gully could be made passable by an outlay of not more than 50 or 60, simply by a short deviation to the west, and the cutting of two small sidings. 

The Government estimate for a bridge over the gully is £1300, a sum which would put all the roads in the district in good repair. Immediately after crossing it we came into Mr. Townson’s deviation, and followed it until it crossed the old road at Mr. Joseph Dudley’s. From, this spot the road is cleared for half-a-mile further. We had then to follow a back track in Sally Owen’s Plain, to get to the farthest main road running east and west, which we shall call the Walloon road, and which has been surveyed easterly to Walloon Station and westerly to the Big Plain. This road is rendered impassable, however, by a very deep gully which crosses it, and which is an admirable site for a dam. If properly made, a depth of 30ft. of water could easily be retained, which would prove an inestimable blessing to the residents in that locality, most of whom had to cart their water for some miles. 

On the ridge above this gully, and between the farms of Messrs. Eitel and Weigand, Mr. Townson’s new line crosses the road. A quarter of a mile farther on we came to the dividing fence, between Wiegand’s and John Dart’s farms. Here road No. 2 , which is known as the middle or Cowells road, running parallel with the road from the Rosewood Gate, and which, it is contended, should be cleared in preference to Mr. Townson’s road, has been surveyed, and cleared, with the exception of about a mile. But of this road more anon. From this the Walloon road leads downward over an incline, which is so long and steep that it forms an almost insurmountable barrier to taking produce to market in that direction. It is evident, therefore, that Mr. Townson’s road can be of very little service at this end unless to the few families who live on the top of the ridge; for it is impassable for loaded drays to get up to it either from the east or the west. 

Passing down the hill at the end of Mr. Dart’s farm, we turned to the left onto road No 3, which, as already stated, is the most westerly of the three roads crossing the range. This we found to be a good hard road, running along the side of the mountain. It was originally surveyed by Mr. Twine about three years ago, and considerable judgment has been shown in selection of the best route. There are, of course, some severe pinches on it, which the ridgy character of the country renders unavoidable; but it is the only practicable outlet for the settlers on the Big Plain. Descending to the lower ground we turned down a cross road running between the farms of Messrs. O’Donnell and Ludlow, until we reached road No. 2. As previously stated this road is cleared excepting for about a mile. We ran it up as far as Harris’s farm, on the top of the dividing ridge which separates the from from the back settlers, and found it by far the best of the three roads over the range. The gradient was so easy that no difficulty could be experienced in drawing a fair-sized load. We were assured by those who had passed through it that the piece which remained opened was equally good, requiring only two gullies to be bridged. If opened it is asserted that this is by far the most level and easy road over the range.  Returning back to the corner of Mr. Bensley’s farm we took a cross road eastwardly to the dam, and then back to the railway station.

And now as to the new road surveyed by Mr. Towson: As already stated this commences about a mile from the railway station and runs westerly through Mr S. Waight’s land, thence northerly on the boundary between the farms of Messrs. Boland and Farrelly, thence north-easterly through Mr. Smallbone’s farm and crosses the old road at Mr. Jospeh Dudley’s. Here it turns westerly through Herwick’s forfeited selection, and thence northerly along the eastern boundary of Messrs. Ponting’s and Wiegand;’s farms, and crosses the Walloon road between Weigand’s and Eitel’s farms.

Its advocates urge it adoption for the reason that it is the most level road, as from Mr. Smallbone’s farm to the railway it avoids all ridges that No.1 road crosses. 

On the other hand it is argued that it is nearly half a mile longer than the old road; that it runs over low swampy ground, which it will be difficult to travel in wet weather; that a considerable sum of money has been spent on the old road, which will be thrown away if a new one is adopted; that it affords to the farmers beyond the range no better access to the railway station than road No 2, if the latter were cleared; that the cost of the new road in clearing, fencing, payments for lands resumed, &c., would put the old roads in splendid order, and leave a considerable balance; and lastly, that it places several of the front settlers-who have bought their lands and improved them in full confidence that Government would maintain and improve their roads-in a much worse position than they are at present.

Without desiring to take either one side or the other in the dispute, we must say that there is a good deal of force in the last two objections. We do not wish to detract from the merits of Mr. Townson’s survey. On the contrary it is admitted by everyone that he has chosen the best route. But it is at all times undesirable to disturb vested interests unless for very strong reasons. 

From personal inspection we are convinced that a moderate expenditure in clearing and improving road No 2 would make it as good an outlet for the German settlers at the back the scrub as needs be. In this respect, at least, it will bear a not unfavourable comparison with Mr. Townson’s survey. 

As regards to the old settlers who will be affected, we think that they have a just right to complain. Instead of getting their roads improved, they find themselves threatened with a new road which in some instances cuts up their farms, and in others places them at a great disadvantage, because it is an understood thing that in future money will be spent only on the new road, which runs at some distance from their farms. As a matter of justice, therefore, they have a right to say that if the old roads can be made good for a less sum then the new one will cost, the Government should not waste money and injure hem by running new lines of road. 

Irrespective of complaints or remonstrances, however, the Government seems determined to make the new road. The usual notice appeared in the local papers calling on persons who had any objections to make to the road to send them into the Clerk of the Executive Council on or before the 9th instant. We were assured, that on the l1th instant-two days later-the tents of a road party were pitched and the work of clearing the Scrub commenced. This, to say the least of it, betrays indecent haste on the part of the Government- for the orders to the road party must have been given not only before the objections had been considered, but before the time for sending them in had expired. 

At the present time about a mile of the road is cleared; yet the second and third notices have not been advertised. Why such haste should be displayed we are at a loss to understand. For appearance sake, if for nothing else, it surely would have been better to have gone through the formality of allowing a reasonable time to elapse for the consideration of the objections that were sent in. 


NEW ROAD First Notice – Names mentioned are Samuel Waight, James Dale, Lawrence Smallbone, Joseph Dudley, Charles Freeman, James Ponting and Charles Eitel.