Albion’s Warrego Sawmill Cunnamulla What a Story.
in May 2018 I had the pleasure of taking decedents of the Albion family on an Out The Back Australia Cunnamulla Town and Industry Tour so became inspired to write this blog and share a little of the history I know along with some images. Alexander Albion was a building contractor for some years around the Drayton/Jondaryan district, and eventually the family moved to Cunnamulla. John was then about seventeen.
There Alexander Albion continued as a builder and one of his efforts was to build a wooden hospital in Cunnamulla which was the first hospital which was names South Warrego hospital. That building was located out in what was called bluebush.
The first matron was Mrs Whitacre and following is her picture.
Part of the original hospital building was relocated into Cunnamulla when the second hospital was built. Part of the first hospital became a home eventually belonging to Doug and Gwen Locke and today is the home of Arnold & Barb Simpson. Read More
Cunnamulla Beer Brewer, Burton’s Brewery Part of Australia’s History of Beer, Rum and Whisky in (QLD)
The history of beer in Australia dates back to the early days of British colonisation when Sir Captain Cook brought beer with him on his voyage to Australia. With the first fleet landing in the 18th century, the alcohol industry in Australia begun to expand with the first pub opening up in 1796 in Parramatta, the Mason Arms. John Boston became Australia’s first official brewer after creating a beer from Indian corn.
Beer didn’t make its way up to Queensland until a little later in the 19th century when larger was first brewed at the Castlemaine and Quinlan breweries.
Although larger is common in the modern world, early beers were top-fermented and quick-maturing ales. Lager was not brewed in Australia until 1885 and then brewed in Queensland in 1889. These beers were also brewed missing hops due to the fact no one had successfully refined hops. James Squire become the first in 1804.
The Castlemaine brewery has a long and rich history in Australia. Situated in Brisbane Queensland, it has produced Australia’s most popular beer, XXXX. The brewery begun in 1878, however really came in to its own after recruiting a master brewer from Germany. Alhois William Leitner used his expertise to solve the cloudy beer problem, keeping beer fresher for longer. The recipe is still used today for XXXX Bitter.
The X’s in XXXX represent the quality of beer, back in the day beers were given an X rating. The breweries first brew was given a XXX rating, however in 1924 the recipe was perfected gaining the fourth X. That same year Mr Fourex was introduced to the world quickly becoming one of Queensland’s most recognised symbols. XXXX also kept the troops hydrated throughout the first and second world war after being distributed around the world. XXXX was often called barbed wire by diggers.
Over time breweries have come and gone throughout Queensland’s vast landscape like Cunnamulla Beer Brewer Burton’s that existed in Cunnamulla in 1885. A local historian confirmed despite strong demand the locally brewed Cunnamulla beer was not successful due to the bore water.
Burtons Brewery was situated on the banks of the Warrego River on the current Cunnamulla State School Site. All these years on, broken bottles with the breweries logo on it are still being dug up around the site.
Queensland Brewery also referred to as Bulimba Beer supplied wooden kegs to Club Hotel Cunnamulla in the late 1800’s. It was another major brewery that opened prior to 1883 changing hands and locations from Teneriffe to Fortiutude Valley. Carlton United Breweries took over the brewery in 1961 and in 1993 the brewery was relocated to Yatla.
In 1940 a somewhat un recorded and forgotten beer riot took place on Brisbane’s Queen street. The riots took over the streets for six hours after the Government decided to enforce strict liquor regulations. They imposed closing venues at 8:00pm and no trading on Sundays, forcing civilians to take matters into their own hands.
Despite beers popularity, rum quickly became the beverage of choice among settlers and convicts as mentioned in the following convict song.
Cut yer name across me backbone
Stretch me skin across yer drum
Iron me up on Pinchgut Island
From now to Kingdom Come.
I’ll eat yer Norfolk Dumpling
Like a juicy Spanish plum,
Even dance the Newgate Hornpipe
If ye’ll only gimme Rum
Rum experienced rapid growth in the late 18th century and became extremely popular in the 19th eventually becoming a semi official currency of the time. Drunkenness became a huge issue during this time period with even kids often being seen stumbling the streets.
In 1808 the Rum Rebellion became the only ever successful armed take over of Government in Australian history.
Its cause is widely misunderstood, however it is common belief that the autocratic William Bligh was removed as he threatened the massive profits that were being made from trading spirits. This perception suggest it was no more then an argument between unsavoury parties. The Rum Rebellion had a much deeper story and was basically a build up of a long running battle for power and a fight over the future of the colony.
In modern Queensland, rum still remains highly popular with Bundaberg Rum now sweeping the world. Beenleigh Rum is the states oldest rum, however Bundaberg is by far the most iconic and successful. The Bundaberg Rum distillery began in 1888 because local sugar mills didn’t know what to do with the waste molasses after the sugar was extracted. Men that worked in these mills noticed the potential profits and held a meeting at The Royal Hotel on 1 August 1885 to discuss.
Soon after, Bundaberg produced its first rum in 1889 and continued operation until 1907, when it ceased operation for seven years. The distillery has had its fair share of set backs with two fires in 1936 and 1939, in which rum spilt in to the near by Burnett River. With clever advertising campaigns, Bundaberg Rum has become an international beverage, winning awards on the global stage for its Master Distillers Collective Rum. Bundaberg Rum has become another Queensland icon, however Whisky falls short of that status.
Queensland isn’t big on Whisky with only one distillery.
The Castel Glen distillery is Queensland’s only whisky manufacturer and produces a number of 100% natural Whisky beverages.
For other great stories on Cunnamulla History;
A poem written in memory of Bub Emery!
A mailman has a thankless job,
No truer words were spoken yet
A million things to memorise
And God help if you forget.
Along the corrugated roads
In summer heat or winter cold
Through mud, mirage, or bulldust deep,
You watch the endless miles unfold.
The man we knew who drove the mail
With many a high and heavy load,
Earned love, respect and gratitude,
Along the Moombidary Road.
So many extra favours done
Without a thought of recompense
“Of course it’s not a trouble mate
What! Me? take payment have some sense.”
“You want to pay me for the ride?
Now, look here, don’t let’s argue mate!
Enjoy your company.
Besides you opened every flaming gate!”
His cheerfulness and kindly deeds,
Are held within our memory
And sadly missed by all of us,
Is our good mate “Bub” Emery.
(These inadequate but sincere lines require no signature. They are meant to express the thoughts of many people who knew and respected the late Mr. Emery. and especially those people along his mail run, who have reason to be grateful for his kindness and cheery good – will.)
For other great stories on Cunnamulla History;
Cooper Creek to Cunnamulla Bike Ride 2018 Connecting 158 Years of History
On Thursday 9th August 1906 two young men named Liddle & Beckett arrived in Cunnamulla as part of their attempt to cycle round the world and all because they loved adventure. 24 year old Liddle was from the Orkney Islands Scotland and 19 year old Beckett from England.
They duo relied mostly on the generosity of people to feed and accommodate them as they travelled. It is no surprise they were met in Cunnamulla with open arms by Mr. E Tindsall of Tattersall’s Hotel who provided their board and lodging during their stay. From Cunnamulla they journeyed via Charleville Blackall, Barcauldine, Longreach, Hughenden, and Cooktown, and then proceeded down the coast to Sydney, where they took a boat for New Zealand, and subsequently Tasmania, then returning to Sydney, Melbourne, Ballarat, Adelaide, and Fremantle.
Saturday 21 April 2018 a group of about fifty cyclers set off for Cooper Creek, Noccundra to participate in the Cooper Creek to Cunnamulla Bike Ride 2018 which will take place 21 – 25 April 2018.
Cunnamulla Accommodation Story G’day everyone, my name’s Tristan Evert and I’m the newest addition to the Out the Back Australia team which includes the heritage Club Boutique Hotel top quality Cunnamulla Accommodation. I am a qualified journalist after completing a degree in journalism at Griffith University on the sunny, Gold Coast. I was born and raised on the Gold Coast, however have enjoyed numerous travels west to Queensland’s Outback, with family in both Cunnamulla and Winton. This fun outback travel has inspired me to share the many unbelievable, authentic outback adventures I have had.
I am passionate about sport and travel and I will use my skill and love of writing to take you on a journey to Outback Queensland to live Australia’s Story by unearthing the history. On the way I will share the secret locations, the best adventures and the biggest characters Outback Queensland and Cunnamulla has to offer starting with members of my own family.
Full of knowledge that births from a rich history in the far reaches of the Australian outback.
It is quite amazing when you discover that two locations in Queensland’s Outback that are close to the heart of my family being Winton and Cunnamulla have strong links going back to the late 1800’s and here is a little about this Australian Story.
My great great grandparents, Catherine O’Rioden and William Robert Clayton were both drovers that toured the rugged landscape of Australia with regular routes from Wellington in New South Wales to Boulia in Queensland. Originally from Ireland, Ms O’Rioden boarded a ship in sight of Australia out of desperation, however was shipwrecked in the red sea. She was rescued and given a job in the North Gregory Hotel Winton when she met another Irish lady named Norah Howard who was the owner of the Boulia Hotel. Later Mrs Howard wrote to Catherine inviting her to move to Boulia and work for her at the Boulia Hotel. Catherine quickly accepted and made the journey to Boulia and this is where she met William Robert Clayton and married.
The pair called Bourke, Hungerford, Thargomindah and Cunnamulla home as they travelled constantly around, running hotels and droving cattle for themselves and others. At one stage they were droving 500 head of cattle towards Bourke when they ran into the legendary ‘Sir Sidney Kidman,’ who offered them a fortune for their cattle. Over the years they had many encounters with Sir Sidney Kidman as they drove cattle for him and sold him a property they owned including Currawinya which is now a national park and great tourist attraction. My great Grandmother often recalled conversations between her father and Sir Sidney with one being a tongue lashing to her father as her brother Bill was riding in a saddle with a broken tree. When you hear stories of the legendary Sir Sidney Kidman you instantly get an image of a big strong man however Gran often recalled that Sir Sydney had a really squeaky voice and was small.
Born in Bourke, my great grandmother Margaret Clayton (nee Emery) grew up on the droving trails, sleeping under the stars every night, a real kid of the outback. There were not many if any luxuries and they made a new camp every night which was deemed upmarket if there was a kitchen made from Gidyea posts and old kerosene tins. In school we were taught history that often included bushrangers however my great Grandmother Margaret and her mother actually lived much of Australia’s Story and would often reminisce about having tea with the Mrs Hall, the wife (or ex wife) of famous bushranger Ben Hall.
A regular route was from Bourke to Thargomindah via Hungerford and back in those days Hungerford the town located on the boarder gate between New South Wales and Queensland had two hotels. Margaret was 15 and had just completed her schooling at the Catholic School in Bourke when her mother Catherine purchased the Commercial Hotel in Hungerford. At the time it was busy with high numbers of drovers, shearers, bullockies, Cobb & Co Coaches and swagies making their way for work. Today the hotel is long gone and only the Royal Mail Hotel stands in what has become an isolated and quiet place on the boarder gate. This may well be where her granddaughter Peieta Mills drew her inspiration to re-open and renovate the historic Cunnamulla accommodation at Club Boutique Hotel that often hosted royalty.
At age 17 Margaret drew a Thargomindah property in a ballot and the family settled and worked it. At the age of 26 Margaret Clayton married Steven Emery, from Thargomindah whom was known to everyone as Bub. The Emery family were know as mail contractors running mail trucks all around the district which was often referred to as ball bearing droving. Together Gran & Grandad Bub had five children, Peg Campbell (nee Emery), Tom Emery, Elsie Burke (nee Emery), June Evert (nee Emery) who is my Grandmother and Chris Mills (nee Emery) who is Peieta’s mother. In 1943 the family moved to Cunnamulla, where Bub began operating his own mail runs and developed a wool carting business. Margret became well known to all in Cunnamulla and was fondly called Gran by many. A true outback icon that spent her 96 years of life in the outback.
This diverse and extensive outback family history provides me with an extremely unique insight into outback culture, characters and life that I will enjoy sharing with my audience via my Tristan Evert Journalist articles. Full of amazing tales and adventurous stories, you will be left wanting more.
I come from a long line of country icons that have done some extraordinary things. I am an Evert and the Evert family were explorers, trail blazers and innovators with a passion for Australia, Outback Queensland and the Queensland town of Winton. My great uncle Vince Evert was a visionary, originally the owner and picture show man, running one of the last open air theatres in Australia before furthering his enormous passion for open cut opal mining. He took the opal and travelled around the world, realising the enormous potential in over seas markets. He visited places like Japan and America showcasing opal and slowly creating the company now known as Evert Fine Jewellery. In the early days he would often bring people from all around the world to his fields and give them the outback Queensland experience, an early example of outback tours.
Vince, as well as his two brothers Neale and Peter are famous for promoting outback Queensland and they saw opal as an opportunity to bring people out. The trio journeyed all over the outback promoting tourism in their home town of Winton as the future that would keep the bush alive. No one believed Vince but he had tremendous vision and faith and because he was so highly regarded people followed his lead. Vince has since passed on but has a prestigious tourism award named after him, the Outback Tourism Queensland Association’s Vince Evert Award. Not only the Evert side of the family are prominent in outback Queensland, my other side of the family also hosts some quite spectacular outback figures and characters.
You can expect scandals, love, loss, war, peace, struggles, achievement, adventures, history characters and progress. Everything that makes the outback great, that unbreakable spirit, amazing country mateship and a never give up fight for survival.
Something that everyone should experience at least once in his or her lifetime. If you’re searching for an unbelievable, authentic outback adventure then come on this written journey with me until you are inspired to make your own booking into the Club Boutique Hotel the best Cunnamulla accommodation along the way. Meet the locals, experience nature and discover the wonderful secrets of Cunnamulla and Outback Queensland.
For other great stories on Cunnamulla History;
The craft beer tasting Cunnamulla night at Club Boutique Hotel Cunnamulla offered a variety of James Squire and/or Little Creatures beers paired with matching cheeses.
Each guest was able to purchase a paddle of four beers at a time and learn about the brewery history, beer making techniques and flavours of each beer. Additionally there were notes relating to each cheese and why it suited different types of beer. Customers were able to develop their palates and maybe even find their new favourite beer.
Oktoberfest held at the Club Boutique Hotel was a weekend full of German beer, food, competitions music and great company. With a perfect blue sky overhead, crisp cold beer and enthusiastic participants, the competitions went off without a hitch.
Club Boutique Hotel recently had the wonderful pleasure of hosting travel writer, Guy Wilkinson, and taking him on a tour around the Cunnamulla region. We explored the Yowah opal mines, the Eulo Date Farm & Winery, Bowra, Charlotte Plains, Rocky Station, and more. Along the way, Guy captured many eye-catching images with his lens.
A fantastic evening with great entertainment, food, drinks & company
Friday night Sandra and Sean lit up the room with their spectacular renditions of some great country music hits. Their charismatic personalities combined with musical talent made for a great show and left the audience wanting more.