Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Historic Campbellville

Historic Campbellville and Campbellville Cemetery Site

by Donna Holmes, 
Past president, Bribie Island Historical Society

In November 2012 a group of BIHS members visited the Campbellville Cemetery Site. 
Campbellville Cemetery Site sign, November 2012.
Photo: Barry Clark

The visit was arranged by Barry Clark, founding president of BIHS and other sites around the Rocky Creek / Roys Road area were visited.

The sign was located near the historic cemetery site and the following is a transcript of the information on the sign.

The photograph in the sign is of a group of mill workers at Campbellville in the 1880s.

Transcription of the Campbellville Cemetery Site sign
To complement the description of the paddle-steamer Mavis arriving at the wharf at Campbellville is the following account by Mr. W.P.H. Harden published in 1940.

Mr. Harden's Story.
"On the night of Sunday, November 4th, 1888, my mother, my eldest brother Ernest, and myself, walked from Clay Street, New Farm, to board Messrs. James Campbell and Sons' steamer "Mavis," which then conveyed us by way of Bribie Passage to their sawmill at Campbellville on Coochin Creek. We left from Campbell's Wharf, known to-day as the Brisbane Tug Company's wharf. As we passed through Bribie Passage, the sun was rising and, shining on the top of Beerwah Mountain, produced a very beautiful effect. We passed the s.s. "Bribie" near the mouth of Coochin Creek. Further along we met a sailing boat on which was Mr. George Campbell who had come to join his father, Mr. James Campbell, Senior, on the "Mavis." The Coochin Creek wharf was reached about noon, the journey having taken about nine hours. My mother and myself remained at Campbellville for two days, and then after having loaded up our furniture and belongings on a bullock team, arrived duly at what was then known as the Peach Trees. . . . "
Source: Harden, W.P.H. (1940) The history of Peachester and Crohamhurst district. Read at a meeting of the Historical Society of Queensland on November 28th, 1939, by Mr. Inigo Jones. The Historical Society of Queensland Journal v.3(2):123-134, 1940. [Can be viewed on University of Queensland Library UQ eSpace]

In April 1966 while clearing a road and firebreak on the eastern side of Mellum Creek, Forestry employees found some old hardwood posts and discovered they had located the old Campbellville cemetery more than seventy years after the final burial took place there.

The discovery of the site aroused an interest in having the area of the graves neatly bordered with white painted rocks and marked with a sign "CAMPBELLVILLE CEMETERY 1880-1893" which was erected in September 1967 and Forestry employees kept the site clear for many years.

Nuggets of information about the history of Campbellville began to flow when the late local historian Stan Tutt wrote a series of heritage articles for the Sunshine Coast Daily and books published by the Caboolture Historical Society.  An initial history was written by A.C. (Craig) Gubby in 1975 published by the Qld. Dept. of Forestry, which was followed by a comprehensive revision published in 1994 by the Qld. Dept. of Primary Industries entitled Campbellville and Cedar Days: a compiled history of the former south-east Queensland sawmilling township of Campbellville and pioneers of the associated timber industry during the latter part of the 19th century.

In Gubby, 1994, p. 40, is noted the names of four people who it is believed were buried in the cemetery:  Mrs. Harry Blake (wife of the saw sharpener and engineer at the mill); Mr. Petersen, probably Mr. W. Petersen; Mr. Frank Lovsey (or Lovesie) and child of Frank Assen, yardman at the mill.

Subsequent research indicates infant child Francis Assen may have been buried on 13 Feb 1867 at Campbellville cemetery.  Newspaper reports indicate Andrew Lovesy died March 1884 at Campbell's sawmill, Coochin Creek "while step-dancing" and infant child George Campbell died 6 March 1886 at Campbellville.

Reference book:
Gubby, Craig (1994) Campbellville and Cedar Days: a compiled history of the former south-east Queensland sawmilling township of Campbellville and pioneers of the associated timber industry during the latter part of the 19th century. Brisbane: Queensland Dept. of Primary Industries, 1994. 42p. ISBN 0 7242 5206 1

Other information on the web:
Backward Glance: Coochin Creek and its history by Sunshine Coast Council's Heritage Library Officers https://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/Council/News-Centre/Backward-Glance-Coochin-Creek-17-February-2016

Wikipedia entry for Coochin Creekhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coochin_Creek

Location of Campbellville as per Queensland place names search

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