History of Tambourine & Surrounds – Part 3


1872 to 1884


In 1872, Thomas Plunkett opened the First General Store in Tamborine. Then in 1874, the Post Office was opened with Plunkett serving as postmaster when the mail route opened from Beenleigh to ‘Fenwyck’ on Canungra Creek, and later extended to Nindooinbah including Mundoolun in 1875, The post office was run by his family until at least 1900. Plunkett also had land at Beaudesert which later became Boystown, and land on Tamborine Mountain which he never occupied. A horse delivery also opened between Tamborine and Irvingford in 1875. In 1874, Logan Reserve was divided into Waterford and Loganholme.
Around 1874, the Roman Catholic Church was built on the Yore property and classes were held in the Chapel until the Tambourine Provisional School was built. The school committee comprised of Thomas Plunkett, Michael Massie, Michael Yore, James Henderson and Thomas Pownall at the time. The school was later declared to be Tambourine State School on 1 January 1909.
Land was donated by Plunkett in Plunkett Road (north of the Albert River) for a Catholic Cemetery in 1874, when the original position near the chapel on the Yore property on the south bank of Albert River was near a swamp and found to be flood prone. The property was known as ‘Spiddle’ or ‘Spiddal’ after its Irish namesake. His son Andrew Thomas Yore later managed the property.
An important note of interest, is that the centre of the township of Tambourine was located on the Yore property, starting at the front gate and included a hotel, a hall, saddlery, butchers shop and slaughter yard, and the Council Divisional Office, until the railway connection was established and most of the buildings were moved.
Land selection was opened up on Tamborine Mountain in 1875, with William Walsh being one of the first to take up a portion of 245 acres. Caleb Curtis arrived in Brisbane in 1864 from England with his son Edmund Ford Curtis. Later joined by his wife and younger son, they built a home on the Albert River named ‘Leigh Farm’ where they had a total of 8 children. In 1877, Edmund and his brother Sidney walked up to Mount Tamborine and resolved to live there one day. Both brothers selected land and Edmund Curtis married Mary Jane Pollock in 1878 producing 11 children. Thus, although land selection commenced in 1875, official settlement of Mount Tamborine itself commenced in 1878.
In about 1876, the first hotel to be established on the property of Michael Yore was built by John Ryan. As no application for a licence renewal was received in 1880, the Tambourine Hotel was not officially opened until 1882. It was later smashed by the 1887 flood. (After the flood, a second hotel was built near the main road on the property as well as a hall. The hotel continued operation until the 1930s when it was moved to the centre of town near the store and destroyed by fire. The hall was also moved and re-erected in town from 1940/41.)
From 1882 William Walsh ran the Tambourine Hotel. William originally owned 250 acres known as The Rocks Farm on Chambers Flat. He later acquired more land at Tamborine, eventually owning 2,000 acres in total, with the property being known as Munstervale. (William occupied a seat on the Tabragalba Board for 25 year. He was chairman of the Tamborine Divisional Board for 9 years, and a member of the Tamborine Shire Council. For 35 years he was chairman of the local School Committee and held one of the oldest Peace Commissions in Queensland.)
In 1883, Mr Leitzow was contracted to build a teacher’s house which was built east of the school. In 1884, John Yore and his family purchased the Biddaddaba portion of the leasehold. As well, in 1884, the connection of the railway from Tamborine to Beaudesert was made which then began to change the whole dynamics of Tambourine.