Puzzling The Past

History of The Logan River Region – Part 1

William Armstrong
William Armstrong

The members of the Logan River Family History Society would like to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year and a warm welcome to our monthly chat.
Our first article is written by one of earliest members, Elizabeth, about the early history of her family in our district. This is an excerpt of her story:

There were so many ways our family developed our farm from the late 1860’s to the late 1960’s. When my Great Grandfather William Armstrong arrived in Queensland from County Cavan, Ireland, he took up a land holding at Loganlea which he called “Riverdale” on the Logan River. He married Margaret Lahey in 1866.
Development was certainly more hands on in that era. Land was cleared with an axe and a crosscut saw. Cultivating the land would have been done with a horse drawn plough and a horse drawn wagon was used to carry the harvested crops, after being cut with a reaping hook, or scythe or sickle. A horse drawn hay rake was used to rake the crop into heaps to make it easy to lift into the wagon with hay forks. The early crops were sugar, cotton and millet. They had a cow or two, from which they made a little butter for sale. They had a few hens and pigs.
The horse was their main means of transport. Many a time Great Grandfather would ride 18 miles to the market in Brisbane, with a basket of eggs on one arm, a billy of butter on the other, a couple of pairs of fowls across his horse’s neck, and often slung over the saddle in back-bags were pigs. Among his customers for eggs and butter was Government House. In those days a butter churn would have been used to make the butter.
The family would use a horse and dray to go on their family outings to church and dances and family picnics.
Church in the early days was held in family homes, until churches were built in the 1880’s. The Beenleigh Railway opened in 1885. My Grandfather Fred married Lilly Barnes in 1901 and by this time the family were running a successful dairy farm. The Kingston Butter Factory opened in 1907. The cans of cream were loaded in the dray and driven to the Loganlea Station and sent to the factory where it was made into butter.
By Elizabeth Lamb

Perhaps you have questions about your family’s move to Australia and what their lives were like when they settled here.
I liken genealogical research to trying to complete a huge jigsaw puzzle, where the biggest challenge is to find the pieces first by digging into our family’s history. If you are interested in your family’s history, we are a friendly bunch who would like to give you a hand. We invite you to email any queries to us and we will do our best to answer them in this column.

See you next month
Rob Thomson
President, Logan River Family History Society