Discover Caloundra History Part 1

Discover Caloundra history from the mountain to the sea

As family historians, we are often interested in local history too. Who were the early settlers? Where did that street name come from? What events in local history changed my ancestors’ lives? These are just some of the question we might ask. Fellow member, Ruth L Carmichael has been researching local Caloundra history so over the next few weeks we will be sharing a few of her finds.

The Glass House Mountains

Glass House Mountains

Glass House Mountains

The Glass House Mountains were mapped and named by Captain James Cook on 17 May 1770.  The mountains reminded him of the glass kilns of his native Yorkshire. Estimated to be more than 20 million years old, these volcanic plugs are a beautiful backdrop for the beaches of Caloundra and include Mount Beerwah, Coonowrin, Ngungun and Tibrogargan.

Explorers and Pastoralists

Matthew Flinders was one of the explorers to visit here in July 1799 followed by; John Oxley in 1823; Alan Cunningham in 1829; Andrew Petrie in 1842.  In 1843 Dr Ludwig Leichhardt spent time with the Archer brothers of Durundur Station at Kilcoy.  Lander, Westaway and other pastoralists had runs divided for early settlement in the 1860s as shown on maps drawn by William Pettigrew.

“Bankfoot House” owned by William Grigor (1831-1907) of Glass House Mountains became a Cobb & Co stagecoach stop in 1868 for travellers to the Gympie goldfields.  Friends of Bankfoot House maintain this heritage-listed home.

Bankfoot House 1915

Bankfoot House 1915

Cullawanda ‘Place of Beech Tree’

Kings Beach ca 1945

Kings Beach ca 1945

Inhabited by the Gubbi-Gubbi language group about 30,000 years ago, the name Caloundra is believed to be derived from their word Cullawanda meaning ‘place of beech tree’.  James Baker’s 1846 map of Moreton Bay shows Cullawanda Point at the northern end of Bribie Island.  “Times of Change – A History of Caloundra City” by Gary McKay tells the story of Caloundra’s early European settlement.

Thanks to Ruth for researching our Caloundra local history and sharing us this summary.

More Caloundra history blog posts coming soon

More about Caloundra’s early local history next week.  Watch out for parts 2 and 3 on our blog. Find out about Caloundra early settlers timeline and perhaps you might see a name that is one of your ancestors. To be notified of new blog posts follow us on Facebook or use your favourite RSS reader.

Discover Caloundra History Part 1