In the early 1900s, people began riding up to Mt Glorious from the eastern valleys below and began growing bananas and other crops. The first buildling at Mt Glorious, erected around 1909 (pictured below – picture courtesy of Jim Byrne), was Tom Lindsay’s “Gentle Breezes”.
In October 2009 the Mt Glorious community celebrated the centenary of European settlement at Mt Glorious. Preparation for the centenary included some historical research and gathering of stories concerning Lindsay and others who followed. The following is an extract from resident Ruth Lowe’s, Tom Lindsay: first settler’s house on Mt Glorious, Centenary celebrations 2009.
In the early 1900s the building of dwellings was not recorded by any local authority, and from the ‘histories, memoirs or stories’ so far consulted it is difficult to establish a precise date for when the first house was built.
Helen Horton’s book Brisbane’s Back Door mentions the early development of Mt Glorious and describes how Thomas Lindsay “rode up the Cedar Creek spur by Mt O’Reilly to a place he liked on the top of the range. He called it Gentle Breezes.”
After taking over the selection in 1908 he moved up to the land and lived in a tent. He appears to have worked, with the help of Charles Patrick in clearing the land and putting in a dairy herd.
Helen Horton continues: “Later Charles Patrick accepted Lindsay’s further offer to take his family and live in the five-roomed slab hut, with separate kitchen, which had by this time replaced the tent. (See above photo). With a verandah at the front, it was reasonably comfortable, but it had a separate kitchen made of stringybark sheets that was quite some distance from the hut.”
Bill Patrick (son of Charles) wrote much about his life and enjoyment of Mt Glorious. Also, a letter from Pat Berlin (granddaughter of Charles and Alice Patrick) states: “The first house on Mt Glorious was built ‘around 1911’ [erased and replaced with ‘1909’] by Mr Tom Lindsay. The house took him from 12 to 18 months to build …”
The letter continues: …”the family accepted the offer and moved to Mt Glorious around 1912.” At that time their family numbered eight children. In his description of the eventful wagon trip up the mountain with the furniture Bill Patrick mentions ‘the baby’, who was probably Phyllis Patrick, born 16.5.1910, mother of Pat Berlin the author of the letter.
The Soldier Settlement Highlands Estate was established just after World War I in the Mt Nebo area. The smallest pieces were 80 acres, being divisions of a square mile. Those people came to crop. The ethos of the time was that you had to sharpen your axe, cut down the trees and either get a crop in or get some stock. If the trees were not cut, the lease could be lost. The Lands Department used to send an inspector out every June. If there sufficient improvement, you escaped the lease payment. So every June the settlers would go out and ringbark a dozen trees to gain immunity from the lease payment. There is still evidence of this at Mt Nebo – large dead trees that have been ringbarked, such as the large dead tallowwood across the road from the Manorina camping area. The area later yielded large volumes of high quality timber, including Red Cedar and White Beech which helped sustain the small population that had settled the area. Modern “settlers” in the area now include many who work “down in town” but seek the peace and cool forests of the range.
More details can be found in Helen Horton’s history of the area.
During the Mt Glorious Centenary celebrations, a number of former families attending the celebrations brought historical photographs of old Mt Glorious and kindly allowed the Mt Glorious Community Association to reproduce copies.