Tamborine History

The local aboriginals referred to this are as Tchambreen, meaning -yam on a cliff, or place of yams. The original leasehold settler was Burton. Surveyor Robert Dixon took up a depasturing licence in 1843, run and called it Burton Vale. He transferred to H.P. Hicks who called the property Tchambreen, and let the licence lapse. Part of it was then taken up by Dugald Graham on behalf of Whitting and Co. and given the anglicised name of Tamborine. Graham later took up the land himself and re-named it Tabragalba, which means place were big nulla nulla was found.

During the 1880s Tamborine was home to the Delpratt family, with Mr J. H. Delpratt a breeder of draught horses.

The Tamborine School began in 1874 in the Catholic Chapel in Tamborine and was instigated by Michael Yore and Thomas Plunkett. It was located near the swamp on the Yore property on the south bank of the Albert River. Both men initially settled at Dairy Creek in the 1860s. In the early 1870s he selected land on the Albert River and named his property Villa Marie in honour of his wife Maria Ryan. Plunkett opened the first store in the district around 1872. He was postmaster from 1874 and the post office was run by the family until at least 1900. Plunkett had land at Beaudesert which later became Boystown and land on Tamborine Mountain which he never occupied. The first Catholic Cemetery was located near the church and was subject to flooding. Further land was later allocated by the Plunkett family in Plunkett Road. It remains in use today for the Catholic congregation of the district.

The school committee for 1876 comprised Thomas Plunkett, Michael Massie, Michael Yore, James Henderson and Thomas Pownall. In 1883 Mr Leitzow was contracted to build a teachers house which was built on Portion 104 east of the school.

A hotel was established on the property of Michael Yore on the south bank of the Albert River. The property was known as Spiddle. His son Andrew Thomas Yore later managed the property. The hotel was managed by John Ryan in 1879. No application for a licence renewal was received in 1880 but by 1882 William Walsh was running the Tamborine Hotel. Williams wife Catherine was the sister of Anne Yore and Maria Plunkett. The girls had come to Queensland with their parents Edward and Jane Ryan on the Erin-go-Brah in 1862. John Ryan was their brother. The hotel remained in operation until at least 1900.

Residents of the Tamborine region, began lobbying the government for a rail connection in 1886 shortly after the Beenleigh line was completed. George Phillips surveyed a nine mile route to Tamborine Village township, but the main expense of the project was a bridge over the Albert River. Further agitations were made in 1888 led by J. W. Lahey. Laheys wanted to open up timber reserves in the Canungra area, and eventually began construction of a private rail line from Canungra to the upper Coomera, via a tunnel under the Darlington Range in 1901.

In May 1910 an inspection was carried out by the Premier (The Honourable W Kidston) and Cabinet Ministers of the proposed route of the railway. A non stop trip to Logan Village and a quick lunch at the hotel was followed by a horse and buggy trip to Canungra organised by the Tamborine Shire Council. An improvised bridge allowed for the crossing of the Albert River. The party reached Canungra by nightfall and were accommodated in tents. The Tamborine Shire Council representative William Walsh together with J W Lahey argued for the economic importance of the line for both the timber and dairying industries.

Construction approval was given in 1911. The line was completed to Bromfleet in March 1915 and to Canungra by 2 July. It was essentially a freight line. Passenger trains ran on occasional Sunday excursions to Canungra, which could carry up to 400 people. The Plunkett station was located on the north bank of the Albert River within the current suburb of Yarrabilba. When the Commonwealth War Service Homes Department bought the Canungra mill from Laheys in 1920, the tramway closed and although the Standply Timber Company later took over, the tramway operated spasmodically after that. The use of the line was limited to the quality of the track between Logan Village and Canungra and the strength of the bridge over the Albert River. By 1939 the service was reduced to two trains per week and many of the sidings were removed.

The busiest traffic on this line was to and from the American Army Camp from 1942. The railway was closed in 1955.

The Tamborine School was closed in 1970 and the teachers residence relocated to Tamrookum. The school building was relocated to the Beaudesert Shire Councils depot on Chambers Flat Road, now Logan City Councils Marsden Depot. The school was recently relocated back to Tamborine Village.

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