The Hamilton Ward comprises the Brisbane northside suburbs of Albion, Ascot, Clayfield, Eagle Farm, Hamilton, Hendra, Pinkenba, Kalinga, Wooloowin and parts of Lutwyche, Nundah and Windsor. It also includes Brisbane Airport and the northern shore of the Brisbane Port. The Ward is bordered by Kedron Brook to the north-west, Moreton Bay to the east, the Brisbane River and Breakfast Creek to the south, and Lutwyche Road to the west.
The Ward contains a mixture of residential and industrial areas. Industry is concentrated in the south-eastern corner of the Ward with excellent proximity to road, rail, sea and air transport.
Hamilton Ward has a strong and diverse employment base with many well-established manufacturing, business, and industrial organisations based here. After the CBD, the area is the largest contributor to the economy in Brisbane. Some of the larger employers located in the Ward include the Brisbane Domestic and International Airports, the BP Refinery, and the racing industry Doomben and Eagle Farm Racecourses and the Albion Park Raceway.
In 1823, John Oxley explored the Brisbane River. On one occasion he and his party camped near the mouth of Breakfast Creek, and from this it got its name. It is known as Breakfast Creek until it reaches the area of Three Mile Scrubs in Kelvin Grove, after which it is called Enoggera Creek, and shortly after this it is joined by Ithaca Creek. The Aborigines called it ‘Ya-wa-gara’ and camped along its length, using it for fishing and raising a marine grub, which they called kan-yi.
Hamilton Ward Suburbs
The construction of an iron and masonry bridge was built across Breakfast Creek in 1885 was the spark for development in this area. In the early 1890s, the Dohle family established a boat building business at Breakfast Creek and other forms of industry were established nearby.
Albion became part of the Windsor Shire in 1887 and remained within its boundaries when the Town of Windsor was declared in 1904. Settlement increased with the construction of the Albion Railway Station in 1919.
William MacNaughton Galloway built the heritage-listed Breakfast Creek Hotel in 1889. He served as the Mayor of Brisbane from 1889 to 1890.
An early landowner, Kenneth McLennan, farmed the area and established a vineyard. He was a foundation member of the Windsor Shire Council in 1887 and later served as chairman.
In 1855 the pastoralist James Sutherland became the owner of a substantial portion of land in the Toombul parish, including land surrounding the Sutherland Avenue area.
In 1882 the branch railway line was extended to Eagle Farm Racecourse in Ascot. Public transport developed further in 1899 with the introduction of the first non-horse drawn tram service to Ascot.
In 1925 the Hamilton Town Council was disbanded when Ascot and Hamilton became part of the Greater Brisbane Council. The large subdivisions in the Ascot/Hamilton area were divided at this time to form smaller allotments. Residential growth increased with the development of housing estates and improvements in public transport.
Edmund Beckham and Edward Videan formed the Ascot Taxi Service in 1919. This was the first taxi company in Queensland and it operated from Ascot Garage at Racecourse Road. In 1953 the Ascot Taxi Service became the first taxi company in Queensland to install two-way radios.
The Eagle Farm Racecourse was established in 1863. Horse racing was one of the earliest sports in Brisbane and the name Ascot was given to the suburb as a ‘tongue-in cheek’ reference to Ascot, the prestigious racing hub in England. In 1941 military authorities took over the racecourse, then known as Camp Ascot, to house thousands of American troops.
Clayfield was settled between 1853 and 1858. Clayfield was named after the brickworks, which operated in Lethem Street, Hendra.
In 1890 the town of Hamilton was created from the Shire of Toombul and Clayfield was included in the new boundary
The Clayfield School opened in 1895 and a tramway was built to Clayfield in 1901. Shops developed around Clayfield’s tram hub soon after.
John Forth, a successful Brisbane produce dealer, erected Stanley Hall, a substantial two-storeyed rendered masonry building on the rise of Clayfield Heights in about 1885. The building now forms the core of St Rita’s College. This heritage-listed building overlooks a tree-lined entrance drive and captures expansive views to the north and the east. It is a fine example of the work of Brisbane architect GHM Addison.
EAGLE FARM, 4009
Eagle Farm is located 7km from the CBD. One hundred and fifty men began clearing the site in 1829 and by January 1832 they had cleared about 680 acres (272.5 hectares). They planted maize and some potatoes and some cattle and pigs were also being raised.
Female convicts were moved to Eagle Farm from 1830, and by 1836 there were forty.
In 1922 the Civil Aviation Branch of the Department of Defence established the original Eagle Farm Aerodrome, west of Schneider Road.
In December 1922 Jack Treacy, a former World War 1 pilot, was the first to land his Sunbeam Avro on Brisbane’s new Eagle Farm aerodrome, which in reality was the bumpy surface of a dairy farm paddock.
Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, his co-pilot Charles Ulm, their navigator Harry Lyon, and wireless operator James Warner landed the Southern Cross at Eagle Farm Airport in 1928, at the end of the historic first crossing of the Pacific Ocean from Oakland, California. 25,000 people rushed to Eagle Farm to greet the Southern Cross.
In 1942 a major air base was established at Eagle Farm and Brisbane Airport operated there from 1948 until 1988.
The township of Hamilton was named from one of the first businessmen in the area, Gustavus Hamilton. He was a prominent Brisbane solicitor who in 1865 built a hotel ‘The Hamilton’ on the banks of the Brisbane River to cater for the nearby horse racing fraternity at Eagle Farm.
In 1829-1830 the main route through Hamilton, Kingsford Smith Drive, was created by convict labour. The purpose of the road was to connect Brisbane Town to the women’s gaol at Eagle Farm.
In 1899 electric trams, replacing horse drawn trams, led to the rapid development of the suburb.
The Hamilton Divisional Board was formed in 1890 and then replaced by the Hamilton Town Council in 1904. In 1925 the Hamilton Town Council was disbanded when Ascot and Hamilton became part of the Brisbane City Council area.
Large subdivisions in the Ascot/Hamilton area were created at this time. The smaller allotments on the new housing estates meant that residential growth increased.
In 1867 James Dickson constructed the large house called ‘Toorak’ in Annie Street. He entered the Legislative Assembly in 1873, and was Premier in 1898-99. A strong supporter of Federation, Dickson was appointed the first Commonwealth Minister for Defence in 1901.
Palma Rosa is a well-known building in Queens Road. It was originally named Sans Souci and it was built in 1887 by the distinguished Italian architect-builder Andrea Stombuco.
The Hendra State School was the areas first school, being established in 1864 with an enrolment of 47 pupils. It was called the Eagle Farm School and the children came predominately from farming familes in Doomben, Hamilton, Eagle Farm, Eagle Junction, Nundah, Nudgee Road, Toombul and Clayfield.
Citrus fruits, pineapples and grapes were cultivated and dairy herds were grazed.
The name Hendra was first used in the district when the railway line from Eagle Junction to Ascot was built in 1882. It was named by the Commissioner for Railways, Francis Curnow.
When the Eagle Farm Racecourse was developed Hendra became closely associated with racing.
Hendra Resident Thomas Beirne (1860-1949) opened a retail business in Brunswick Street Fortitude Valley in 1891. His business thrived and he purchased the adjoining land and extended his building. His name was given to the park at Burilda and Goodwood Streets and Gerler Road. After his death he gave his home, ‘Glengariff’ to the Brisbane Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church. It was used as the home of the Archbishop O’Donnell.
‘Glengariff’ is now a heritage listed property and a Hendra landmark. The two storied brick house was constructed in 1888-89 to the design of well-known architects HGO Thomas and Robin Dods. In 1907 the house was increased with the addition of two upper level verandah rooms. It retains large grounds and a number of mature trees.
The suburb was named after Alfred Lutwyche who was the first resident judge in Moreton Bay in 1859. He acquired the large area of land between Kedron Brook and Lutwyche Road. The area was first settled in the 1860s.
Brick making was concentrated principally in the Lutwyche-Kedron district in the 1870s -1880s, which then included parts of Windsor. The Sandgate railway in the 1880s led to the opening of new housing estates in Lutwyche and the suburb was incorporated into the Town of Windsor in 1904. The tramline was extended to the Lutwyche cemetery in 1925.
‘Conon’ is a heritage-listed house in Lutwyche, built in the 1860s. It originally sat on a ten acre (4 hectare) parcel of land owned by Robert Cribb, a Brisbane politician and property dealer. As the suburb developed, the land surrounding the house was subdivided.
Pinkenba is located 12 km from the CBD. Pinkenba was originally known as Boggy Creek until it became known as Myrtletown North, which was part of a larger area known as Myrtletown.
The primary school began life as the Boggy Creek School until it became known as the Myrtle School in 1895 and then the Pinkenba School. The railway reached Pinkenba in 1897.
This was followed by the construction of both the cattle and the general wharf in 1898. All large passenger and freight ships berthed at the Wharf until the river was dredged and berthing took place upriver at Hamilton. It is now largely industrial with a small suburban area.
The BP Bulwer Island Refinery, located at Tingira Street Pinkenba, was originally built by Amoco in 1965. It is one of two refineries in Brisbane, with a capacity of 88 000 barrels of oil a day. It is a landmark in Pinkenba and it was acquired by BP in 1984 and has undergone several expansions and technology upgrades.
The Wooloowin area has a rich indigenous history. Evidence of Aboriginal occupation can be found in a bora ring at Nudgee Waterhole. It is believed that the suburb name was a corruption of Indigenous words wului meaning smoke, or perhaps kuluwin meaning pigeon, or the name of a species of fish. Others have claimed that it is of Aboriginal origin but that it means ‘running water’.
A bus service ran to the area and access to the suburb increased with the construction of the Wooloowin Railway Station in 1890.
In 1904 Windsor became a municipality. The new town of Windsor embraced Albion, Wooloowin, Wilston, Lutwyche, Newmarket, Swan Hill, a portion of Eagle Junction and a portion of Kedron. Windsor Shire Council was absorbed into Brisbane City Council in 1925.
A retreat was built for the Sisters of Mercy and attached to this was the Holy Cross Laundry, which was constructed in 1888-89. The institution became known as the Magdalen Asylum- Holy Cross Retreat as its objects were to care for the needy and destitute. In 1977 the dormitory building and kitchen wing were demolished.