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Then & Now: 100 Years of Samford

Posted: 8am 11 May 2020

As one of the oldest towns in the Moreton Bay Region, there is a wealth of history to be discovered in the hilly territory of Samford. It is likely that the original inhabitants of Samford Valley were members of Waka language group. With settlement from squatters dating back to as early as the 1850’s, Samford was not truly established as a village until 1918, after returned soldiers of World War I were granted holdings. This is their history, this is 100 years of Samford.

Then

Settlement

Settled by Europeans in the mid-1850’s, Samford’s first land auction was held on February 1, 1855. Five years later, the subdivision of farms into acreage homesites commenced. However, it wasn’t until buildings really began popping up on Main Street in 1916 that Samford started to grow. Finally, roads were upgraded to connect with Brisbane and many residents took up work in the city. In 2008, Samford became a part of the Moreton Bay Region.

Samford Run

On February 24, 1854, Archibald Young’s application to lease land to run cattle was accepted for a total of 14,800 acres. This pastoral lease soon became known as the Samford Run and, over the years, changed ownership several times. The first change of hands went on to Clarence H. Ball, then two a partnership of two former army officers, Captain Townley and Lieutenant Williams. From there, George Harris took over before handing back the reigns to Townley who, with his family, made it his home until 1868 when he became the Gold Commissioner and Magistrate at Jimna.

Samford Valley Railway Station

The main source of income for the original settlers was through timber, dairying, bananas and other small crops and fruit. However, it wasn’t until the opening of the Samford Valley Railway Station on June 29, 1918, that Samford Village really started to form as a business region. Soon enough, the area around the station became a hive of activity with many businesses relocating closer to the trainline and farmers were sending their timber, cattle and fresh produce almost nightly with dairy farmers sending cream three times a week. In 1926-27, Samford Railway Station consigned more bananas to Sydney and Melbourne than any other railhead in Queensland, often seeing Main Street (where the station was located) lined with fruit farmers eagerly awaiting their turn to load their freight away. In 1937, when electricity came to Samford, dairy farmers were able to increase their herds thank to electric milking machines, further boosting the economy of the region.

Now

Heritage Trail

To truly experience all Samford has to offer and learn about the history of the land, take a trek or cycle along the Samford Village Heritage Trail:

  • Samford District Historical Museum
  • Samford Railway Station & Goods Yards
  • John Scott Park
  • Samford Valley Hotel
  • English Scottish and Australian Bank
  • Samford Farmers’ Hall
  • Cash Avenue
  • Williamson’s Butcher Shop
  • RSL Memorial Park
  • Samford Garage
  • Samford Public Hall
  • Weise’s General Store and Post Office
  • Samford Rural Fire Brigade

Explore Samford today for the ultimate Moreton Bay Region history experience.

Discover more in Samford and surrounds

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