History of Aramac, QLD

Aramac or Marathon as it was then known, was a wild bush town for the first few years of its existence, but with the coming of the law in 1872 it became a little more civilized.

The first Police to patrol the district were the Black Police under a white sub­ inspector - a force formed for the protection of white settlers - while the general police patrolled to the northern part of the district from Clermont and to the southern end from Blackall. The first police camp was situated at Stainburn under Sub-inspector James McKay Dunne. Two of the first Police Constables stationed here were Peter O'Malley and John Cockle. It is known that Constable Peter O'Malley was patrolling the district in 1869.

Legend has it that a white trooper and a native tracker, returning off patrol to Clermont from Mt. Cornish, were caught up by the blacks and murdered during the night by the shores of Lake Dunn, near where Ballyneety Selection now is.

When the Aramac Police Division was first formed it was a very large one within what was called the Mitchell district - apparently named after the explorer Sir Thomas Mitchell - with headquarters at Blackall. The district officer was then Sub-inspector John Ahearn, a very capable bushman and successful stock thief catcher, which earned the knick-name of "Jacky Jacky". After the arrival of the railway line at Longreach, police headquarters were transferred there in the early 1890's. The Aramac Police Division was a very large one, extending from Speculation in the east to Boulia in the west, and from Barcaldine in the south to Torrens Creek in the north.

It is of interest that one of the first police officers in charge of the Aramac Station, was Robert S. Allen. In 1876 he left the police force, and was granted a license through the court at Aramac on 15/11/76 for the Western Hotel, situated at Pelican Waterholes on the Western River. No doubt he had selected the site as a suitable place to open business when patrolling through that country. About twelve months Iater he was forced, as the result of a flood, to move to higher ground further along the river. In conjunction with the hotel, he also conducted a store and performed the duties of postmaster. In his capacity as Postmaster, he was asked to suggest a name for the place instead of the more cumbersome title of Pelican Waterholes. At his suggestion, the name of Winton, after the suburb of Bournemouth in England where he was born, was adopted. Allen's store and hotel were on the site where the Q.N. Bank in Winton now stands.

The first business of the Aramac Court on 9th March, 1872 when John Rule, J.P. granted William Marley, a hawker's license,

The next case was on 14/4/72 before W.T.B. Allen, J.P. when John Rule, describing himself by the now defunct title of squatter, proceeded against John Gunnegausen, one of his employees, for insolence and refusing to obey orders. Alex Gordon, his overseer gave supporting evidence. The verdict was that the defendant was to forfeit £10.6.0 sterling and his agreement was to be cancelled.

Jack Kingston, the elder, did not confine his activities soley to hotel keeping. At one time he owned Barcoorah Station (an aboriginal name for "Little White Flower") which he later sold for the sum of £50. Today the same tract of country, with the stock depasturing thereon, would be worth far more than that figure in thousands. He also had another property out in the desert country, near where Dunrobbin Selection now is. When his manager was illegally branding stock, for which a fine of £100 was inflicted, Jack then sold up the stock, kicked the manager off the place and vacated it.

Aramac was not long with one hotel, for in 1874 George Porter arrived from Clermont and built the Royal Hotel, for which he was granted a license in 21/4/75. On 6/4/84 he sold a lease of this hotel to Simon Lockhart, and moved out to Boongoondoo Station, which he had taken up, using the brand 1GP. It was later from this property that the firm of Clark Brothers and Tait made the first of their very successful ventures into the past­oral industry. After an absence of nearly seven years, George Porter re-entered the Royal Hotel on 10/2/94. This hotel is now demolished.

William Browne-Steele built the next hotel, the Albion, for which he was granted a license on 10/1/77. Browne-Steele remained in this hotel until 12/5/80, when he sold to John Farrell. Farrell was previously a storekeeper here.

The Aramac is the only one of the four hotels, originally licensed for this town which is still operating. The Albion and Aramac Hotels were situated side by side, and in 1955 both were owned by Leslie Ronald Sholl. On 12/4/55 Sholl surrendered the license for the Albion Hotel. He was granted permission by the Licensing Commission to incorporate the premises of the old Albion hotel with those of the Aramac Hotel.

In 1879 John William Kingston built his second hotel, which he called the Marathon and for which a license was granted on 16/12/79. He put his brother William Frederick Kingston in it. This hotel was destroyed by fire on 26/3/68.

Some of the timber, used in the construction of the original hotels here, came from what was known as the Sawpit Paddock of Aramac Station, now known as Dudley Park, with the balance from the sawmills at Greentrees, which is north of Jericho.

The township of Aramac wasn't the only part of the district to have hotels. In those days - it was the era when Cobb and Co. was King - it seemed to be the practice to build a hotel, where there was a coach change.

The first country hotel was built at Speculation by William Springer. He obtained a license for this hotel on 10/6/73 and conducted it for over thirty years.

Gray Rock also boasted a hotel, known as the Gray Rock Hotel. Thomas Byrnes built this hotel and obtained a license for it on 10/7/77. He held the license until 8/3/81 when he sold to Archibald Casey. Casey sold out on 10/2/82 to James Ferguson, who closed the hotel on 22/12/85 and had the license transferred to Red Rock on the Jericho-Clermont road. Grey Rock is situated about twenty five miles from Aramac on the road to Clermont. It is on a spur of the Aramac Range and derived its name from a large brown rock with a grey sandstone base. It is now an attraction for the many names, some of which date back into the last century carved into this grey base.

Scarrbury named after Frank S. Scarr, the surveyor, who surveyed it and Aramac, and which is situated atout thirty-five miles down Aramac Creek, was once catered for by two hotels. On 10/7/77 John Clifton obtained a license for the Scarrbury Hotel. A few months later William Alexander Mills secured a license for the Budgerygah Hotel, which took its name from the nearby outstation of Mt. Cornish. Mills acquired the license of the two hotels on 1/8/78 and moved into the hotel formerly conducted by Clifton. He cancelled once license and called the hotel the Budgerygah Hotel. On 4/10/79 Mills disposed of the hotel to John Fraser, who sold on 30/11/80 to that well known old pioneer, John Kennedy, who at that time was conducting a store and a butcher shop there. When Kennedy took up
Sunny Hills Selection, near Winton a few years later this hotel closed down.

On 8/7/84 Henry Dyer obtained a license for the Hen and Chicken Hotel at Bullock Creek, just past Stainburn Downs Station on the Aramac-Muttaburra Road.

Sardine Creek, situated atout thirty-two miles from Aramac on the Aramac-Muttaburra road was the site of the Union Hotel.

Then on the road to Barcaldine, there was a hotel at the Twenty Mile.

All these wayside country hotels have long since disappeared. Only their names on the map remain as evidence of their existence.

On 23rd March, 1875 Frank S. Scarr, licensed Surveyor of Blackall, completed the first survey of the town of Aramac, when he laid out sections I to Vl. The following names appear on this original lithograph:- George Porter of the Royal Hotel; William Mills a butcher; Edward Schneider, a cordial manufacturer; John Kingston, the Aramac Hotel and a stock yard; John Farrell and Alfred Burt had general stores; James Field, who was a barman at the Aramac Hotel, had a private house; and John Coleman had a blacksmith's shop; while there was also the Court House and Police Quarters.

Aramac can claim the honour of having held the first show in the West. It was held at the Six Mile on Aramac Station in 1870. It was an effort by the surrounding graziers, and although fairly successful was not continued in the following year.

In 1877 the Marathon District Pastoral and Agricultural Society was formed and the first show under its auspices was held on 5th June of the same year. The agricultural display consisted of one bushel of maize, grown by the late William Springer at Speculat­ion on the so called "desert country".

The Society had only been in existence for about five months when their first show was held and had a membership of seventy. Some of the first officials were household words throughout the central west. B.D. Morehead of Bowen Downs and later to become Premier of this State was President; William Forsyth, manager of Aramac Station was the Vice-President. The Committee of management consisted of E.R. Edkins of Mt. Cornish; W.H.L. Thornton of Tower Hill, E. Bloomfield, J.H. Wilson, Thomas McWhannell of Rodney Downs, A. Thompsom, storekeeper of Aramac and J.T. Tilbury was the secretary.

After the first show or so, it was decided to alternate the show between Aramac and Muttaburra, an arrangement which was continued till the last show of the Society which was held in Aramac in 1890.

A few years later with the forming of Longreach, the Society was revived there and shows were held under the old title. However, at the beginning of the century as the title was felt to be a misnomer, the name was changed to the Longreach Pastoral and Ag­ricultural Society.

Although Justices of the Peace were the first to sit on the Bench here, the first Police Magistrate to preside over an Aramac Court was Maxwell Armstrong, who visited here from Blackall. When Richard Welford was murdered by the blacks at Welford Downs now known as Jedburgh Station, Maxwell Armstrong was the white officer who led the black police out to investigate the matter. Prior to taking up Welford Downs, Richard Welford and his friend, E.H. Harries, had worked. on Aramac Station as jackeroos.

It is of interest to note that when the court was first formed at Aramac that matters arising in Boulia, Winton, Muttaburra, Forrest Grove (now Arrilalah) and Torrens Creek were dealt with by the court here. The first hotel licenses, slaughtering and other licenses were issued out of this court.

Aramac was also the venue for the holding of district courts. It is also mentioned that prisoners from here, as well as being committed to serve sentences at the Rockhampton goal, were also ordered to be imprisoned at the stockade at Blackall.

Two of the oldest buildings in Aramac are the Court House and the residence, occup­ied by the Sergeant. These two buildings were erected in 1882 and 1883. The Court House replaced an old dilapidated little humpy, consisting of four rooms of small dimensions, in one of which justice was administered, while another was a lock-up and the other two were used as police barricks. It is said that the walls were of boree slabs.

Aramac lays claim to being one of the pioneers of grassfed racing in Western Queens­land. The first race club to be formed was the Mitchell District Grassfed Racing Club in the year 1877 with Sydney Sharwood as Secretary. About 1885 the name of the Club was changed to the Aramac Jockey Club, which was later merged with the Aramac Amateur Racing Club. Since Sydney Sharwood some of the Secretaries have been J.W. Booker, E.W. Bowyer. R.G. Miller, R.A. Stobo, C.T. Keegan, H. Green, V.W. Johnson, A.B. Starky, L.K.Teasdale and W.A. Walmsley.

A very interesting story is associated with the first race meeting, which resulted in the naming of the course and the adjacent creek. A party of young English Jackeroos, or Colonial Experience Men as they were then known, with visions of Ascot and other high hatted affairs of their home land, arrived arranged in the best English fashions of the times - belltopper hats, morning coats and all the trimmings that go with them. From then on it was known as Belltopper Racecourse and Belltopper Creek.

Besides the pioneering of grassfed racing in the west, Aramac had another claim to fame in connection with "The King of Sports". It has the distinction of having raced for the most valuable cup in Australia - The Foy Cup - presented by H.V. Foy of Auteuil Selection. Foy, as can be presumed, was a keen follower of racing and called his property Auteuil after the well known racecourse of the same name in France. The Foy Cup is no longer in existence, having been won the requisite number of times by the Cudmore Family, then of Tara Station, Barcaldine.

The present racecourse was laid out in 1908. Prior to that the racecourse was out along the Muttaburra road near the first hospital with the cemetery just across the road. The jest of the time was that if one got hurt at the races, he could be put across the fence into the hospital - when dead across the road into the cemetery.

Comments

  • dan dickson 7 years ago

    I am 5th generation of the Dickson clan, John Dickson who help settlement in Aramac arriving 1872. There is a plaque outside the park in Gordon St acknowledging John Dickson pioneers days

    • Linden 7 years ago

      Thanks for the comment Dan. Great to hear from a descendant of "the wildest man to ever set foot in Aramac"! Cheers, Linden

      • dan dickson 7 years ago

        Thanks Linden,

        Are you related or the author, anyway thanks again for your response

        Dan

        • Linden 6 years ago

          Dan, I'm the author - started putting it together after my father died in '93. I'm only able to work on the site spasmodically but hopefully I'll have more time in the not too distant future. Cheers, Linden

          EDIT: Sorry, clarification required. I'm the "author" of the site, not the author of this page. The Aramac Shire Council gave me the documents.

    • Heather Dickson 6 years ago

      Dan, do you know if your family was from Scotland originally? If yes what part of Scotland?
      happyheather7[at]hotmail[dot]com

      • Vere 2 years ago

        The Dickson family came from Perthshire in Scotland and the great great grandfather was a laird but wouldn't return to Scotland to take over the estate. Landed in Melbourne and went to the goldfields where he became the Mayor. With all the fighting he loaded up the drays and his brothers etc left to find a better place. They camped on the Aramac creek and the rest is history.

    • Sharon Drew (nee Hatfield) 4 years ago

      My Dad who was 90 years old in 2014, the year of his passing he talked about Taydie Dickson who helped take Mum & Dad from Fleetwood Station out western Qld near Aramac in his truck to get Mum to Rockhampton a week before she was due to have her second child. The roads were flooded & boggy and it was a hard call for Mr. Dickson to even volunteer to come all the way to Fleetwood Station, he was remembered well by my father in his story of that era. Taydie Dickson may have had a mail-run & I'm not sure how Taydie's name is spelt but that's how Dad pronounced his name in the tape recording of his oral history. Dad was working on Feetwood Station in approx.1949 or around 1950 with my grandparents also working there at the time. Fleetwood Station had a close association with Kingsborough Station run by the Rudds and who were long-time employers of my grandparents. I was wondering if your family may be related to this Mr Dickson.

      Regards
      Sharon Drew
      Rockhampton Q 4700

      • linden 4 years ago

        Thanks Sharon, great story. Dan didn't leave his email address so let's hope he checks back. Cheers, Linden

      • Vere Storch (née Dickson) 2 years ago

        Reading this today and I'd like to let you know that yes my dad was Tadie. He had mail runs when I was a kid before we moved out to Coorabah not far from from Fleetwood. My Dad was the oldest of the second family of David Dickson (my grandfather) Dan,s grandfather Les Dickson was my Dad,s step brother as their mother passed away leaving five children. Grandad remarried and he and Nana had nine children of whom my Dad was the oldest. All in his family are deceased. Dan lives in Brisbane and is on Facebook . His Dad is still alive and in his late nineties. I vaguely remember the name Hatfield but as I was born in 1948 can't quite put it all together. I live in Blackwater now as nearly all my family have passed. My father was well known for helping people and would go out of his way to do so.

        • Christine king 5 months ago

          Hi Vere I have a DNA match with the Dicksons and my great great grandmother was housekeeper to William. I am looking for a family tree for the Dicksons. Would love it if someone from the family would contact me.
          Regards Christine

    • Melinda Appleton nee Schofield 3 years ago

      Hi Dan, Sharon, Linden
      I know your post was 4 years ago but I am desperate to find connections to my father, Gordon (Sco) Schofield, shearers cook on many stations DOB 1947? Apparently his grandmother (Aboriginal Woman my great grannie) had a child to his grandfather, I am that child. I am in hope you may know further history of the area?

      • linden 3 years ago

        Hi Melinda, you submitted the same comment to Dan, Sharon and me so I took the liberty of combining them into one. Hope that's okay. I can't help at the moment but I hope someone else can. Cheers, Linden

    • Christine king 5 months ago

      I am looking for a family tree for the Dicksons I have DNA connections to the family and my grandmothers family Mitchell’s lived in Aramac and my great great grandmother was William Dickson’s house keeper... I would love to hear from you as I am tracing family history. Please contact me

  • Robyn Balfour 6 years ago

    John William Kingston & Matilda Maria Strutton are my great grandparents. My mother said her grandfather was killed in an accident, being squashed by his own bullock team against a cliff or fence in 1891 and I'm trying to find evidence to substantiate this tragedy, nothing so far.
    Even more importantly, I'd LOVE to have a photo of John & Matilda for my family tree. I came across one of the family pics from 1895 but, sadly, he was already gone and Matilda wasn't in it either. If anyone can help, I would be extremely grateful - Enable JavaScript to view protected content.

    Heather - I have John Dickson b.1827 Tibbermore, Perthshire, Scotland, arriving Melbourne 1853. His youngest son David married CJ Kingston's dau Amy 1892.

  • Anonymous 6 years ago

    My great, great grandmother was the sister of Jack Kingston and with her husband Frank Phillips came to Aramac in 1883 and took over the running of the Marathon hotel and Jack moved to the Aramac Hotel. Mrs Frank Phillips died in 1889 and Frank in 1890 leaving three children Annie, Francis and Frank. Francis later married a Kingston cousin, Frank left to work for Sidney Kidman and settled in Adelaide some 20yrs later and I have no idea what happened to Annie. Frances had 7 children and I believe decendants by the name of Winters are still in Aramac. I have a history of the Kingstons written by Jacks brother C.J.Kingston I am travelling to Aramac in late July early August to fill some gaps in my family history. regards John Phillips

    • Susanne Reidy 2 years ago

      John....are you related to the Barcaldine Phillips? There are at least 2 Frank Phillips in Aramac at the same time...one married Jack Kingston's sister ..the other to Elizabeth Eberston.....unsure as to whether they are one and the same person and if Elizabeth was Kingston's sister who remarried to be Eberston?????

      • John Phillips 2 years ago

        Hello Susanne
        Francis William Phillips married Jemima Louisa Kingston in England and then, encouraged by Jemima's brother Jack Kingston migrated to Aramac in 1885 and managed the Marathon Hotel. They died very young 4 and 5 years later. I do not know of any other Phillips relatives in Aus.

        • Susanne 1 year ago

          Hi John, thanks for the reply...still a mystery

  • Robyn Balfour 6 years ago

    Just wanted to say thank you, Linden, for all this interesting history and also for enabling me to find another 3rd cousin! Regards, Robyn

    • Linden 6 years ago

      My pleasure Robyn, glad it's helped. Cheers, Linden

  • Ron Porter 6 years ago

    George Porter of Aramac was my great great grandfather Thanks for the info

    • Therese Jansan 4 years ago

      Ron. George Porter is my husbands great great grandfather also.... I have only just started on this search of the Porter family!!!

      • Brian Carr 1 year ago

        Hi Ron and Therese, George was my great great grandfather also.

      • Andrew McCallum 1 year ago

        Currently reading a book written by a Joseph Porter. Son of George Parter. Title,Roll the summers back. Could be worth looking for as it contains some interesting local history.

        • Linden 1 year ago

          Hi Andrew, Lorraine Wearmouth posted here about a book called "Roll Back the Summers". Same book? Cheers, Linden

    • linden 6 years ago

      Apologies to Veronica. The following submission was found during conversion to the new site. It was submitted 3 Apr 2014:

      A very interesting history of Aramac where I was born. My father was the Anglican clergyman there till the late 1950 . I always tried to get in touch with Ron Porter as I knew his great grandfather when I lived in Sydney. Would you be able to contact him and he can contact me if he wishes.
      Thank you Veronica Jelinek

    • Shirley Huth 2 years ago

      I was interested to read about Robert Gibson Miller who spent 20 years as Aramac Shire Clerk. He was my great-grandfather. His second wife (not related to me) was Mabel Constance Porter, who I believe was the daughter of George. I don't know a lot about her as I am descended from Robert's eldest daughter. Both Robert's wives are buried at Aramac, and his ashes lie there as well.

      • Peter Miller 1 year ago

        Hi Shirley , my grand father was George Gibson and his son and my father was Donald Gibson, we may be related somehow , I am in the Brisbane phone book at Darra

  • Rosalea Mackay 6 years ago

    A wonderful history of the Aramac area that I enjoyed reading. My great grandparents, James and Ellen Mitchell had had one of their children, Frederick, aged about 3, go missing while herding goats with his brother in the Boongavinna area (October 1899) I'm have been trying to find out a little more about this area but it seems that name is no longer used. Ellen was a housekeeper for the Dickson family on Annievale station and died in Aramac in 1931. P corresponded with a MR Joe Dickson in the late 80's who was the nephew of the station owner William Dickson. rosaleaj[at]bigpond[dot]com

  • Gerard Ansell 6 years ago

    My great,great grandparents George and Eliza Phillips arrived in Brisbane in 1857 on board the Parsee with their seven children including two sons, Louis and Frank.

    Louis married Agnes Isabella Lawson and became the licensee of the Aramac Hotel (was there in1893). The Aramac Hotel along with The Albion Hotel was lost in a disastrous fire on 1 December 1924. Reports of the day suggest the Aramac Hotel loss was six to seven thousand pound with an insurance cover of only 930 pound.

    This must have been an enormous blow to Louis and his wife and Louis was dead within six months at the age of 73. His wife died in 1937 and both are buried together in Aramac Cemetery.

    one of Louis and Agnes' four daughters, Delia Isabella, married Charles Williams and a son Mervyn Louis Williams born in Aramac went on to be a Queensland boxing champion. He eventually located to Melbourne where he became well known as "Mr Boxing" in the press and on radio and TV.

    • PETER HYLAND 3 years ago

      Louis PHILLIPS and Agnes Isabella LAWSON are my G Grandparents - their daughter Eliza Jane is my Grandmother.
      Such a fascinating history of Aramac. My grandfather (Bill HYLAND) named his house in Narrabeen (n'thn Sydney beaches) "ARAMAC" in the 1920s
      I've been trying to compile the LAWSON family tree connection for 50 yrs - no real luck yet.
      I have only been able to ascertain Agnes' birth on 15/4/1854 near Condobolin (NSW)
      Cheers
      Peter Hyland

      • Gerard Ansell 2 years ago

        Hi Peter Hyland it appears we are third cousins.

        My father's middle name was Louis and he pronounced it as "Louie" but I understand Louis Phillips was sounded as "Lewis". Any information you have on the man would be appreciated as my reading about him in newspaper archives suggests he was a larger than life character.

        Cheers
        Gerard Ansell
        Coorparoo
        Brisbane

        • Peter Hyland 2 years ago

          Hi Gerard,
          If you email me, I'll give you all that I have on the PHILLIPS family - a fair bit on Louis!
          He was a successful publican in Aramac, and when he died, his coffin weighed over 1/2 ton, so a crane had to be used to lower him into his grave. - From my research, he sure was "bigger than life"

          Cheers
          Peter Hyland

          • Linden 2 years ago

            Hi Peter, Did you intend to publish your email address? If so you may want to put it into the text of a message, as the email address fields don't get published. Cheers, Linden

            • Peter Hyland 4 months ago

              Hi Linden,

              Happy to give you all I know about Louis Phillips - my G Grndfather
              Cheers
              P

            • PETER HYLAND 4 months ago

              For Linden, Gerard and Sandra,

              Happy to share my email = phy40183 {at} bigpond {dot} com {dot} au

              cheers
              P Hy

              • Linden 4 months ago

                Thanks Peter.
                Actually you don't even need the {at} and {dot}s any more - any email addresses are converted into un-recognisable code and converted back for viewing, which means that bots etc can't see them when they scan the pages; doesn't stop the slave labour, paid to trawl websites and record any email addresses and phone numbers but it stops automated crawlers.
                I'm not researching the Phillips family at the moment but it's great to know you're there! Hopefully Gerard and Sandra are following the thread.
                Cheers, Linden

      • Sandra o’gorman 6 months ago

        Hi there my great grandmother was Agnes Isabella Lawson
        She was married to DanWilson before she married Phillips has any one any information or know about it I would like to know

        • Peter Hyland 4 months ago

          Hi Sandra,

          Happy to give you all I know about Agnes Isabella LAWSON / WILSON
          Cheers
          P

    • Susanne 2 years ago

      Hi Gerald.....am researching Phillips family from Barcaldine....getting stuck at Frank Barney Phillips who married Florence Kate Summers. You state above that George and Eliza emigrated on the Parsee with 7 children including Frank.....however on checking shipping records of the Parsee in 1857 there is no record of Frank....can you provide any information to confirm that Frank was one of their children? Many thanks

  • George Allan Roots 6 years ago

    Approx 1908-9 my grandfather Daniel Roots started with the Aramac Tramways with him 1909-10 he brought my father James William Roots & his brothers David & George, Dan was not living with his wife,A tent was his home mostly for his 40years working as a overseer (I have photo's) most of those years on the Aramac Tramway building & permanent overseer after the completion in 1913 until 1934, he received a silver medal honouring his dedication in 1921, my father James William. Ariving after the other 2 siblings worked as a carpenter he helped build houses, the former 2 story hotel, the St George Church of England & the new post office in 1914 he claimed to have inscribed his name in the roof rafters, he met my mother in Aramac she was working as a cook at the Hotel in 1915 he married her in 1916 in Rockhampton. David has his name on the 1914-18 centetaf war memorial in Aramac, George met my mother's sister & married her, the family have quite a few photo's of that era. They all spoke highly of the Town of Aramac & the people, all were very strong Unionist & Orangemen.On my Aramac 2000 visit found the local Sergant Roots of police was related.

    • paula 3 years ago

      Hello
      I was interested when reading your family history and would love to know more about your family regarding the Tramway as I am the vice president of the Aramac Tramway and Historical Assn and we would love to know more about the people who worked for the Tramway all those years ago. You also mentioned the Post Office. If you had any old photos of the post office we would also love to see them as the current owners are also interested in the history.
      I did mention to them about the inscription in the rafters but they had not seen it. I am sure they will have a look now :)
      Look forward to hearing from you.
      Paula Coulton
      Aramac Tramway

      • Gary Dickson 3 years ago

        Hi Paula, my name is Gary Dickson.I was born in Barcaldine in 1948 and in 1953/4 moved to Aramac when my father Maurice Donald (Digger) Dickson took the position of guard on the Aramac Tramway. He worked there till about 1962/3. We lived in the house opposite the bottom gate to the memorial park. I remember when the old steam train was there. Going down to the railway yards very early in the morning with dad for a trip to Barcaldine. Jonesy and his fireman were firing up the engine and i remember having bacon and eggs cooked on a shovel in the boiler fire. One of the firemen was a young bloke named Bobby Jacobsen. I think he came from Rockhampton. (if my memory is good). He was a boxer and Digger took the opportunity to have me taught to box. I remember when the RR MAC arrived. There was a school competition to name the new loco and I think it was Beverley Hallam who won the competition. Of course everyone called it Paw Paw. Did you know they had a motorised pumper that was used by the maintenance crews and used for the mail run mostly in the wet weather. On one occasion Digger was was coming back with the clinic sister from Barcaldine an the pumper derailed. It finished up on its side with Digger lying almost under it with a stick in his leg. I believe the clinic sister was thrown clear and not badly hurt. I remember when the drovers used to come with mobs of sheep and cattle that were loaded down at the stock yards. Sometimes 2 loads (trips to Barcaldine) were required to shift them. My grandparents and uncle owned the old Dickson & Ferguson store opposite the picture show. My uncle Jack Mitchell was the local Shell petrol agent. I dont know how much history you have or what additional information you may be looking for. I found your site purely by accident. The last time I was in Aramac was back in 2006 for a half day visit. If you have any specific questions I can possibly help you with please let me know.

  • Errol O'Farrell 6 years ago

    Hello
    Thank you for the wonderful and date eventful history. My partner's grandfather is the Henry Edward Farrell born 1875 to John Farrell and Sarah McAnanley (both born Tyrone Ireland) in your story. Their correct name was O'Farrell but always known as Farrell . I wondered if there was a record of when sold the Albion Hotel as I believe the family moved to Winton after that. Do you have this date:- 1879 James Thompson Tilbury, Alfred Thompson, George Porter and John Farrell were appointed to be trustees of the Reserve for a Dam at Aramac, proclaimed 9.07.1879. A.E.Kennedy Governor. Regards Ellen Lyne

    • Linden 6 years ago

      Hi Ellen. Wish I could help. Perhaps you could try Aramac Shire Council? It's now part of Barcaldine Regional Council (admin_office [at] barcaldinerc.qld.gov.au). Phone number for the Aramac Admin Office is 07 4652 9999.
      Cheers, Linden

  • Sam Smith 5 years ago

    Hello, My Uncle was Town Mayor of Aramac for many years, His Name was Basil Smith. Please Contact me I have something very interesting that once belonged to your father.

  • Anonymous 5 years ago

    I'm a Glover and I do know that I am related to the Glover and Storch families. Are there any existing in Aramac from either of these families?

  • Sonny Thompson 4 years ago

    My great grandfather Jack Rolfe was on Annievale Station and his wife was Lizzie Rolfe, my grandmother was Annie Rolfe, shd wax taken away as a 9 year okd girl to Deebing Creek mission. Hsve you got any information on those names?

    • Linden 4 years ago

      Sorry Sonny, I don't at this stage. Maybe someone else reading this will be able to help. Cheers, Linden

    • Rosalea Mackay 2 years ago

      Hi Sonny .. My great grand mother Ellen Mitchell worked as housekeeper on Annievale Station in the early 1900's .. possibly until at least 1919. I know little of her life there but I do have a photo of what I believe is Annievale taken during this period. Joe Dickson, who I corresponded with in the late 1980's sent it to me (he was he nephew of William Dickson of Annievale Station) I would be happy to email it to you if it is of interest. In the photo are 2 women (one is Ellen) 6 men and 3 children (1 Aboriginal) Enable JavaScript to view protected content.

      • Christine king 5 months ago

        To Rosalea my grandmother Vera Florence Mitchell was the daughter of Margaret (Maggie) Mitchell and therefore Ellen was my great great grandmother. Love to hear from you.
        Also I have DNA connection to the Dicksons and would love to hear from family related to William Dickson.

        • Rosalea Mackay 4 months ago

          Hi Christine pleae feel free to email me at Enable JavaScript to view protected content.. I am so happy to finally to be able to have some contact with someone in this family...Cheers

  • Heidi Jai Goodwin 4 years ago

    Hi, this has been a great read. My Great, Great, Great Grandfather is C J Kingston. My family doesn't know much about our Kingston Family only from a book that was written by a cousin call Len which we only set eyes on only a few years ago. My Great Grandmother is Alice Clara Kingston whose father C W Kingston moved the family to Emerald where she met my Great Grandfather William Munro. (Munro was one of the first families in Emerald) Would love to know more or if anyone has photos that they can share.

    Thank you

    Heidi Jai

    • Suzanne Gay Lawrence 1 year ago

      I have a couple of pictures of C J Kingston and I married a lawrence whose aunt married Len kingston

  • Rachel Loosemore 4 years ago

    My great-great-grandfather is the James Tolson mentioned on this page. Thank you for sharing this information about Aramac.

  • Linden Pirie 4 years ago

    Im a descendent of the Kingstons. Claude Kingston was my grandfather. This was a fascinating history of Aramac. Im just wondering how two Lindens came out of such a little town?
    Linden.

    • Linden 4 years ago

      Hi Linden, Are you male or female? I was told my parents were in the Blue Mountains, drove through a town called Linden and liked the name.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    I'm trying to find relatives called Carole & Barry Cochrane. I believe they have twin daughters & a son who would be in their 40s. Barry used to work on
    longreach & I think Carole worked at the post office. I believe Carole & Barry retired to Brisbane. i would love to connect with their children/my cousins .Anyone know them?

    • Jenny 4 years ago

      I saw Barry earlier this year at a funeral. Call 0427580967 and I can put you in contact with his cousins

  • Linden 4 years ago

    The following was submitted by Michael Wiseman:

    I am trying to trace my grandfather Percy Melville Wiseman who disappeared from the Scone N.S.W. area in 1918 and is rumoured to have drowned in a dam at Aramac about 1930s or 40s. He probably changed his name as he was wanted for family desertion. Can you shed any light on this situation. Most Grateful if you could. My older sister has told me she can recall my parents talking about Percy being drowned after he fell off his horse because of am epileptic fit. His brother who lived at Dalby was asked to go and identify the body. Whether this helps or confuses I don't know. I would be most appreciative of any help you could give in contacting other sources. My sister believes his death occurred in the late forties.

  • Martin 4 years ago

    I am trying to find information on S Donner can you shed any light on him.

    • linden 4 years ago

      Hi Martin,
      I don't know how much you already know, but from what I can gather from NLA he died 1909 (aneurism). He was a well-known and popular figure in Qld. He was from "good English stock" (a brother was a baronet) and brought considerable capital to Qld, which he lost in pastoral pursuits in the Gulf. He managed 'Carandotta' and then became a commission agent, sharebroker at Cloncurry.
      Hope this helps.
      Cheers, Linden

  • Selwyn R (Bob) Pratt 4 years ago

    G'Day Linden, my Maternal Grandfather Edward (Ted) Lynch was born on 03/07/1886 at Monk's Creek near Alpha, his father Patrick Lynch, from Castleisland, County Kerry, Ireland, worked on the railway line in the late 80's & finally settled in Barcaldine. My Aunty, Annie Elizabeth Lynch married Cecil Lawrence (mechanic) were married in Longreach on 02/02/1926 & lived in Aramac Patrick's brother Michael Lynch married Margaret Moriarty & settled in Ararmac. Jim & Maggie (Lynch) Langdon "Adelong" Muttaburra 1902 -1990 buried in Aramac. Doris Lynch was a telephonist at the Aramac PMG exchange, left 18/01/1935 (Tvlle Daily Bulletin 21/01/1935, page 7). A town of PIONEERS!

    • linden 4 years ago

      Hi Bob,
      Good to hear of another family that has a long association with the area. Aramac certainly was a town of pioneers.
      Cheers, Linden

    • Geoffrey James Lawrence 3 years ago

      Hi Selwyn Your mother was my aunt Jessie who was my mother's sister. She was Annie Lawrence (Lynch). I came across your post while looking for info about my uncle Fred Lawrence's station (Cheryl I think). It may still be in the Lawrence family. Perhaps others may know of my grandfather Fredrick Lawrence (born in Bath Eng. emigrated to Brisbane 1884) who had a long history in Aramac. I kweg your half sister Pamela and may have met you in Winton around 1941. Cheers Geoff L.

      • selwyn robin pratt 3 years ago

        G'Day Cousin Geoffrey, I hope you & your family are well. I have fond & happy memories, when I stayed with you at Brighton. Uncle Cecil did take me to the "flicks", where he worked as the projectionist & to see Norths play footy at the Nundah Oval. I remember you building a TV receiver in aunt Nancy's laundry? I think Judy's Stephen was doing the Lawrence family? I've done the Lynch's tree.
        A couple of months ago, I enjoyed a morning tea with your sister Jenny & two other lost cousins. When I get your email address, I'll send you a photo. I just found out that Brian has gone into an age care home. When I was in the railway, I was Brian's fireman on a few occasions, many years back. I would love to hear from you. Kindest regards, Rob Pratt Enable JavaScript to view protected content.

      • Suzanne Lawrence 2 years ago

        I'm married to James Lawrence whose father is frederick Lawrence who lived at Cherhill Station Aramac. Cherhill Station has been sold and James and I still live in Aramac.

      • Doree Hartley 2 years ago

        My grandfather was Frederick Lawrence of Cherhill Station, he was a brother of Cecil, Bert & Jack. The property was passed on to his sons Frederick & Stan but has since been sold. Stan is still alive, he is 92 and lives just outside Rockhampton with my brother, Frank. My other brother Jim is the only Lawrence still living in the district.
        Doree Hartley Enable JavaScript to view protected content.

  • carmel rowell 4 years ago

    My great grandfathers brother William Alexander was unmarried and employed as a shearer. He passed away at Politic Paddock on 17th August 1912 and the inquest appears to indicate suicide. William was born in 1854 and when his mother died after arriving in Moreton Bay he was admitted to the Diamantina Orphanage in Brisbane. He was discharged to work for a Mrs Ferguson in South Brisbane but the date is unknown. Nothing more is know about him except that Louis Phillips, Licensee of the Aramac Hotel says he knew William for 30 years, so apparently he worked in the district for that time. Any information would be greatly appreciated
    Carmel

  • brenda bennett 3 years ago

    I was born at Barcaldine, my parents Ray and Barbara Talbot owned Barcoorah station north of Aramac 1964-1980. My sister Karon rests in the Aramac cemetery..... I am researching this chapter of our lives, if anyone has any information I would greatly appreciate.
    Brenda

    • linden 3 years ago

      Hi Brenda, the name Talbot certainly rings a bell, though I'm not sure why. I'll do a bit of digging but in the meantime I hope someone else is able to help.
      Cheers, Linden

    • Vere Storch (née Dickson) 2 years ago

      Hello Brenda,
      Your parents Barb and Ray lived on the property next to my home Coorabah, and they used to visit Our place nearly every Sunday or would say them through the week My brother Michael was there with your dad on the day that Karen who walked in your father's footsteps everywhere was accidentally burnt very badly Your father always blames him self for the accident and never ever got over the death of his special little daughter It broke his heart and the spirit and it wasn't long after that he sold up and returned to Broken Hill My family lost contact with him and your mum but we always remembered special days spent together playing tennis and and having lunch most Sundays .
      After I got married in 1969 and moved to Mount Isa I did not see much of your parents again my brother remained on Coorabah. after my parents passed away had a lot to do with him till he left to return to Broken Hill We lost my brother in 2002 at the age of 58 and now there is only my sister who is 75 and myself left in the family Maybe you may remember Donna as you were only little and it is a long time ago My email is Enable JavaScript to view protected content.. Your aunt Maxine came up to live at Barcoorah for some time.

  • Gary 3 years ago

    The old Gray Rock hotel is now a private residence in town

    • linden 3 years ago

      Thanks Gary, good to know. Cheers, Linden

  • David Pope 3 years ago

    I am trying to find any information regarding my fathers family and/or his life in Aramac.
    He was born Blair Athol 1904, family lived in Aramac, dad left his home approx, 1912. He had 7 brothers/sisters. Worked on cattle stations in the area, married at Clermont 1928. The family are unaware of our fathers life between those years.
    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

  • David Pope 3 years ago

    It was remiss of me not to include my fathers name in my previous comment.
    My fathers name was William, son of Frederick and Wilhelmina.
    He left home approx. 1916 when 12 years of age. From "others" comments dad was an excellent horseman in the region working on cattle stations.
    Any provision of knowledge of our fathers activities from the Aramac region would be most greatly appreciated, thank you

    • linden 3 years ago

      Hi David, Did William have a middle name? Who did he marry in Clermont? Cheers, Linden

      • David Pope 3 years ago

        Hi Linden and thank you for your reply.
        Dad didn't have a middle name.
        He married our mother Jane (known as Jean) Hume Somerville 15.09.1928.
        A little more to dads story, is that he and a sister were to be fostered out due to our grandmother leaving our grandfather with 8 children and dad ran away at 12 years of age.
        The surviving children (6 of us) of William and Jane have no knowledge of where or what dad did between 1904 (born) and 1916 (leaving home) and 1916-1928. Being people of that era, they didn't share too much with us.
        I was hoping there may be some archival information somewhere perhaps of employ or news of that time.
        All we are aware of is dad gained a reputation as an excellent horseman and a boxing champion.
        I am planning a road trip next year to visit Aramac and other areas.
        Mum and dad were transferred to WA in approx. 1936 as dad was a gold miner by then.

        thank you again Linden, we hope something comes out of the information provided.

        • linden 3 years ago

          Hi David, thanks for the extra detail; hopefully it'll be read by an Aramac local who'll be able to assist. Have you tried the newspaper archives at NLA (http://trove.nla.gov.au)? They'll certainly give you background information related to the period. Cheers, Linden

          • David Pope 3 years ago

            Thank you for your help Linden, I haven't tried that site but will now.
            cheers

  • Desley 3 years ago

    Hi
    I am trying to track down family , of course, my great grandparents were Jim and Emily Dickson from the Aramac area Indigenous family and I was wondering if anyone knew of this family.

  • Christine 3 years ago

    Hi, I read History of Aramac, QLD page 3. Wondering if anyone has info on how John Dickson (butcher) got reputation of being ""the wildest man to ever set foot in Aramac?" I think he is my ggg-grandfather.

  • Cam SMYTH 3 years ago

    I worked with Paul Dickson at Fairbairn Dam Emerald in the early 1970s. He was a fitter/mechanic with the then Irrigation and Water Supply Commission. He used to drive to Aramac for weekends on a regular basis. Haven't seen him for years

  • Pauline palmer (hopes) 2 years ago

    Hi Linden. Are you Linden (dredge)? My dad worked on the railway as ganger for a few years from around 1961 for a couple of years then on the council. Loved reading this. Dad was Kevin Hopes.

    • linden 2 years ago

      Hi Pauline, glad you enjoyed it! Cheers, Linden

  • Tony mitchell 2 years ago

    My father & his brother Lou & George mitchell had a fransport business in aramac for 30 years sold out in 1959 & brought glentor downs hughenden

    • Jacqueline WALLER 2 years ago

      I was born in Hughenden and my parents Jack and Gwendoline Schulz owned Glentor Downs . They would have sold this property to your father and uncle . Do they still own it . My siblings and I are going on a journey back in 2018 and would love to visit Glentor where 3 of us slings lived.
      Is there an email address or contact.

  • Karen Courtney 2 years ago

    Hi Linden, I've really enjoyed reading about Aramac, the town where my mother was born and her family lived for a while. I'm looking for help from anyone with information on the Lynch family who may have adopted and raised my grandmother as their own. Her name was Agnes Patricia Lynch before she married my grandfather, George Brown and they lived in Aramac. I know nothing of her parents and little of her adopted family. She had a sister Eileen, who married Roy Winters and two other sisters, known only to my mother as Connie and Mary. Thank you

    • Linden 2 years ago

      Hi Karen, Glad you enjoyed it and best of luck in your search.
      Cheers, Linden

  • Adam Hammond 2 years ago

    My grandmother grew up on a sheep station in Aramac, and I was wondering if any of the Currie (Think this is the correct spelling) family still existed there? Her name was 'Vera Maude', and was affectionately known as 'Bebe'.

    When I was very young I stayed out on the property that was towards Barcaldine, and still remember nights out at the Aramac open air cinema. Thank you.

  • Lorraine Wearmouth 2 years ago

    I was brought up in aramac 2 of my brothers married one a niece of the bain family and the other married into the hallam family the family home still stand in gordon street i belive there is a book called roll back the summers about aramac histroy

    • Linden 2 years ago

      Hi Lorraine, "Roll Back the Summers" sounds interesting. They opened the new Matilda museum/centre in Winton last week so they may have it there. Since the old Matilda Centre burnt down I've often wondered whether they were able to replace all the wonderful stuff they had there. Cheers, Linden

  • Marisa Kingston 1 year ago

    Just returned from Aramac as my husbands grandfather was born there. His name was Authur Hubert Kingston. The Council out there was very genourous in giving my husband Kevin a photocopy of the writings of Len Kingston & the history of Aramac & the Kingstons. Awesome trip!!!

    • Linden 1 year ago

      Sounds great Marisa. I haven't been out there for centuries but glad to hear the council's the same - I can only reiterate your comments about their generosity and helpfulness. I might have to do another trip before too long, especially with the new Winton centre up and running. Cheers, Linden

  • Christine King 5 months ago

    Hi I have a DNA match with the Dicksons and my grandmothers family the Mitchells are from Aramac .. my great great grandmother was William Dicksons house keeper. I am trying to trace my connection to the Dicksons and looking for a family tree or any knowledge. Margaret Mitchell (Maggie) was my grandmothers mother. Enable JavaScript to view protected content.

  • Christine King 5 months ago

    Looking for information re the Dickson and Mitchell family for my family tree
    Enable JavaScript to view protected content.
    Thank you Christine king

  • Peter Fraser 4 months ago

    Hello. My Great Grandfather was Hugh James Fraser born in Aramac. My Grandfather was Donald Alexander and he had 2 brothers James Hugh (killed in France 1918) and Eric I don’t have any details Of family older than the Great Grandad but I know they were pioneers in the area from Scotland via Canada. I believe that my family sold up the Aramac properties and moved to Rockhampton probably before WW1. My Dad talks of our family having stations around Lake Dunn but the only name he remembers is “Barcoora”
    I am looking for any info on family names of ancestors and station info as well Even a starting point would be appreciated

    [Also posted in Guestbook]

    • Linden 4 months ago

      Hi Peter, the following link might provide you with a bit of information - there are a couple of articles that mention Fraser and Barcoora:
      https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/result?q=fraser+aramac+barcoora
      Cheers, Linden

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