The Pfingst Story
Hermann Pfingst arrived in Brisbane on 5th September 1863 on the sailing ship Beausite after a voyage of approximately six months from Hamburg. There were other passengers of note on that same trip who settled on the north outskirts of Brisbane and many of their descendants live in the area today - some living on or near the original family farms. CDHS member, Norman Pfingst, is one of these people being the great grandson of Hermann Pfingst.
One of Hermann's first jobs was to work for Captain Sinclair who was the Harbour Master at the time. This was followed by a fencing job for Adam Fritsch who had arrived from Germany on the ship Wilhelm Kirchner in 1858. His property of 21 acres was at Hendra near Nudgee Road.
Hermann Pfingst had come to Australia as an emigrant under the Lands Order System which provided for a free grant of land on arrival and a further grant of 50 acres after two years residency. Naturally there would have been conditions and provisos.
Hermann Pfingst's first property of 41 acres between Edinburgh Castle Road and Rode Road which was later disposed of as unsuitable for his needs. He then took up 30 acres bordering which is now known as Pfingst Road on its western side, Hamilton Road on the north and Higherest Avenue on the south.
According to Norman Pfingst, who presently lives in Pfingst Road, this would explain the first 14 acres being followed by the three 10 acre blocks which would have been acquired during the Crown Land Sales at the time.
Some of Hermann's neighbouring farmers included Heinrich Bilsen who had come from the same area in Germany. This was Charhessen, one of the four divisions of the old Duchy of Hessen. Bilsen and Pfingst Roads commemorate these early day pioneers.
Hermann married Margaretta Peter in 1865. Their four children were named Margaretta, Peter, Elizabeth and Anna Dorothea. After his first wife's death, Hermann re-married a widow by the name of Eva Christina Banz.
From the accounts Hermann was an extremely hard working man and spent his life working his farm with his son Peter and eventually residing with him and his family, who lived on the remaining 20 acre family block which had been passed on to Peter in return for his years of work on the farm.
Hermann Pfingst died in 1927 and was buried at the Nundah Cemetery in a family grave along with other members of the family. From all accounts he was a well liked man being a regular church goes in his early days at the Nundah Lutheran Church. One of Hermann's closest friends was August Vellnagel who established the blacksmith shop at Downfall Creek at Chermside over 100 years ago.
Norman Pfingst was interviewed by Marion Eaton 2002.
Growing up With Pfingst Road-Norm Pfingst
Often when checking my letter box and looking up and down the road, my mind goes back to earlier days when all looked very much different indeed. ' '
My first recollection of the road or the track leading on to the road would have been in 1930 when I was five.years old and my father used to take me for a walk to the family farm which was on both sides orihe road not far from the Hamilton Road end.
We were then living at Kedron not far from Kedron Brook where he had gone to live aftef his marriage and beginning work at a Maggs Tannery.
I often made the walk with him until 1936 when we moved into a new house built on the properfy. At that time it was only the second house
facing the road with grandfather Peter's the first.
The track to the road began at the end of Fifth Avenue, Kedron and went in a straight line to the junction of Edinburgh Castle and pfingst Roads
which were the standard gravel type of that time.
The track had been well used by horse drawn vehicles as deep wheel ruts could be clearly seen. As you walked along there were the houses on the
ends of the Kedron Avenue on the left and open space on the right which dropped away to a flat area with Kedron Brook and houses in Kalinga in
sight. A football club is now in that area.
Further along, about in line with the end of 8th Avenue and on a rise above a bend in the brook was a low set home with a brick chimney. This was the home of the Shaw Family - early settlers in the area. It overlooked a large open area towards Nundah - now called Mercer park - and a football club facing Shaw Road.
Getting toward Edinburgh castle Road, the area became more bushy and there was a small creek to be crossed. There was a small wooden bridge
that had collapsed and the water ran over it instead of under.
Coming up onto "Castle" Road the tack was badly eroded and washed away and on both sides the bush was littered with all sorts of rubbish including old rusted tanks and tin baths and ail sorts of general refuse.
At that particular spot there were no houses in sight which no doubt would have eased the conscience of the dumpers. The dump site now has Wavell Heights Bowls Club on one side and a park on the other.
Going up the hill on Pfingst Road there was mostly clear grassed ground on the left and low bush on the right. At the top of the hill there as one high set house nearby on the left and several a good way away. All the way down the hill and up again towards Rode Road it was all much the same - open and grassy on the left and bushy on the right with the road in rough condition.
Crossing Rode Road and looking left there were a few house's further along and a very steep hill on the right. This was called "Devils Pinch" a name given it in the old wagon days and at the bottom was a horse trough and an outlet for water carriers often used by farmers in dry times.
After crossing Rode Road the road got fairly steep with several scattered houses on the right and more open ground on the left. The old furrows from pineapple growing were still visible. At the top of the hill a bushy area began on the left. This area is now owned by St. Paschal's Church and Primary School. Bananas had once been grown there by a Swiss
On the right hand side of Hillcrest Avenue there were about three houses, one owned by Fred Pfingst who farmed on his family's first ploughed area of
At the corner a cutting had been dug earlier to cut down the steepness of the hill.
Coming over the hill and looking towards Hamilton Road and Sparkes' paddock was very much different to what was behind.
On the left was fairly thick bush with the farmed area on the right and looking down the hill and onwards it seemed more park like with lots of
tall trees. The sound of birds was almost constant and from the top of the hill there was not a house in sight. I always thought it looked pretty good, especially after Kedron with all the houses and the week-end green mowed grass smoke around there which I hated.
When looking from the top of the hill towards town, the tallest building to see was the top (Clock Tower?) of the City Hall.
On the way down the hill there was a track through the bush tn the left that at one time joined up with another that led past Hamiltons' "Burnie
Brae" at Chermside.
The road then passed through a 10 acre block owned by my father and a 20 acre area farmed by his father Peter. The Wavell Heights State School
is now on part of that farm. Further on getting to Hamilton Road, the l0 acre dairy farm owned by George Thomas was on the left and the 10 acre
block of the Hannah family on the right - bothhouses facing that road..
This end of Pfingst Road was a very quiet area with very little traffic. At times it could be one or two days before any sort of vehicle passed by and this in the late 1930's. Being on the fringe of Nundah and Chermside would have made it an out of the way area for most.
When my father brought us out to the new house closer to the family and the farm area I thought it was a wonderful place with all the trees, birds
and animals and all that space to explore.
With the dairy over the road, learning to milk, herd cows and go out on the milk run often filled in many a weekend.
The herd was generally taken out to graze on all the open ground towards Kedron and at times I was trusted to take them out and bring all home. Up until development about 1950, the cows had walked the road almost daily for many years.
Along with plentiful bifd life both sides of the road, there were always
frill lizards and goannas about among the trees or crossing over. At one time there were also some foxes in the bush at the back that used to raid
our fowl house.
Coming up the road at night alone on the way home from the Dawn Theatre at chermside could often be a little spooky especially on a moonless night. No lights of any kind to be seen and suddenly the
curlews would start up their mournful cry in the bush at the back and passing a clump of trees a mopoke owl would call or a cow would cough.
It did tend to be a bit scary, more so after seeing a horror movie.
During the war years 1939-45 nothing changed very much in the road area and it wasn't till the State Housing and the developers started buying up the surrounding properties about 1949 and bought in the bulldozers - change happened very quickly.
Bushy areas were soon flattened, trees cut down with logs carted away. In a very short time roads were pegged out and houser were built everywhere. By then the country atmosphere nearby had gone being replaced by a suburban one. The road was remade with cement gutters and a bitumen centre.
It took a long time to get used to the change with all the greenery gone, replaced by all these houses with all their "dunnies" (outside toiieis) all in perfect rows like sentry boxes at the back, along with their clothes lines and barely a tree in sight. The old days had gone.
Many years have now gone by and the trees and shrubs the new home owners had planted have now grown and the area all around is half hidden by their growth making it just as good, if not better than it was originally.
What was once occupied by only a few houses, now has no room for more.
In time new type homes will replace the older, so for all of us change will happen as it has done here.
The old little used country styre road is now a well made one used by many to reach their destination, but as I go to my letter box and look up and down I'll remember it as it was and be glad of that special time.