Home - Chermside & District History

Gympie Road 1909 & 2009

In ca 1902 someone photographed a young girl at Burnie Brae.


This 1902 photo of Margaret Jane (Janey) Hamilton and Silver in front of Burnie Brae. The background of the photo was the data used, in 1972, by Stan Eddows to draw his sketch and map of early Chermside.

The intention of the photographer was probably just to take Janie and the pony while the background was of little consequence; we will never know. In 2009 the background has become of major importance as it is, so far, the only expansive photo of Downfall Creek in the Society Archives. Thanks to the unknown photographer.

Note: There were two Hamilton families, cousins, who settled in Downfall Creek and raised large families. This leads to much confusion when deciding who was related to whom. Even the Hamiltons have to look in the family tree constructed by Beverley Isdale.

In 1972 Stan Eddowes drew this sketch map of the 1902 Village of Chermside


Map of Chermside drawn by Stan Eddows in about 1972 from a photo taken in C 1902. This sketch is not to scale but it is very informative. It was done at a time when there was an older generation that remembered back to the early part of the 20th Century.

Stan Eddowes Key List of Locations


The list prepared by Stan Eddowes for the map above.

Additional Information on Eddowes' List


1. Sammells, William - The Downfall Creek Furniture Bazaar - SE Cr. Hall & Gympie - a general store which later incorporated the Post Office. Today the site is occupied by Kayaks Store.

2. Protestant Alliance Friendly Society Hall - after 1909 the Chermside School of Arts - NE Cr. Hall & Gympie - in 1958 the first purpose built Municipal library opened and closed when the present library opened in 1997 - today it is a paint shop.

3. Felsman

4. Mayer

5. Hamilton Snr - Alex Hamilton called it Matilda (Tillie) Hamilton's house - cousin of Thomas, she never married and used to look after children who were Wards of the State. The house is still there behind the present Lifeline building on 779 Gympie Road. (Hamilton Snr would have been Andrew and he lived at Burnie Brae)

6. T. Hamilton - Thomas & Margaret Jane (MJ) - Possibly on the site of the Newsagents building today

7. Hamilton's Workshops - Blacksmith's Forge and Carriage Workshop + First Post Office - had his Albion Fuel Supply behind 7 & 8. Today it is occupied by the Commonwealth Bank Building and the D & M Accountants building.

8. Hamilton's Paint Shop - for the Carriages

9. Saddlery Shop - Hanson's Shop was also a boot maker and the family home was on Gympie Road on the north side of the shop. The two sites are probably occupied by the Carousel Coffee Shop and the Hooker building.

10. Ballanger- Sparkes Street - There were two Ballangers- Michael bought Murphy's Paddock and established a dairy farm there (No. 28) - in December 1891 he divided it into two parts separated by Murphy Road and gave the northern part (Marchant Park) to his son John. He kept the southern part (7th Brigade Park) for himself. No.10 is probably the family home.

11. Reinke

12. Conradi Butchery - George Conradi son of George Conradi who set up the Polsloe Store on Gympie Road (No.16) This could have been the second store in Downfall Creek after James Patterson's store near Banfield Street.

13. Conradi Jnr - His family home beside the Butcher's Shop

NB: Nos. 14 & 15 raises the possibility that three occupants could have been at No. 14 at various times.

14. Grantham - Ida Grantham's Dressmaking and Drapery Shop - Alex Hamilton's photos of the West side of Gympie Road ca 1909 clearly shows a house on this location which he calls Uncle James & Auntie Charlotte Hamilton's house

15. Miss Hamilton - Margaret Hamilton (Auntie Maggie) daughter of Andrew - Isdale mentions that Margaret had a Haberdashery store on the corner of Sparkes and Gympie

16. Conradi Store - George Conradi had the Polsloe Store which may have been named after his birthplace, not sure of this. A photo shows the store with a distinctive curved gable. After World War I Joe Fisher's store occupied the site.

NB: The three above sites 14, 15 & 16 are all occupied by the long building of Chermside Gardens.

17. Westphall

18. Murr Blacksmith - Carl (Charlie) Murr Jr was a blacksmith and became possibly the first Service Station or Garage in Chermside by the 1920s - Later was owned by Timmins.
19. Murr Jr - The family home behind the blacksmith shop

NB: The sites 18 & 19 are occupied by the large two storied building 800 Gympie Road.

20. Murr Snr - Shoe Shop - Carl Murr Snr was a boot maker. Site now occupied by a small office building.

21. Hacker - Could have been William Hacker who later (1910-1964) had a store on the Hastie property (No. 24) on the NW Corner of Bouchard Street, where Beaurepairs are presently sited.

22. Herman

23. Hack

24. Hastie - We have a photo of the Hastie family and their house on the site. This was where William Hacker built his general store.

25. Adsett Cottage - Probably the original slab cottage or hut on Aaron Adsett's property where the first Methodist Sunday school was held in 1873. Wheller Gardens occupies the site today.

26. Patterson Store - By 1902 Patterson had sold to George Early but the store was still there. Today it is the site of the Green Motel.

27. Church - The first Church to be built in Downfall Creek was a Methodist church in 1877 beside John Patterson's store on land donated by him. In 1921 it was dragged on sledges down to the corner of Hamilton & Gympie Roads. Bob Jane's Tyre plant occupies the site today.

28. Ballanger- Michael Ballanger had a dairy farm on this site which was the lower part of Murphy's Paddock but by that time it was probably called Ballinger's Paddock. This section is occupied by the Australian Tax Office and the Commonwealth Building today

29. Shire Office - This was the original location of the Kedron Shire Office and in 1921 it was moved north up the hill and over Gympie Road into Marchant's Paddock (Park) and August Vellnagel's Blacksmith Forge and house were moved on to the site. Vellnagels shifted in 2004 and the present owners moved in April 2006.

30. Vellnagel B'smith - The original location of August Vellnagel's forge today is part of Marchant Park although Alf Vellnagel, died 2008 aged 94, still called it Vellnagel land.

In 1909 someone photographed the West Side of Gympie Road.


Photo ca 1909 of the west side of Gympie Road from a little south of Sparkes Street northward to Early's hill near Banfield Street. Early's store and the Methodist Church were located behind the large tree beside the rising bend in the northern section of Gympie Road.
  • At some unknown date Alex Hamilton wrote the identities of the buildings on the back of the three original photos.
  • In 1972 Stan Eddowes added his data.
  • In 2009 the Society adds its data.
  • Gympie Road was a surveyed road and it may have been deliberately made wide enough for a bullock wagon to do a U turn.
  • The thoroughfare was the unsealed track along the left side of the road while the rest was covered in grass.
  • George Conradi Junior's Butcher Shop and house were on the southern corner of Sparkes Street. The shop and house were later renovated by the butchers J & G Lemke. Today Supercheap an auto spares shop is on the site.
  • James & Charlotte Hamilton's house was on the northern corner of Sparkes Street. James, a nephew of Andrew, was a builder. Eddows lists Ida Grantham's Drapery store on the site which must have predated the Hamilton house. Also Margaret Hamilton (1857-1957) had a haberdashery store on the same site.
  • The long Chermside Gardens Building occupies this, and the next two, sites.
  • The next house is listed by Eddows as belonging to Miss Margaret Hamilton, grand daughter of Andrew.
  • Bulling's Shop - With the high curved gable was probably the original George Conradi Senior's Polslow Store. Eddows lists it as Conradi's.
  • On the southern corner of Latham Street Eddows lists Westphall about whom nothing known. Now a small office block occupies the site .
  • Murr's Blacksmith Shop was on the northern corner of Latham Street which became Timmin's Garage and is now 800 Gympie Road comprising shops and offices.
  • On the southern corner of Hamilton Road Eddows lists Murr Senior's Shoe Shop which is now an Income Tax Professional's Office over a shop.

The West Side of Gympie Road Matching Stan Eddowes' Map.


Norman Drive did not exist in 1902 and the only building in this area was Conradi's Butcher Shop and house where Supercheap now stands on the corner of Sparkes Street.

Chermside Gadens


Chermside Gardens stretches across most of the area between Sparkes and Latham Streets. There is a small two floor office building on the corner of Latham Street.

800 Gympie Road


The large dark 800 Gympie Road building takes up about half the block to Hamilton Road. There are four shops and offices beyond. Most of this block was an open paddock in 1902.

In 1909 Someone Photographed the East Side of Gympie Road.


Photo ca1909 showing the East side of Gympie Road from near Hamilton Road to Hall Street. This photo is made up of two small photos which were taken from the same place. They were then 'sewn' together and enhanced. The photo is looking from north to south.

  • B & W photo of the East Side of Gympie Road 1909 showing Left to Right:
  • Probably no buildings from Herrmann (later Hamilton) Road to the following house
  • Hanson's House
  • Hanson's Boot shop or Saddler Shop
  • Eddie Hamilton, son of Thomas, served in WWI standing on the side of the road
  • Thomas Andrew Hamilton's Blacksmith and Wheelwright Shop - his father Andrew started it in about 1870.
  • Thomas Andrew & Margaret Jane (MJ) Hamilton's House
  • Auntie Tillie's House - Matilda Hamilton was Margaret Jane's sister and cousin to Thomas. She did not marry but worked as a nannie and also used to look after state wards. The house is still standing behind the Lifeline store.
  • The Hall - Originally the Protestant Alliance Friendly Society and, after 1909, the Chermside School of Arts on the north corner of Hall Street.
  • William Sammell's Downfall Creek Furniture Bazaar on the south corner of Hall Street. It was a general store and included the Chermside Post Office.

East Side of Gympie Road 2009 from Hamilton Road to Hall Street.


This photo excluded the corner of Hamilton and Gympie Roads as it was too difficult to include the Focus building. I will exchange it when I find a way to include Focus. This is the high end with a sudden drop to the Bank Building.

The Bank Building to the Newsagent Building


This section goes from the Bank Building to the Newsagent Building. We are now in the intermediat to low set section.

Newsagent Building to the Sewing Building


Starting with the Newsagent we see almost to Hall Street

From Hall Street Looking Back to the Hamilton Street


Hall Street looking back to the north and seeing the whole sweep of the east side.

Hall Street to Argo's Bicycle Shop.


The Kayak management has just moved into the corner building. The Dry Cleaners/Barber Shop is probably the oldest continuously operating shop in Chermside.

Gympie Road in 1914-1918 - Marching into Hell


One of the saddest sights that Gympie Road ever staged. Young men, the cream of the crop, marching off to war instead of working at home, raising a family and enjoying life.

The Great War, the war to end all wars lasted from 1914 to 1918 and the peace treaties were signed in 1919.

The population of Kedron Shire which had its headquarters in Chermside was about 2,500 persons. Out of that small number 284 young men enlisted in the Australian armed forces and went overseas to war. Of those young men about one fifth, 53, did not return and about another 80 were wounded, all of them were traumatised.

There would not have been a family in the Shire which did not have a son killed or wounded or knew someone in those categories.

Lest we forget.