Ewen Maddock Dam (Susan)

Landsborough

Landsborough is a small town located north of the Glasshouse Mountains and 5 minutes from the Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo. You will find quaint shops and a museum housing the social and cultural history of the area.

There’s a local pub which is a bit of a tourist attraction.

History

Landsborough was originally known as Mellum Creek. The primary industry in the district was timber, which was cut and taken to James Campbell’s sawmill located on Coochin Creek. Selections were open to settlers from 1871 and Isaac Burgess is credited as the first settler in the district. He built his residence on the road to the Gympie goldfield (built in 1868) and it became a staging station for Cobb & Co. Burgess later built a hotel, taking advantage of the traffic between Gympie and Brisbane.

Agriculture became more prominent in the district as land was cleared of trees. Farms were planted with sugar cane, pineapples and bananas, and dairy farms also proliferated. Timber remained important, with the town’s first sawmill opened in 1893. The first settlement was essentially developed by Burgess along the Gympie Road on the south side of Mellum Creek. This site consisted of a two storey hotel (built in 1877) and a store, butcher shop and cottage. The hotel became the coach stop and also functioned as a post office. The first government subdivision of land also occurred on the south side of the creek, in 1881 – at which time the site was referred to as Landsborough (contrary to secondary sources). The second site was located on the north side of Mellum Creek. Campbell built a hotel (the Sportsman’s Arms. 1882), a store, butcher shop and racecourse and sports ground (possibly the current Peace Memorial Park) in the early 1880s. He also erected a public hall, now the site of ‘The Palms’, the former residence of the early shop owner, James Tytherleigh. The second Government land sale occurred on the north bank of the creek in 1884. By the late 1880s the settlement was established on this side of Mellum Creek, with the local police station erected in 1889 directly across from the hotel – presumably the Sportman’s and renamed the Mellum Creek (later Club) Hotel c1886.

The North Coast Railway, extending north from Caboolture, was opened in the district in 1890. The railway was located to the east of the original town site on the Gympie Road. The town site eventually shifted to its current location, but this process took some time to occur as the land was privately owned and it was not purchased by the Government until 1910. Cribb Street was built in 1914 and, symbolic of the change was the relocation of the Mellum Club Hotel to its current location, also in 1914. The earlier town site and significance of the Gympie Road continues to be marked by the first police station (now a private residence), which is still in its original location.

In 1912, the former Landsborough Shire Council was formed by the subdivision of the Caboolture Shire. The new local government authority included the towns of Landsborough, Maleny, Beerburrum, and Caloundra. The new Council met in ‘Dyer's hall’ (located at this time behind the Mellum Club Hotel, later moved to a site adjacent to the hotel in Cribb Street) until the following year when a shire office and residence was built. After World War I, the Council invested in new public infrastructure, including a memorial park in 1922, and a School of Arts and new Shire Council Chambers in 1924. The Shire’s population quadrupled between 1921 and 1976, mostly in Caloundra. As a result, the Council transferred its municipal offices to Caloundra in the 1960s and the Shire was renamed Caloundra City in 1987.

History source - 'Thematic History of the Sunshine Coast', Sunshine Coast Heritage Study, Sunshine Coast Council, August 2019