Category 'Art'

Sweeney Reserve is a delightful park rich in cultural heritage tucked away behind Gympie and Dayboro Roads. Unless you’re a local you may not even know it was there. It’s an expansive reserve containing large shady trees and walking tracks that hug the North Pine River. This, along with the sizeable off leash dog-park, makes it a popular spot for dogs and their humans. But there’s something for all the family with electric BBQs and picnic tables, playgrounds, gym equipment, a basketball court, skate park, recreational lakes and plenty of river access for canoeing and fishing. The Petrie parkrun takes place here every Saturday from 7am with a 5km return course. The reserve also contains a koala habitat area maintained by Bushcare. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="4576,4577,4574,4578"]   The parkland was first protected from habitation around 1862 when it was preserved for Government purposes and today its calm, sleepy atmosphere gives little indication of all that has taken place here to qualify it as a protected space in the Queensland Heritage Register. The North Pine River which weaves through the park was ‘discovered’ by Lieutenant John Oxley in 1823 while assessing the area as a potential site for a convict settlement. He rowed up the river guided by the well-known convict castaways Thomas Pamphlett and John Finnegan who he’d rescued from Bribie Island the day before. Oxley reported that the area surrounding the river was occupied by a large number of Aboriginal people. These Aboriginal people were from the North Pine Clan of the Turrbal people who used the area as a fishing hole. Around the 1840s an elder and rainmaker of the Turrbal clan, Dalaipi, was the custodian of several significant Indigenous sites including the Petrie Bora Ring, which was roughly located near Petrie’s roundabout, the ‘Mandin’ fishing hole witnessed by Oxley, and a rain-making site where the end of the rainbow is said to go down into the North Pine River indicating the presence of a precious stone. It was Dalaipi who, knowing Thomas Petrie as a friend to Aboriginal people, suggested the renowned pioneer choose land in the North Pine area to establish a cattle run, knowing that Petrie would ensure the protection of the sacred Indigenous sites. Petrie established a ford which became an important route for prospectors after the discovery of gold in Gympie and later as a route for Cobb and Co who used Thomas Petrie’s Murrumba Homestead as a coach stop. It was shortly after that the land now known as Sweeney Reserve was obtained by the government for the purposes of being a road and water reserve. The North Pine River played a crucial role in the area’s timber history as a means to transport logs to market as well as providing valuable softwoods. [caption id="attachment_4583" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Bullock teams carting pine logs to the rafting ground on the North Pine River, ca. 1890, photographed by Henry Gold. Image courtesy of Moreton Bay Regional Council, Image ID LHP710.[/caption]   In 1875 Edgar Foreman built a small school on the site of Sweeney Reserve because the main school was across the river making it difficult to reach at high tide. The teacher travelled between the school buildings by horse or boat. In 1877 a bridge was constructed over the river (next to the ford) forming part of the main road from Brisbane to Gympie. The support posts for this bridge are still visible in the North Pine River at low tide. This allowed the two schools to amalgamate and the second school building was then used as a meeting place and later a courthouse. When the railway opened in 1888 Sweeney Reserve, being an easy walk from the station, became a popular picnic spot, known for good fishing, rowing and swimming. It was also used as a rest spot for travelling stock. By the 1920s it was so regularly frequented that over 1000 people were counted attending the area each Sunday during the Christmas holidays. It was used for annual company picnics, school break-ups and swimming lessons and races. Occasionally a band played on Sundays. By 1924 the Government gazetted the land as a recreational reserve controlled by the Pine Shire Council. [caption id="attachment_4584" align="aligncenter" width="513"] North Pine River Reserve, 1923. Image courtesy of Moreton Bay Regional Council, Image ID P0775.[/caption] In 1926 Patrick Sweeney, after whom the area became known, took over operations of the local kiosk, selling refreshments and hiring out boats. The Sweeney family added bathing sheds, toilets, a slippery slide and tyre and rope swings. They lived on the site in a house made from wooden car crates and were known to keep kangaroos and emus as pets. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="4579,4581"]   In 1927 Sweeney’s house was flooded and the kiosk swept away so both were moved to higher ground. Due to the ongoing cost of repairing the amenities destroyed by flood, Pine Rivers Council relinquished control and Sweeney was appointed caretaker of the reserve. The area was declared a sanctuary for the protection of birds and animals in 1929. With an increase of vehicle usage and improved roads, the destination declined in popularity by the 1950s with people preferring to visit the coast. The kiosk closed in 1960 when Sweeney was in his seventies but the Sweeney family continued to live in their house by the river until 1994 when the last family resident passed away and the house was demolished. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="4571,4573"]   If you’d like to know more about the area’s history it’s included as part of the North Pine River Heritage Trail available here.

Inspiration for my Sweeney Reserve image - from the 'Land and I' series

I love the idea that Sweeney Reserve was once an incredibly popular picnic spot and is now a sleepy parkland. Tourism is a fickle beast which often sees us overlooking our own backyards for exotic destinations further afield. In this image I chose to use picnic baskets as a reminder of the park’s popularity for weekenders but I decided not to include any people to give an abandoned feel. The edges fade to black and white to portray the changing of times. I included a rainbow as a reference to Dalaipi’s rain making spot and both an emu and kangaroo lurking on the sidelines as an ode to Sweeney’s pets. sweeney reserve, sweeney's reserve, emu, dalaipi, kangaroo, picnic, rainbow, park, abandoned, history, travel, the land and i, fine art Learn how I created the feature image here.

I invite you to share your stories, images and experiences of Sweeney Reserve in the comments below so we can create a living history of this natural haven for future generations.

  Further reading: Tom Petrie's reminiscences of early Queensland by Constance Campbell Petrie Aboriginal pathways in Southeast Queensland and the Richmond River by J.G. Steele – this text includes a map of the precise spot of Dalaipi’s rain making site Visit: Pine Rivers Heritage Museum North Pine Heritage Trail: https://www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/uploadedFiles/moretonbay/discover/arts-culture/cultural-heart/North-PineHeritage-Trail.pdf http://www.northpinehistorical.com.au/projects/north-pine-heritage-trail/  

This project is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) which is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Cedar Creek is a haven of babbling brooks, towering trees and granite sentinels at the foot of the D’Aguilar Range near Samford, Queensland (not to be confused with Cedar Creek at Tamborine Mountain). With so much natural beauty on offer it’s hard to believe how closely it nudges suburbia being merely 40 minutes north-west of Brisbane's city centre. Speaking with born and bred Moreton Bay residents I was surprised to learn that everyone had a story from their youth of spending time at Cedar Creek; swimming at the waterfall, jumping off the cliffs, or swinging on the ropes. [gallery columns="2" size="large" link="none" ids="4544,4549"]   It’s believed land in the area was first inhabited at the start of the 1800s, became a cattle station in the mid-1850s, and was subdivided into saleable properties during the 1870s when a 200 acre block cost 200 pounds. Aborigines are known to have lived beside Cedar Creek in the early 1900s, but there is no documentation of its Indigenous history prior. Despite the name 'Cedar Creek', there’s not a single Cedar tree to be found. Throughout the early 1900s Cedar Creek was recognised for its excellent timber, particularly pine and red cedar, and logging became a significant industry that eventually died out due to oversupply. Cedar has now completely disappeared but a number of Brisbane’s churches were built using timber from the area so it’s nice to think they still live on in a place of worship. Also notable is that Macarthur Chambers in Brisbane City was built with pink granite mined from Cedar Creek. [gallery size="large" link="none" columns="2" ids="4556,4546"]   During the 1920s dairying and pig farming became popular and the fertility of the region saw all manner of crops being farmed with pineapples and bananas being particularly successful, although Bunchy Top disease killed off the banana industry ten years later. The area has become no less fertile over time with rich soil and plentiful water allowing market gardens to prosper. Farmer’s markets were held locally every Sunday from 1980 but were moved to North Pine Country Park (now Petrie Town) in 1987 due to swelling visitor numbers; a market still popular today. In the 1920s a school was built and named ‘Closeburn’ (‘burn’ being Scottish for ‘creek’) because a number of other schools in the state were already named Cedar Creek. In those days locals collected their mail from the train station and after complaints of their mail going astray, the train station and subsequently the area, were renamed Closeburn to avoid confusion. Residents wishing to travel by train to the city would leave their horses in a small paddock next to the local shop and if running late the shop-keep was kind enough to unsaddle their horse for the day. Much of my research on the area came from the series of books ‘Samford Reminiscences’, stories collated from local families by the Samford District Historical Society. A few of these stories really took my fancy and were used as inspiration for my Cedar Creek artwork:

  • In the early 1900s local families would wash their clothes in the creek. Laundries were set up along the banks and kerosene tins were used to boil the clothes which were hung on lines further up the bank.
cedar creek, samford, moreton bay
  • In 1925 Cedar Creek/Closeburn Hall was built with timber donated by local residents. Every Saturday night bands performed and popular dances and ‘card parties’ were held with supper provided. Interestingly the area didn’t receive power until the mid-1950s after World War II. Another popular form of entertainment, particularly for the region's children was gathering wood to build a huge bonfire for Guy Fawkes night on November 5, held in Upper Cedar Creek.
 
  • In June 1913 11 year old Ivy Mitchell of Cedar Creek Road was murdered on her walk home from visiting a friend. Her body was found beside the bag of lollies and flowers she was carrying. Her murderer was the last man to be executed in Queensland in 1913. Other sad stories include the death of 13 year old Hattie Hunter in 1999 who jumped into flood waters to save her dog Belle. There is a plaque in the area erected in her honour. A young boy was also accidentally shot in the back by his best friend while hunting parrots in the creek bed (once a popular hobby because of their threat to local crops.)
[gallery size="large" columns="2" link="none" ids="4552,4553"]   As for the creek itself, swimming parties and picnics were always a beloved pastime and Albert Eaton (of Eaton’s Crossing) made a portion of his land available to the public for a picnic ground. Visitors used to enjoy a ‘clear stream, busy with shoals of mullet, wild duck and water hens’ and the fresh water was ‘better than tank water to drink’. Children chased eels and catfish. The waterfalls are located on the Upper Cedar Creek property once owned by Andy Williams and family. (These days the only recreational area devoted to the creek is ‘Andy Williams Park’ about half way up Cedar Creek Road.) The family had a kiosk to cater to tourists and a donation box to gain admission to the waterfalls. [gallery columns="1" size="large" link="none" ids="4545"] cedar creek, samford, moreton bay Written information about the area is sparse during the late 20th century but I’m sure every local has a story to tell. In the early 2000s locals began to complain loudly about “people pollution” causing degradation from overuse, litter and lack of toilet facilities. Exotic weeds also began to pollute the water. Reports of vandalism, theft, trespassing and pollution were on the rise and a police crackdown occurred although there was only one arrest for cannabis and none for drink driving but it did successfully reduce ‘anti-social behaviour’ for a time. cedar creek, samford, moreton bay   cedar creek, samford, moreton bay The roadway to the Cedar Creek waterfalls is now private property so you’ll need to park nearby and rock-hop along the creek bed approximately 20 minutes to reach them. cedar creek, samford, moreton bay The area is a charming place to visit. Along Cedar Creek Road you might see a cockatoo or kookaburra, goat or llama with platypus sightings in the creek a possibility. Keep your eyes peeled and you may even spot a gargoyle topped stone bridge! There are plenty of places to paddle in and Andy Williams Park is a prime spot for a picnic. If you're looking to buy your own private haven close to town, property sizes are large enough to provide a rural atmosphere but small enough to prevent isolation with shops a mere ten minutes away.

cedar creek, samford, moreton bay

 

Inspiration for my Cedar Creek image - from 'The Land and I' series

The focus for this image was how visiting Cedar Creek makes you feel. I dressed the model in formal dress to signify the popularity of community dances held in the Cedar Creek Hall. The dress is covered in flowers to portray the feeling of being revitalised and rejuvenated by spending time here. The woman’s dress blends with the waterfall to symbolise a connection or 'oneness' with the land as well as the flow on effect of visitors taking away feelings of nourishment to share within their own communities. I was also drawing on the stories of women washing their clothes in the creek by combining the water and fabric. The woman holds flowers as a tribute to Ivy Mitchell. I chose her reverent pose to portray how spending time in this beautiful, cavernous space is almost akin to worship, and to remember the original cedars that now live on in the form of churches. The flower texture over the rocks indicates the fertility of the region, both physically and spiritually. cedar creek, samford, moreton bay, flowers, land and i, fine art, travel, history I particularly like this quote about the region found in a newspaper article from 1929:
“If rosy-cheeked children are an indication of a healthy district then Cedar Creek, in addition to being unusually picturesque, must possess a very congenial climate.”
Learn how I created the feature image here. [gallery size="large" link="none" columns="2" ids="4550,4551"]  

I invite you to share your own stories, photos and experiences of Cedar Creek in the comments below so we can create a living history of this moving place for future generations.

  Further reading: Samford Reminiscences Volumes 1-6, edited by the Samford District Historical Museum Society Visit: Samford District Historical Museum   This project is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) which is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

 

I invite you to share your stories, images and experiences of Bribie Island in the comments below so we can create a living history of this beautiful place for future generations.

  For more information please see the related blog post at Visit Moreton Bay Region Or to learn more about this project visit The Land and I project

This project is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) which is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

 

I invite you to share your stories, photos and experiences of North Pine Dam and the Samsonvale community in the comments below so we can create a living history of this serene place for future generations.

  For more information please see the related blog post at Visit Moreton Bay Region Or to learn more about this project visit The Land and I project

This project is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) which is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

22
Jun

The Stories of Sweeney Reserve – from ‘The Land and I’ project

Sweeney Reserve is a delightful park rich in cultural heritage tucked away behind Gympie and Dayboro Roads. Unless you’re a local you may not even know it was there. It’s an expansive reserve containing large shady trees and walking tracks that hug the North Pine River. This, along with the sizeable off leash dog-park, makes […]

16
Jun

The Stories of Cedar Creek – from ‘The Land and I’ project

Cedar Creek is a haven of babbling brooks, towering trees and granite sentinels at the foot of the D’Aguilar Range near Samford, Queensland (not to be confused with Cedar Creek at Tamborine Mountain). With so much natural beauty on offer it’s hard to believe how closely it nudges suburbia being merely 40 minutes north-west of […]

13
May

The Stories of Bribie Island – from ‘The Land and I’ project

  I invite you to share your stories, images and experiences of Bribie Island in the comments below so we can create a living history of this beautiful place for future generations.   For more information please see the related blog post at Visit Moreton Bay Region Or to learn more about this project visit […]

8
May

The Stories of Lake Samsonvale – from ‘The Land and I’ project

  I invite you to share your stories, photos and experiences of North Pine Dam and the Samsonvale community in the comments below so we can create a living history of this serene place for future generations.   For more information please see the related blog post at Visit Moreton Bay Region Or to learn […]