Tuesday, September 20, 2011

West Burleigh and Tallebudgera

As white settlers started to pour into the new colonies of New South Wales and Queensland, one of the earliest industries was timber harvesting, and a great source of cedar and other timbers was the place now known as the Gold Coast Hinterland. The areas of West Burleigh, Tallebudgera and surrounds were quickly inhabited, firstly by timbergetters, then by farmers. In 1878 the Tallebudgera Post Office was opened - it was privately built and owned. The following photo shows it in 1917.
(Photo: http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au)

The old building was purchased by the Gold Coast City Council in 2002, and they undertook a restoration project that was completed in 2004. The restored building was officially opened in 2005. Here is a current photograph.
(Photo: © 2011 the foto fanatic)

The sign in the left of the image above is enlarged below. It records that Stephen Tobin was the first post master, paid a salary of £12 per annum. Violet Ruddy was the last post mistress when the post office was permanently closed in 1958.
(Photo: © 2011 the foto fanatic)

Today the current post office is located next to the West Burleigh General Store, itself an historical building. It was opened by Alf Fletcher in 1935 to serve the inhabitants of the local area. Here is a photo of that building from 1994, and below that is a current picture - you can see the post office to the right of the store.
(Photo: GCCC; Image No LS-LSP-CD109-IMG0111)

(Photo: © 2011 the foto fanatic)

Tourism started to become important to the area after completion of the railway from Brisbane to Southport in 1889. When this line was extended to Tweed Heads in 1901, a station was opened at West Burleigh. That station was only a few hundred metres from the general store, and although (sadly) the railway line closed long ago, the old station house still exists as a private residence. This is it - the awnings over the windows at the side of the building are a clue to its origins.
(Photo: © 2011 the foto fanatic)

And here is the railway station pictured during the years of WW!, with a group of soldiers waiting for the train.
(Photo: GCCC; Image No LS-LSP-CD308-IMG0024)

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