Until the advent of the railway line to Ipswich the way you got there was by coach (for passengers) or wagon (for goods). The wagons were usually pulled by bullocks, making for a very slow trip.
A place for the bullocky to stop to wet his whistle just outside the boundary of Brisbane was at One Mile Swamp, a declared water reserve that we now know as Woolloongabba. It must have been a fairly wet area, because the shortcut that the bullock drivers took to the Ipswich road became known as Boggo Rd (now Annerley Rd). In 1863 a hotel called the Clarence opened there. Where roads go, people are sure to follow and housing allotments began to be sectioned off in the area. The increase in local population required the Clarence Hotel to be replaced by a new building in 1889. It was called the Clarence Corner Hotel, and this is a photograph of the area taken around 1906. The building on the right edge of the photograph is the Clarence Corner Hotel.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #4048)
Woolloongabba and South Brisbane became quite commercial areas. Leading up to the massive 1893 floods, there were many businesses on Stanley St, which at one stage had no fewer than 17 hotels dotted along its length! Further east
along Stanley St the Brisbane Cricket Ground held its first match in
1896, and since then has grown to be known simply as "The Gabba" and is recognised as one of the major
world cricket venues. Just across Annerley Rd from the Clarence Corner Hotel, the Mater Hospital was completed in 1910 on land that had been purchased by the Sisters of Mercy in 1893. Patients were transferred from the previous venue, a house at North Quay. Here is a more recent picture of the Clarence Corner Hotel.
Regrettably, South Brisbane and Woolloongabba are no longer the commercial centres they once were. In the case of South Brisbane, the 1893 flood caused so much damage that many businesses either closed down or moved across the river to Brisbane Town. As far as Woolloongabba goes, it was still a vital transport hub through to the 1960s, when the arrival of the suburban shopping centres heralded the doom of major precincts such as Fortitude Valley and Woolloongabba. Then the construction of the South-East freeway severed the Wooloongabba strip into two parts and the area is now a ghost of its previous incarnation. But the construction of medium density apartments has recently added some life to the area. A large shopping and residential complex has been built opposite the Gabba, and the Clarence Corner Hotel has also just had a makeover. It is now known as the Brisbane Brewhouse - here is a current photograph.
And here is a link to a newspaper article that outlines the changes in store for this landmark hotel.
Click here for a Google Map.