The work ethic and ambition of our early pioneers is a continuing source of inspiration to me. In 1855 the ship William Miles brought William Grigor and Mary Fenwick to Brisbane from their native Scotland. William went to work in the timber industry at Mooloolah and Mary as a governess for the Wickham family at Newstead House. William and Mary met on the ship - I don't know whether there had been a romance at sea, but the couple married in 1863.
During the next decade the Grigors must have been mighty busy. As well as his logging business, William set up a store near the mouth of the Mooloolah River in partnership with another Scot named James Low. Between 1864 and 1869, William and Mary Grigor had four children, all born at Mooloolah. William Grigor and James Low also bought land at Spring Hill in Brisbane and had a pair of semi-detached dwellings erected there around 1867. If the Grigors lived there at all, it would have been only for a short time - mostly the property was rented out. The photo below shows these buildings - the one on the left with the white verandah was Grigors' and it is listed on the Queensland Heritage register - this is their photograph from 2008.
In 1868 William Grigor decided that he would take advantage of the new Cobb & Co stagecoach route between Brisbane and Gympie by building a facility where the horses, drivers and passengers could rest on that long journey. He selected land at Glass House Mountains and built Bankfoot House there. He and Mary resided there, and their family grew - they had nine children in all although three died at young ages. The original building was replaced some ten years later as business improved. The newer Bankfoot House is still standing at Glass House. It is thought to be the oldest house still standing in the area and here is a photograph of it. It is also on the heritage register and currently is owned by the Sunshine Coast Council which operates it as a museum. Here is a photograph.
In addition to running the coach station, William Grigor acted as postmaster for the area, a duty that continued after the mail was transported by rail instead of coach. Grigor would ride to the railway station and pick up the mail, at the same time handing over outgoing mail from the area. He was listed as postmaster until his death in 1907. After he passed away his children and then his grandchildren lived at Bankfoot until it was purchased by Caloundra City Council in 2004.
As for the Spring Hill property, it remained in the Grigor family for 120 years. It was restored in the 1980s and here is a current picture.
(Photo: © 2013 the foto fanatic)
Click here for a Google Map.