History – Townsvale


TOWNSVALE, a once thriving town that is now a distant memory, could well have become the hub of the Beaudesert district. 

The American Civil War (1861-1865) resulted in a world-wide shortage of cotton. 

Master Mariner, Captain Robert Towns was the first to respond to calls from the Queensland Government for the establishment of cotton plantations in the state. He purchased land on the Logan River, originally part of the Beaudesert Run, and named it Townsvale. 

Using his own ships, Towns brought indentured South Sea Islanders to work the plantation, initially bringing 71 Islanders aboard the Don Juan.  The workers were under contract for a period of 39 months.  Townsvale became a thriving township that threatened Beaudesert as the major centre in the region.

A school, churches, hotels and a police station were established and more people moved to the area.  Towards the end of the 1860s, cotton prices began to drop and the district once again turned to other forms of production, slowing the growth of the town. 

The growing commercial importance of Townsvale was severely affected by the decision to establish the railway terminus at Beaudesert. 

Beaudesert, south of Townsvale, provided better access to the major station runs south and east of the town and also for the growing dairy and timber industries.

The Townsvale State School, which eventually became known as the Woodhill State School, and the Veresdale Hotel are among the few relics of what might have been. 

For the full story of Townsvale, read Thirty Nine Moons at Townsvale Cotton Plantation by Ailsa Rolley.

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