Gold was discovered at Etheridge 260 kilometres to the west over the range from Cardwell in 1869 and shipped through Cardwell from 1871 to 1875.
Cardwell Cemetery contains a wealth of historical information, but its burial records, both official and unofficial are incomplete.
If you have information or family records that can help restore this vital part of our history we’d love to hear from you.
We plan to create a small display at the J. C. Hubinger Museum to aid this process of discovery.
The Kirrama Range Oral History project is a collection of stories from a time when the Great Depression of the 1930s dominated people’s lives worldwide.
The depression spawned the Public Estates Improvement (PEI) program in Australia, similar to the 2009 federal ‘stimulus’ program to counter the global financial crisis.
One major PEI project to provide work during the Great Depression was the construction of a road west of Kennedy up the slopes of Kirrama Range, a road which remains unfinished and in disrepair 80 years later.
CDHS has captured many interesting first-hand stories of those momentous times from Kirrama workers and their families. The CDHS also believes it is time the Kirrama road is restored and completed, to provide that direct link between Cardwell and the Tableland.
Cardwell‘s Rail Station is where the last spike was driven in 1924 to link the first and only rail line connecting Brisbane and Cairns. Refreshment Rooms and a Dining Room room operated in conjunction with the Rail Station until the 1950s.
From the 1920s through to the 1970s, fish and chip cafes, famous throughout the nation for the quality of their fresh catch and fast service, operated along Bowen Street and did a roaring trade when passenger trains pulled in.
Our Historical Society led a community wide effort to save this historic Queensland landmark from demolition or sale for removal after it was seriously damaged by cyclone Yasi in 2011.
We thank Queensland Rail for restoring the station building in late 2012. QR also advises that our 1924 Rail Station is listed as one of its heritage assets.
An official government landing party of 20 led by George Elphinstone Dalrymple came ashore in Rockingham Bay to settle Port Hinchinbrook (later renamed Cardwell) on January 21st 1864.
They were under the direction of Governor Bowen and sailed from Port Denison (Bowen) on the three masted schooner ‘Policeman’ owned and skippered by Captain Walter David Tayler Powell.
Sent by Governor Bowen, Captain Richards of H.M.S. Hecate surveyed Rockingham Bay in 1863 and confirmed its suitability for siting a port and township.
He also named Cape Richards and Hecate Point on Hinchinbrook Island.
Governor Bowen, returning on the H.M.S. Pioneer from Cape York where he named Somerset at Albany Passage as a government station in 1862, surveyed Rockingham Bay as a site for a future port, describing it’s attributes, including its natural beauty in glowing terms.
Mount Bowen on Hinchinbrook Island was also named.
An expedition inland along the Burdekin River by George E. Dalrymple in 1860, took up range country west of the Herbert River in the name of the Scott Bros, Walter and Arthur, who would establish the Valley of Lagoons station over the next few years, running sheep, cattle and horses.