Chambers Flat Neighborhood Study Project.

In the late 1980’s I commenced a Diploma in Landscape Architecture at QUT. I was already running a successful Landscape Design and Construction business since 1975. I had an artistic gift in my life. I was self-taught but I wished to refine the design through a more formal  procedure. Because I had night-time lectures, I could run the business and proceed with the Diploma. One of the subjects required all the students to do a Neighborhood Study Project. I did the Study Project for Chambers Flat. 

I didn’t finish the Diploma as towards the end of three years of study, I had to have an important assignment to be in by the Monday night. At the time I working on a very important Design Project of 35 houses in the Chapel Woods Estate at Chapel Hill with the company Dobson and Corry. I had been working on this project house by house for about a year and had developed a reputation for creativity and reliability. I had to have major house design finished by Monday an I had to have the design money in that week. I would need the weekend to finish the design. I had to let the Diploma assignment go which meant I would have to let my Diploma in Landscape Architecture go. I couldn’t finish it.

This barn drawing was of an old barn at Logan Reserve. I bought this barn for a thousand dollars off the farmer. When a simple shed burnt down in 1988 on our land, the insurance company sent us a thousand dollars as compensation as they covered out-buildings as well as our house. When the farmer bought the farm in 1920, this barn was on the property. It was on stumps about a metre off the ground. The interesting thing about this barn were the walls made from hand- split logs, a very rare thing to find.

The sidewalls in our Creative Shed built with many big split slabs from the barn.

To obtain these slabs is a very rare thing. When settlers came out in the late 1880’s into the dry Australian bush, they wanted to clear the land of trees and create open space for their cattle or agriculture. They split the trees with wedges to form timber slabs for a hut on their land.They also made post and rail fences, horizontal rails, and bigger posts to go in the ground. 

I had stored these slabs for many years up to one side our property where I had stored many pieces of demolition timber left over from the house when we built it in 1981. I carefully sorted these slabs out, wheeled them down 100 meters to the car shed, and began standing them vertically on a brick base to fill in the sides of the shed, drilling in big coach screws to hold them to the horizontal timber boards.

To complete Chambers Flat Neighborhood Study Project, I went and interviewed an old man, a Mr. Noffke at at Logan Reserve. He told me how as a young man, he would see boats sailing up the Logan River. Over the years, sandy topsoil has filled the river from the farmland up around Beaudesert region. In some places you can walk across the river in 100 mm of water. In former times, the the river was many metres deep. One street way up near us the Macleans Bridge is called Raft St. Mr. Noffke gave me an outline of a talk his late wife had given to a local  school. The talk details are given below.


General History:

The first white man to visit the area would probably be Captain Logan. He came up the  river in a boat accompanied by a number of convicts. In August 1826, Logan set out in a whaleboat rowed by a crew of eight, accompanied by “one other gentleman” He named the river the Darling, but this was later changed to the Logan. He traveled many kilometers up the river  and  reported “ fine soil for maize and potatoes’’.

About 1847 the timber cutters moved into the area. They cut the timber close to the river. The timber was dragged to the  river edge by bullock teams. Here it was made into rafts and floated down the  river  and on to Brisbane.

In early 1860, 20,000 acres of land were designated as agricultural reserve. It included Waterford, Logan Reserve and Chambers Flat. About this time, a number of Irish settlers arrived in Queensland and settled in Logan Reserve. In 1864 a number of German settlers arrived in the area. They came from Brisbane in the river steamer  the ‘’Black Diamond’’.

A Post Office was opened at Logan Reserve In 1877 and was run by Mr. Gavin. The first school in the area was at the Catholic Church and this was opened in  1865.

Gradually from the turn of the century the settlers changed to dairy farming. In the early days the cream was skimmed off the milk and made into butter which was placed in wooden casks to be taken to Brisbane. Later, separators were set up and the farmers brought in their milk to be separated. The skim milk was taken home for the calves. Dairy farming was important until the late 1950’s.

In the early days a coal mine in Loganview Rd., was operated for a number of years. This worked by hand.

As was said before, the notes above and below were written by Mrs. Noffke when she gave a talk at the school a number of years ago.

The settlers were as follows: Messrs. Bierns, Downmann, Gavin, Flesser, Gafney, Koplick, Burow, Muchow, Schmidt, Masaloney, Laughlin, Thorn, Buchk, Haak. Most were married and had families. Some were married over here. 

The Government made land available in the old currency rate of two shillings and sixpence an acre. I am still living on some of this land which was my parents property, which consisted of 320 acres. My father’s name was Jurgen August Haak. Mother was Wilhelmine G. F. Flesser. They were married over here. Our first primary school was in the church grounds, and we all went to the school there, and  for many years had the same teacher – Miss Williamson who lived across the river and rowed herself over in a small boat. Down Loganview Rd. which is a dead end road, the place where the Willett’s live, was first  owned by Mr. Downmann. There was a coal mine there, and those early days they did not have machinery to work it with so after a few years it was closed down. 

When the large flood of 1897 occurred, it covered a large area, and all who lived in the low places had to move to higher ground, taking a few belongings, and staying with neighbours who were higher up. On their small plots of land, they grew vegetables, and worked on the lots which some of them had, and grew sugarcane. _____________________________________________________________