ONLY SIGN LEFT: Today the name of the former town is retained with the establishment of Southwood National Park.
ONLY SIGN LEFT: Today the name of the former town is retained with the establishment of Southwood National Park.

Town disappears off the map

ON THE north bank of the Moonie River is a lonely headstone.

It marks the resting place of "Amelia, beloved wife of John Boyle, died on January 2nd, 1891, aged 28 years. A native of Warwick".

That is the only evidence that the township of Southwood was once there.

It was situated in the southwestern extremity of the old Tara Shire.

A plan for the township was drawn up in 1886.

It was to have been a town that served the passing travellers and the local settlers.

The plan provided for a school reserve of four acres and a block of land for the post and telegraph facilities.

There were blocks for the police station and public buildings.

Even a pound yard of five acres was included to suit the needs of a pioneering community.

The police station was soon occupied by three officers, Sergeant McDermott and Constables Boyle and Chalmers.

There were two hotels in town run by Donald McDonald and W Higgins.

As there were no stores in the village, supplies could be obtained from the hotels.

The mail and goods were brought out by Donahue and Dowling of Dalby.

Alice McDonald lived in Southwood in 1890, presumably at the hotel her brother Donald ran.

She remembered the tribes of Aborigines passing through on their way to the Bunya Mountains for the bunya feasts.

Donald McDonald subsequently left the hotel and acquired "Flinton" a property in the area.

The town failed to develop and thrive like others and when the police station closed in 1911, the town began to disappear.

However the name lives on as the Southwood National Park which was established in 1970.

It is on the highway southwest of Moonie.


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