Eagleby

Local legend suggests that some early settlers asked a local aboriginal what his people called the eagles nesting near the mouth of the Albert River. He replied "Eagle be Mothchya" and the name stuck.

The southern most sections of Eagleby were part of the original survey for the town of Beenleigh, which was never more than a wharfage location. When the main south coast road was altered to bypass this township in the mid 1860s, its fate was sealed. The survey however remained, and is represented by Logan and Albert Streets and their cross roads. Eagleby was then another farming community established as part of the initial German settlement of the region. It was originally known as Philadelphia. St John's Church, Philadelphia, was built in 1876. The old town subdivision was not utilised at the time and development occurred on the rural properties, with the church located on Herses Road. The first mail office was established at Oppermann's farmhouse in July 1882.

Heinrich Phillip Oppermann operated a sugar mill at that time which was a co-operative arrangement amongst a group of 15 local German farmers, and which was never registered as a company. The company had formed in 1881 and each farmer had about 10 acres of land. They had agreed not to employ kanaka labour and successfully worked the farms using only family labour. Some of the partners in this venture included Wilhelm Pinnow, Fritz Severin, August Fischer, Christian Herse, Wilhelm Rose and Matis Krebs. Another co-operative mill, Rosevale, began operations in the mid 1880s, possibly as a breakaway group from the original co-operative. It was described as the companion mill to Oppermann’s and was managed by Matis Krebs and Albert Rose.

The 1887 floods had a devastating effect here, as it did elsewhere. Most cane planted in Eagleby had washed away and new cane planted later in the year did not sprout due to the subsequent drought. Oppermann's wharf and storage sheds were washed away. Nevertheless, the Tingalpa Divisional Board saw Eagleby as a better option for the relocation of the Alberton ferry, following the destruction of the ferryman's house and the destruction of the ferry approaches and wharf. In December 1887 the Board lobbied the Beenleigh Divisional Board to establish a ferry between the Gramzow reserve and Oppermann's.

By 1889 only 100 acres of Eagleby land was under sugar and farmers had diversified into growing maize and fodder crops. Oppermann's also had a small dairy.

The Eagleby School was established in 1906, with a festival to mark the occasion held on June 15. The building was constructed by Mr Krebs of Beenleigh who failed to comply with the specifications and was subsequently barred from future building for the Department. Despite the initial construction problems, the opening day was a huge success with the school committee congratulated on the fine building they had erected.

The Tingalpa Divisional Board appears to have made an inquiry to the Marine Board regarding the legality of a ferry at Eagleby. In December 1908 the Marine Board replied that no applications had been made. By October 1911 Messr Krebs and Co who operated the Rosevale sugar mill in Eagleby Road sought permission to operate a ferry between their mill and Gramzow. Tingalpa Shire expressed concern over the viability of the Loganholme Ferry if this was introduced. However, they requested a plan of the proposed sugar plantings and the formalisation of a lease agreement. It would appear that this took some time. By December 1915, it was noted that the Loganholme ferry takings were up, despite the fact that cane wagons were no longer using it. Presumably this meant that the Eagleby Ferry was up and running, either officially or unofficially.

Interestingly John Burke and Sons, steamer operators, had built a new wharf at the Mount Cotton wharf site at Gramzow in September 1910. Presumably, Krebs would utilise this in his cross-river venture. No evidence of any formal arrangement with the local councils concerning the ferry at this location has been located, although there is no doubt that it operated. Krebs Rosevale Mill appears to have ceased operation around 1918. The Eagleby Sugar Company, originally started by Oppermanns, continued to operate and was run by Christian Herse in the 1910s. In 1933 the management requested that a road be built in the Carbrook reserve leading to the Mt Cotton wharf. This would indicate an ongoing use of the cross river ferry at this point. Arthur Kruger recalled much river traffic to the sugar mill in the crushing season during the 1930s. The mill was clearly visible from Kruger's house and the reserve, and was located at the intersection of Wharf Road and Eagleby Road. This mill survived until 1943.

Other cross-river traffic was of the religious and cultural kind. Families from Gramzow (Carbrook) would come across the river by boat to attend church in Eagleby. Children received religious instruction when preparing for special events like confirmation. Pastor Thiele also taught the local children German language in the years leading up to World War II. Other locals on both sides of the river were involved in the Eagleby brass band and the church choir.

Declining attendances at the Eagleby State School at 133 Eagleby Road, saw it close in 1968 and the building purchased and used as a home. A new school, The Eagleby South State School was built in 1978. It was officially opened by Russ Hinze on 29 July. Urban development in Eagleby in the early 1980s led to a need for community services. The Eagleby Self Help Group was formed in 1981 and by September 1982 it became the Eagleby Community Association. Together with the Albert Shire Council, the Association was able to facilitate the construction of a Scout Den which opened in 1982 and a swimming pool and community hall which were completed in 1983. In partnership with the Playground and Recreation Association the group worked for the establishment of the Olivers Sports Complex, which includes a cricket oval, Little Athletics Oval, baseball diamond and netball court.

In 1982 the construction of the Twin Rivers Tavern commenced. It opened in December 1983. By April 1984 the tavern was auctioned to cover the $4 million in debts incurred by its builder. It was purchased by the Beenleigh Rum Distillery, but only so it could procure the liquor licence to utilise at Moran's Wharf on the Albert River. It was again auctioned in March 1985 without the licence. Later that year it was marketed as the Twin Rivers Business Centre able to handle warehousing, packaging or computer industries. The site was purchased by Driza-bone in mid 1987, which transferred its manufacturing enterprise from Sydney and trained local women as machinists.

In 1986 a half acre site to the south of Eagleby State School, was set aside as a kindergarten and child care centre. Also at that time the Albert Shire Council approved the construction of stage one of a children's playground behind the swimming pool in Bishop Street. It opened in time for the Christmas holidays and was operated by the Playground and Recreation Association of Queensland. A new primary school was needed by this time and it was built during 1987 and opened officially in 1988. Later that year, Coles opened a supermarket as part of a major shopping centre in Fryar Road.

In 1995 a new footbridge over the Pacific Motorway was constructed between Fryar Road and George Street. At that time the old footbridge built in the late 1960s.

In 2003 land was set aside adjacent to the Olivers Sports complex to establish the Eagleby Wetlands. Boardwalks and woodland tracks were built and developed tourism, recreational, educational and employment opportunities.