Logan Reserve

Logan Reserve

This area had its origins in the Logan Agricultural Reserve which was proclaimed in 1862 in order to open up land to new free settlers in the colony of Queensland. The reserve which comprised 500,000 acres was on both sides of the Logan River and a punt (ferry) was used to cross the river to Waterford. Cotton was the first crop grown commercially in the region. The 1868 post office directories list about 180 families living in the reserve lands which included the areas of Pimpama, Bethania, Waterford, Greenbank, Loganholme. These families quickly settled and began the hard work of clearing the land, establishing houses and planting crops.

The first public building was a small bark church/school erected in 1864-5 on a one acre allotment subdivided from Portion 44, which had been selected by John Gavan. A graveyard was established in the road reserve, which gave access to the church. This initial building did not last long as the slabs deteriorated quickly, and a new structure was built further north on Deeran and Colgan's land in 1870. Catholic archives suggest it was on the south west corner of Portion 40, although the school files for the Logan Reserve and the Waterford schools indicate Bishops Dunne's school in Portion 42.

The first Post Office in the Logan Agricultural Reserve was located on John Beetham's property (Portion 16) from 1 April 1864. In 1867 there was local agitation to move the post office to the Waterford township, and criticism was directed via the press at influential individuals trying to make commercial gain by the relocation. The critic suggested that Waterford comprised one grog shanty. By March 1871 the post office was transferred to the grog shanty run by William Huston. He occupied Eden's old hotel on the eastern corner of Loganlea Road. In August that year the post office was transferred to the Morning Star Hotel, on the western corner of Loganlea Road, which was operated by Richard Leo. It remained at the hotel until after the Waterford Bridge was completed in August 1876. It was then transferred across the river to Schneider's Store in April 1877.

Some of the Logan Reserve children attended the Waterford school, once it opened in 1871. There appears to be some religious interference, with representatives of the Catholic Church urging parents to send their children to the Logan Reserve school in 1872, at that time run by John Beetham. It had originally been established as a Catholic School.

The Logan Reserve church/school was apparently dismantled and relocated in the mid 1870s to a site adjacent to Leo's Morning Star Hotel in Waterford West. The Bailliere's Gazetteer of 1876 noted a hardwood chapel adjacent to the post office, which Leo ran from the hotel. A graveyard was established adjacent to this church. The earliest grave on this site appears to be that of Richard Leo junior, who died in 1874 only seven days old. The land was not formally donated to the church until December 1892. It is possible that the church was externally clad when it was moved to Waterford West, as Schnieder's mill at Waterford apparently supplied timber to the church. The original building was a single skin structure. The church was variously known as Church of the Assumption, St Brigids, and later St Declans, when it was moved again to Eight Mile Plains in 1949.

While the church remained adjacent to the Morning Star until 1949, the school had a chequered history during the following few years. Around 1888 it was relocated to a house located in Portion 46 adjacent to the Lutheran Cemetery. The German population also utilised the structure, as a German School on Saturday and Lutheran Church on Sunday.

The new Bethel Church was built in 1897. The cemetery evolved alongside the church. The tornado of February 1936 destroyed the church, but locals soon rebuilt it and it remained on the site until 1972, when it was demolished. Meanwhile the school remained on Portion 46 adjacent to the cemetery, until 1914 when it was moved to it current site on the opposite corner.