Loganholme

Loganholme evolved as a placename from the ferryman Holmes who operated the Logan River ferry here in 1867-68.

The region was originally part of three large estates established under the cotton and coffee and sugar regulations. Thomas Oldham and the Queensland Co-operative Cotton Growing and Manufacturing Company's land were both set aside in 1863. Oldhams land bordered Carbrook and The Cotton Company estate stretched from Slacks Creek to Drews Road. Surveyor William Fryar's sugar lease occupied land between Drews Road and the Pacific Motorway, and dates from 1865. The most famous Logan cotton plantation was that of Robert Towns, located at Veresdale. He was the first person to procure Kanaka labour to work the cotton fields.

The cotton plantation at Loganholme was not successful and the estate changed hands a number of times. Louis Hope, of the Ormiston plantation near Cleveland, had turned to sugar growing and in 1867, he sent his manager John McDonald to encourage Logan River farmers to plan sugar and to send it to his mill for crushing. At that time, Hope's engineer, was James Strachan, who had previously worked at Pettigrew's sawmill in Brisbane. Hope had also acquired Kanaka labourers, as did many Logan River farmers.

A ferry was established on the river at Loganholme in 1867, with Henry Eden awarded the first official lease. He employed others to run the ferry and a Mr Holmes ran this ferry initially. A wharf reserve was established in 1868.

By 1869 Strachan had gone into partnership with William Fryar and established the first sugar mill on the river at Loganholme. This was initially a very successful business that employed up to 100 men at crushing time. This included labourers and punt operators, who brought the cane to the mill by river boat. James McMillan established nearby a store in the early 1870s.

The area continued to progress and in 1871 residents began lobbying for a school. The process was to take 2 years, with the Loganholme School opening in May 1873 with 37 pupils.

The Post Office was opened on October 25, 1876, presumably either located at the mill or at the store. The first post master was Charles Welsh who was listed as a manager at the time of the establishment of the school.

Pastoralist James Tyson purchased the Loganholme plantation in 1876, and Fryar and Strachan continued to run the mill. However they were declared insolvent later that year, because of problems with the delivery of new equipment from Glasgow. Tyson then installed some of his nephews as managers of the mill, and ultimately they relocated the best of the machinery to a new venture in Tully. The mill continued with old equipment, and despite the acquisition of a distillery licence in 1884, the business struggled to survive. At that time it was managed by William Castles, for the Queensland Mercantile Company which had purchased the estate.

Major flooding occurred in January 1887, with much damage to the surrounding farmlands. Up to two meters of sand was deposited along the banks of the river in Loganholme and eye-witnesses thought it resembled the Sahara. The sugar industry went into rapid decline in the late 1880s, because of the flood of 1887 and the drought of 1888. Kanaka labour was also being phased out, and many farmers relied on this cheap labour. There were 40 mills in the region in 1885 and by 1888 there were only nine.

Farmers in the region were then turning to dairying, which became of increasing importance, particularly after the opening of the Kingston Butter Factory in 1907.

The Loganholme ferry continued to be run by local men, although the ferry and the ferryman's house suffered from the regular flooding on the river. The ferry punt was lost in the 1873 floods, the ferry, punt and house washed away in 1887, and the house was again lost in 1893. At that point it was decided to relocate the house site from the Beenleigh side of the river, to a new higher location at Loganholme.

Water hyacinth became a problem on the river from around 1908. By 1914 it had increased to such an extent that a boom had to be constructed across the river to allow the ferry to cross. The first motor cars utilised the ferry from about 1910. The traffic continued to increase and by 1930, the ferry operator, Vince Kunde built a second ferry to cope with the demand. The days of the double ferry were numbered however, as a bridge was under construction at that time.

The Loganholme Bridge opened on 1 July 1931. It operated as a toll bridge with the toll collector occupying the old ferryman's cottage. The toll booths remained in operation until November 1945, although the bridge had more than paid for itself by that time. Further serious flooding occurred in January 1947, when the bridge approaches washed away. The Waterford Bridge washed away and this led to increased traffic on the Loganholme Bridge.

The Albert Shire established a park under the bridge in the early 1950s. It was known as Logan Park, and provided a pleasant stopover for travellers to the South Coast. By 1967 a new bridge was built in conjunction with an upgrade of the Pacific Highway. The new bridge catered for southbound traffic, while the old bridge carried northbound vehicles. During the 1974 floods, the southern approaches to the old bridge were washed away and only the new bridge could be utilised during the 10 weeks it took to make restitution.

The Albert Shire established a park under the bridge in the early 1950s. It was known as Logan Park, and provided a pleasant stopover for travellers to the South Coast. By 1967 a new bridge was built in conjunction with an upgrade of the Pacific Highway. The new bridge catered for southbound traffic, while the old bridge carried northbound vehicles. During the 1974 floods, the southern approaches to the old bridge were washed away and only the new bridge could be utilised during the 10 weeks it took to make restitution.

The tourism industry was developing along with the urban sprawl. Both Ashtons and Bullens Circuses were lobbying the Albert Shire Council for approval to construct Lion Parks. In December 1968 Bullens were negotiating the purchase of land in Stapylton and Ashtons established their park on the corner of Bryants Road and the Pacific Highway, which opened in April 1969. It was known as Ashton's Animal Kingdom. Both of these ventures were relatively short lived. Ashtons was sold to the Myer Corporation in 1977.

Myer Queensland Stores Ltd purchased the Ashton's Lion Park site in October 1977 with the intention of building a regional shopping centre. A new Tavern opened in Loganholme in July 1979. The Wild Waters Water Slide Park began operation October 1982 adjacent to the old Ashtons site. While Myer initially shelved plans for the major shopping centre, a more compact centre, the Loganholme Shopping Village opened on Bryants Road in December 1987. Ongoing negotiations for the Hyperdome site involved the sale of Wild Waters in 1984. The turning of the first sod on the Hyperdome project occurred in September 1988, with the official opening in July 1989.

The Logan Motorway, initially known as the Goodna–Loganholme Road, was constructed to link the Cunningham and Pacific Highways via Carol Park, Browns Plains, Loganlea and Loganholme. Initial planning scheduled completion of stage one by December 1988. By October 1995 the company announced the duplication of the road between the Ipswich Motorway and Wembley Road. This was linked with the Gateway Motorway, by the Gateway extension via Kuraby in 1997. One of the last links with the history of the area was lost in this process, with the Logan Motorway consuming the old Cotton Company Road at Loganholme.

A new bridge at Loganholme was constructed with Bi-centennial funding in 1986. This led to the decommissioning of the old 1931 bridge, while still using the 1968 bridge. Plans for the Pacific Motorway were announced in April 1996. The northern interchanges on the Motorway included the completion and integration of the duplication of the Logan Motorway. Construction began in late 1997 and was completed in September 2000. The Motorway construction led to further bridge construction during 2000.