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HomeCommunityDiscovering the Past: The History of Jimboomba

Discovering the Past: The History of Jimboomba

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Jimboomba is a growing town within Logan City and is a lovely quiet, friendly, safe place to raise a family. It has nice parks, local shops, a few coffee shops, takeaway shops and supermarkets. Due to its small-town feel and strong community atmosphere – it is a popular choice among families and according to the 2016 census, has a population of around 13,201.

But did you know that Jimboomba was originally spelt with a G?

The original spelling was Gimboomba, named after a sheep and livestock station based where the township is today, stretching some distance north, east and south to neighbouring areas. Gimboomba is a Gugingin word (from the Indigenous people of the area, Yugambeh country) meaning ‘place of loud thunder and little rain’.

In 1845, the land in the region was taken up by Thomas Dowse and in 1848 it was transferred to Sydney publican, Robert Rowlands. It was transferred again in 1851 to Andrew Inglis Henderson, who operated it as a sheep run and later for cattle grazing.

It is not clear when the spelling of Jimboomba changed, however around 1851, Jimboomba House was built for the Henderson family. It served as a stage coach depot on the Casino mail route.

In the following years, Jimboomba continued to grow in popularity and by 1880, Jimboomba’s first hotel, the Norfolk Hotel, was established by Alex and Agnes Jennings. It was taken over in 1882 by Steven Tudman when Jennings moved to the Waterford Arms Hotel.

In 1885, the Beaudesert Railway was being pegged out and the siting of the line through Jimboomba ensured the prosperity of the area. The Jimboomba station became a place for timber getters to load timber. A sawmill had been established nearby in 1883, by C Smales.

Henry Markwell applied for a licence for a hotel in Jimboomba in May 1885 and built a new house for the purpose. However, in June 1885, Samuel Manning took over Tudman’s hotel and renamed it the Traveller’s Rest. This resulted in Markwell withdrawing his application. Manning maintained the licence in 1886, then moved to the Railway Hotel in 1888.

In May 1890, the Jimboomba Provisional School was established in a hall owned by the Presbyterian Church. The school later became Jimboomba State School on 1 June 1900. Patrick Culligan from North Maclean was the first teacher and in 1892, a local named Alex Harrison was also appointed as a teacher. In 1900, a new school building was constructed.

In 1899, another school was established in the Jimboomba Timber Reserve. It was known as Martindale and was relocated to Cedar Grove in 1923. The original site was in the vicinity of Gittins Road, to the south of the Flagstone Estate.

Following the destruction of the Waterford Bridge in the flood of 1947, Jimboomba residents feared their many requests for a high bridge would again be delayed while the rebuilding of the Waterford Bridge was prioritised. Their efforts were finally rewarded in mid-1948, with the announcement of a new bridge 13 feet (almost 4 metres) higher than the previous one.

The area continued to grow slowly. In December 1953, a community hall was built and Jimboomba’s first significant shopping centre was built in 1984. In 1991, on the former property of Andrew Inglis Henderson, the construction began on Hills International College. Additional schools, including Flagstone Community College and Emmaus College, opened in 2002.

In March 2008, Jimboomba became a part of Logan City.

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Emily Stack
Emily Stack
Editorial Team
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