|History of Settlement at Kenilworth|
The Mary River, then called the Wide Bay River but known to the Aboriginals as the Numabulla, was discovered in 1842. The Aboriginal name for the Kenilworth area being Hinka Booma. It was not until the 7th September 1847 that Governor Fitzroy named the River after his wife Mary.
Origins of the Town
Richard Smith tendered to set up a cattle run on the east bank of the Mary River in 1850. At the time Mrs Smith was reading Sir Walter Scott's novel "Kenilworth" and she decided to name the property "Kenilworth" after the novel. The town was surveyed off Kenilworth Station in 1921 and took the name of the Station.
As the town is associated with Scott's novel, which takes its title from the town of Kenilworth in Warwickshire, England, this Website providing details of the original Kenilworth and the connection with the novel, may be of interest.
During the second half of the 19th Century, the Smiths took up more land. Other settlers arrived in 1891, originally intending to grow small crops - with a ready market available on the goldfields in Gympie - but when the floods of 1893, 1895 and 1898 wiped out their crops - they then ventured into dairying and pig breeding. In 1901 the Kenilworth Farmers' Association was formed. They took a lead in progressing the district and, in 1907, built the Kenilworth Farmers Assembly Hall which later housed a library and hosted dances.
In 1905 the Association was responsible for establishing a co-operative butter factory which opened in Caboolture in 1907. Also established was the Kenilworth Farmers' Co-operative Store in Eumundi.
In 1912 a steam powered sawmill was built on Coolabine Creek. In 1921 Kenilworth Station was sold off, broken up and divided into dairy farms and allotments for the establishment of Kenilworth Township. By 1925 all the large estates in the district had been subdivided and sold. Today dairying is still a major part of farming in the area but there has been diversification into fruit and vegetables and pig farming.
Kenilworth Homestead still exists, though the 10,000 hectare cattle station is now reduced to 50 hectares. Since 1875, the Homestead and out-buildings have continually been restored and extended, still keeping as much of its original structure as possible. It is now used as a camping and riding centre.
Growth of the Town
The first store was opened in Kenilworth in 1922 and the first butcher's shop appeared in 1924, in the same year as a new hall was opened. The hall accommodated the first district school and, in 1926, was equipped to show silent pictures. The site for a public recreation ground was purchased in 1927 and, in 1933, the Public Hall was moved to this new location. The Church of England Mary Valley Parish was established in 1925.
Images of Early Kenilworth
|To see historical Kenilworth photographs from the Sunshine Coast Library collection go to the Library "Picture Sunshine Coast " page.|
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