Barcaldine Local History
Barcaldine is a small town located in the central west region of Queensland, Australia. The town is situated on the banks of the Alice River, and it is approximately 520km west of the state capital, Brisbane. The town has a rich history which dates back to the late 19th century.
The history of Barcaldine can be traced back to 1861, when the first Europeans were recorded to have explored the region. The town was established in 1886, and it was named after the Scottish barons, the "Barons of Barcaldine". The town was initially used as a resting place for the bullock teams and the shepherds who were driving their sheep and cattle along the stock route.
During the 1891 shearers' strike, Barcaldine gained a reputation as a significant hub of trade union activities. The shearers' protests were led by Jack "the Bull" and Harry "Breaker" Morant, two notable leaders who were incarcerated as a result of their involvement in the protest. In 1892, a labour monument was built in the town to commemorate the strike, and it still stands as one of the most prominent landmarks in the region.
The late 19th and early 20th century marked a significant period of growth for Barcaldine. The town developed rapidly due to the establishment of the railway line in 1892. The railway improved the town's transport and communication links, which made it easier for the residents to access the outside world. By 1906, Barcaldine had a significant population of roughly 1300, and it housed numerous businesses, schools, and churches.
The town also has a rich history in the agricultural industry. The Alice River flats provided an ideal environment for farming, and many early settlers found success in developing the land for agriculture. The town's proximity to the Barcaldine Range provided a source of timber for the local sawmills, which became a vital contributor to Barcaldine's economic growth.
During the Second World War, Barcaldine became a significant centre for the Australian Army. The town was home to vast military camps, and it served as a transit point for troops and supplies moving between Brisbane and the Northern Territory. The military presence in Barcaldine helped to boost the local economy, and many of the town's residents enlisted in the armed forces.
The modern-day Barcaldine is a small town with a population of roughly 1300. The town's economy is still centred around agriculture and tourism, and it is known for its historical landmarks, beautiful scenery, and friendly community. Barcaldine's rich history is celebrated through numerous events and festivals throughout the year, with many visitors coming from all over Australia and the world to experience the town's unique culture and heritage.