Township and works at Somerset Dam, 1937

1 January 1937
15 April 2015
15 April 2015
Bureau of Industry

Collection of University of Queensland Library

Township and works at Somerset Dam, 1937. For the purposes of building Somerset Dam, a small township was established at the construction site.  As shown by this map, the township boasted a hospital, school, police station and even tennis courts. A ‘swimming pool’ was located downstream in the river. The workshops, storage sheds and crushing plant were located upstream. The stone quarry, used for dam building, was at the top of the hill. By 1937, 126 workers’ cottages were constructed. The inset in the top left corner shows the location of the dam above the junction of the Stanley and Brisbane Rivers. In a letter to the Brisbane Courier in 1935, H.P. Somerset explained that his name’s association with the dam and township was not in relation to his efforts to warn Brisbane back in 1893, rather, it was his suggestion of the site after writing to the Water Board in 1906. Somerset was flatteringly described as an ‘engineer’ for noticing the rock formation as well as its suitability for dam construction. Queensland Parliamentary Papers, Vol.2, 1937

When Tinaroo Dam was completed, it was the only dam in Australia specifically constructed to service the needs of a single agricultural industry - tobacco - at that time. Slides by Beth Snewin, 1955-63, Collection of the Centre for the Government of Queensland

Copyright © Beth Snewin and the Centre for the Government of Queensland

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