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

Caboonbah homestead, 1932

1 January 1932
15 April 2015
15 April 2015

Collection of the Fryer Library

Caboonbah homestead, 1932. Overlooking where the Brisbane and the Stanley Rivers combine, this map depicts the scene at which H.P. Somerset saw floodwaters approaching Brisbane in February 1893. A cloudburst in the upper Stanley catchment caused the Brisbane River to rapidly rise in early February where, to the south, he saw the waters submerge a gum tree at 55 feet, exceeding the level of the last major flood in 1890. The whole house shook as the flood waters crashed into the cliff nearly 200 yards away. To the north, he observed that the flat on the far side of the Brisbane River was already flooded. Saw logs were racing upstream a distance back from the river. These were later deposited on a ridge shown. Closer inspection by Somerset later revealed that they were red cedar logs bearing Mr F. Bowman’s brand. These had been felled near the head of the Reedy Creek. This clearly indicated that it was the Stanley River which had carried them downstream. The dam site suggested by Somerset is shown above the junction of the Stanley River and Reedy Creek. Collection of the Fryer Library

Syndicate content