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Nundah; Days Gone By

By James Clark

Here at The Clark Brothers Ray White Nundah we love our suburb and surrounding areas. We call it home and we wanted to share with you some stories, observations and predictions of our beloved Nundah Past, Present and Future.

Nundah, previously called German Station is currently an inner suburb of Brisbane around 8 kilometres north-east of the CBD. Primarily a residential suburb, Nundah straddles one of the major arterial roads of Brisbane’s north; Sandgate Rd.

This 3 part blog series will come to you over the next few weeks and here we will start at the beginning, a very good place to start… with Nundah; Days Gone By.

Like most of Northern Brisbane prior to European settlement, the area around Nundah was inhabited by Aboriginal people from the Turrbul tribe. Their traditional coastal trade route passed through Nundah. There are also many significant Aboriginal sites near Nundah, such as Dinah Island, which was reportedly the site of the last traditional Aboriginal burial in the Brisbane area. In addition, there were a number of bora rings in the area, indicating that Nundah was densely populated by Aboriginal people before European settlers arrived.

One of the first settlements in Brisbane, Nundah was settled by Europeans in the mid 19th Century, although the suburb did remain primarily a rural area until the railway connected it to Brisbane in the 1880s. The name “Nundah” means “chain of water holes” in the local Aboriginal dialect. This name is probably a reference to the nearby natural water sources at Kedron Brook and the marshy areas formerly to the east of the suburb.

The first permanent European settlement in the area was a mission built in 1838 by German Lutheran missionaries, with the aim of bringing Christianity to the local Aboriginal people. The area later became known as “German Station” and then ‘Nundah’, derived from the Aboriginal name for the area. Despite explorers visiting and speaking highly of the mission it had limited success and was closed in 1846. This first settlement is nonetheless commemorated with a monument at the corner of Sandgate Road and Wood Street unveiled in 1938. The names of the German settlers can be seen in the names of streets in Nundah and surrounding suburbs such as Rode Road and Gerler Road.

Nundah remained an agricultural area until the 1880s, when the construction of a railway between Brisbane and Sandgate in 1882 resulted in a suburban residential construction boom on Brisbane’s northside. This urban sprawl was also encouraged by the Undue Subdivision of Land Prevention Act 1885, which mandated minimum lot sizes for new urban developments. Nundah became known as a suburb where working-class families could obtain cheap housing on reasonably-sized lots not too far from the city. In 1909, Surrey Street in Nundah became the site of the first public housing dwelling in Queensland.

Nundah was also the seat of Toombul Shire, which was absorbed into the City of Greater Brisbane in 1925. The Toombul Shire Hall still exists as a community centre. In 1926, a monument was built to mark the beginnings of Nundah, which was unveiled April 23, 1938 as part of the First Free Settlers’ Centenary Celebrations. This First Free Settlers Monument is listed in the Queensland Heritage Register.

We here at The Clark Brothers Ray White hope you’ve enjoyed this little bit of Nundah history. Stay tuned for next week when we tell all about how Nundah became the amazing place we now know and love.

Information provided by: www.nundah.com & Wikipedia

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