Rosewood Scrub 1843-1848

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Rosewood Scrub covered a large area. As this map indicates, it held many camping grounds, ceremonial grounds and other sites. It had a tangled wall of brigalow so marked that it was often drawn on local maps. As access was so difficult and many Europeans became lost travelling through here, it remained a favoured bastion for resistance throughout the 1840s and even saw use as a hideout many decades later, until German farmers began the arduous task of clearing it to raise dairy farms.

Figure 1: a still-intact hillside at the former rosewood scrub, showing the dense thickets

From 1843 to 1846, Multuggerah continued his attacks on drays and travellers from this site – also extending to the Downs. Rosewood Homestead (now Glenore Grove) was repeatedly held in siege, which according to one report resulted in settlers building a makeshift ‘fort’ here that they took turns manning.

Figure 4: reconstruction of soldier accompanying a dray up the pass

Figure 2: 1840s blockhouse. This is probably similar to the appearance of the soldiers’ ‘fort’ at Helidon

In 1846, Multuggerah brought some 500 warriors and almost starved out the Rosewood Homestead occupants.  The settlers were relieved by accidental visitors. The combined party later stormed Multuggerah’s camp, killing him and many others. In the next years (1846-1848), other leaders such as Jackey, Uncle Marney and possibly King Billy seem to have operated from here.

Immediately after the Battle of One Tree Hill, Lands Commissioner Simpson established a soldier’s barracks or fort near Postman’s Ridge to guard the road up the Downs. This ‘fort’ seems to have been moved a couple of times. It was manned with anything from 3 to 13 soldiers from the 99th Regiment . Travelers and drays camped along the creek by this checkpoint. From here, they had to wait for a soldier to escort their convoy up through the pass. The fort was disbanded in June 1846. There was also purportedly a barricaded building at Rosewood Homestead (now Glenore Grove) with similar defensive purpose, built and manned by settlers.

Figure 3: 1840s dray, similar to the dray camp that once flourished by the 99th detachment’s ‘fort

References:

  • ‘History and Ecology of the Rosewood Scrub,’ 198?, Rosewood Scrub Museum Folders (No.3, Rosewood Tallegalla), pp.1-5
  • Blake, T., 2000, Historical Context Report – Western Region Research Project Brisbane: FAIRA
  • Evans, G.V., ‘The Rosewood Scrub,’ OM 83-21 Box 9142 (John Oxley Collection)
  • Goodwin, M., 1984? ‘From the Journal of Dr John Goodwin (1843),’ John Goodwin Records, OM Box 5327, John Oxley Library)
  • Kerkhove, R., 2015, Report: Indigenous Use and Indigenous History of Rosewood Scrub (Brisbane: Jagera Daran)
  • Kleidon, F., 1979, ‘Early Settlers’ Arrival,’ Rosewood Scrub Museum Folios, Bk.7 – Settlers and History, pp.3-5
  • Rieck, A., 2015, Rosewood Scrub Arboretum – Peace Park, Rosewood Rosewood: West Moreton Landcare Group
  • Snars, F., 1997, German Settlement in the Rosewood Scrub – A Pictorial History Gatton: Rosewood Scrub Historical Society)
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