History in Brisbane

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In July 1825, after an unsuccessful attempt to settle at Redcliffe, a harsh penal colony was established on the present site of Brisbane, by order of the then Governor of New South Wales, Sir Thomas Brisbane. In March 1826, Captain Patrick Logan was appointed the new commandant and during the next four years gained a reputation as the most cruel in the colony. An unflattering convict ballad, "Moreton Bay" was dedicated to Logan after his murder in 1830. Later an observatory, built in 1828 still stands. The attached treadmill made the windmill useful both for grinding corn and for mass punishment. By 1840, all surviving convicts had returned to Sydney and, for white Australians at least, Brisbane became a free settlement. Another building from this period is open to the public today. Newstead House, built in 1846, for a time served as an unofficial Government House. In 1859, Brisbane was separated from New South Wales and Queensland was proclaimed a new colony by its first Governor, Sir George Ferguson Bowen. From 1901, Queensland has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia. Two city administrations, six towns, 12 shires and four other authorities amalgamated to form Brisbane City Council on 1 October 1925 (Brisbane Day). The flood of January 1974, caused by Cyclone Wanda, is remembered by many residents. 14,000 homes had to be evacuated, the Centenary Bridge at Jindalee was severely damaged by a runaway gravel barge and all air, road and rail communication with the outside world was cut off. Saturday 26th was the wettest day in Brisbane since 1887.


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