Immerse yourself in rivers history

THE mouth of the Fitzroy River is much in the news at present with the proposed new shipping channel and construction of the coal export terminal.

Protection of native wildlife and marine creatures is a concern, but we should also be informed about the cultural and historical significance of the area.

Capricorn Coast Historical Society has a display at the Yeppoon Library from today offering a chance to discover more about this interesting part of our heritage and view many more photographs and maps.

Sea Hill on Curtis Island was a popular picnic destination for visitors from Rockhampton who travelled there in river steamers to walk along the Golden Shore.

The area holds a significant place in the history of the Capricorn Coast with the remains of earlier settlements still evident.

The first settlement was a pilot's station built at Cape Capricorn in 1863 which was shifted to Grassy Hill in 1864 and then again in 1919 to Sea Hill. Cottages were built for customs officers, pilots and boatmen, and a boat shed, tramway and rainwater tanks were installed.

A school was established in 1893 and in 1879 a lighthouse was established at Sea Hill. In July 1873 the ship, Countess Russell, anchored off Curtis Island suffering a plague of typhoid fever and a Quarantine Station consisting of tents was established with permanent buildings constructed at a later date.

Five deaths occurred and the victims were buried on the island. The remains of the cemetery can still be seen.

If you have stories or photos of your family and friends fishing, boating, visiting or even living in the cottages on these islands, ontact Mary on 4933 7006 or 4933 0246.

 



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