Remembering the history of Buxton

NESTLED on the Burrum River between the Gregory and Isis rivers is the small township of Buxton.

Local historian Merv Hopton said it was referred to by a number of people as the forgotten corner.

"The area is rich in history that is wrongly talked about," he said.

"Is Buxton the same as Burrumba, originally surveyed as Newport?"

Mr Hopton explained that in 1881 Henry Smith took up a selection known as portion 793, Parish Isis, County Cook in the district of Bundaberg.

There were 750 acres in this selection.

Over several years, Henry Smith met his obligations to the Crown through living and improving the property, and became the owner of the free title.

In 1886, Henry Smith and James Equestrian Noakes became tenants in common.

Both men also owned land in Bundaberg in the 1870 period.

"This land became sub-divided into sub 1, which is what we know as Noakes Point," Mr Hopton said

"Sub 2 had land divided into 281 allotments by F.J. Charlton in 1887."

Mr Hopton said Travis St must be on a boundary line between Burrumba and Buxton.

"So is this the same as Newport? We shall look at facts," he said.

Mr Hopton said in 1886, surveyor Fred J Charlton received from the surveyor-general a written instruction to survey a township.

There was a gazetted town reserve, meaning this was Crown land.

The survey was for the upstream side of Travis St. This was portion 77.

"The survey shows a rail line, schools, various reserves and street names that are very different to what is shown for Buxton," Mr Hopton said. "The names are mainly of Aboriginal derivation, and I have been told the words belong to the Kabbi people of this time."

The only lot to be sold from this plan was lot number one, of section 3.

George Stuppart bought this and was the first owner of a deed of grant for this plan.

The town was on December 7, 1886, County Cook, Parish Isis, number 67012 (106490022 in the current numbering) and was called Burrumba.

It is the reason why Wongi St. was kept open for many years, according to Mr Hopton.

Portion 77 was essentially an absorption of all this land and became known as special lease 5040 to Walter P. Mackay, then a series of owners under lease number 5176, starting with James Watkins.

"After many years, the rail reserve and the lot that George Stuppart purchased were all absorbed and combined into the one parcel," Mr Hopton said.

"Today, the site of Burrumba does not exist, except in history.

"George Stuppart was also a man who ran against Andrew Fisher, our early prime minister for Australia."

Mr Hopton said Burrumba came from a Crown land survey.

"You will only find town allotment titles that start from crown land as a deed of grant," he said.

"What happened after a deed of grant was issued became the responsibility of the titles office.

"The area where Buxton is comes from a deed of grant issued to Henry Smith."

So as to Burrumba v Buxton, they are two entirely different transactions of the period, Mr Hopton said.

Buxton was not officially defined until 1998. Until then Buxton was known as portion 793, Parish Isis, R.P. 24483.

"For those interested, they can read the special lease files for portion 77," Mr Hopton said.

"There you will find only one mention of Buxtonville in the 1940 period.

"In the Bundaberg cemetery, there is a Smith buried, whose middle name was Buxton."

Mr Hopton said for historical purposes, the name of Burrumba should be preserved for the future use in the area where it was once intended.



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