Image for Edwin Ford

Above: Edwin Ford

From the early 1860s, Queensland’s first government was anxious to have a large and industrious immigrant population and encouraged immigrants from England to settle here in Queensland.

In 1863, a total of 1,143 assisted immigrants came to Queensland from London, Scotland and Ireland. They sailed towards a place where their future was unknown.

In September that year on board the immigration sailing clipper ship the ‘Sunda’ were Edwin Ford, his wife Elizabeth and their five children. On arrival their sixth child was born. They came from Somerset, England to Moreton Bay, Queensland.

Image for Palmville

Above: The Ford’s home ‘Palmville’

Edwin Ford and the family made their home, in Albion, and named their slab hut ‘Palmville’. They farmed some fifteen acres of land on what is now prime residential land on the corner of Sandgate Road, and the Old Sandgate Road, now called Bonney Ave. Their children walked to the Brookes Street school in Fortitude Valley for their education. Their only other means of transport was on horseback or horse and dray. The mail run commenced in 1864 and passed through Old Sandgate Road to German Station, now Nundah, and on to Sandgate twice a week – a distance of 12 miles.

Trains weren’t established until 1882 and Ford’s house was not far from the Albion Railway Station. By 1899, following rapid growth, 76 trains ran daily!

Image for jol files 2015 06 trains at roma st. station 18801890. station 18801890

Above: Train at Roma Street Station, Brisbane. ca. 1880-1890

Edwin was known for his beautiful garden, which was park-like to many, and his fruit garden the envy of all his neighbours. Edwin was one of a team of men who set up the first Botanical Gardens.

Visiting the Nundah Historic Cemetery, look to the right side of the pathway where you can see one of the taller monuments erected in their memory.

Nundah & Districts Historical Society Inc. | 1A Bage Street, Nundah | Ph: 0472 733 630

Email: [email protected] |