History of Samford Valley
The original inhabitants of Samford Valley were most likely members of the Garumngar clan of the Jinibara people who spoke a dialect of Waka. It wasn’t until after the Moreton Bay convict settlement closed in 1842 that free settlers began squatting in the region. In 1854, Archibald Young who had previously been squatting in the area was officially given lease of the Samford Run. From 1865 the first sale of 49 country farm allotments were sold slowly. After the passing of the Alienation of Crown Lands Act in 1868 land settlement increased as the Governor in Council was able to appoint Land Agents to deal with the sale, selection and leasing of Crown Land under the provisions of the Act.
The main sources of income for the settlers were timber, bananas, dairying, small crops and fruit. The district prospered until a drought in 1902 ruined crops and pastures and decimated herds. By the year 1908 banana growing had become one of the most important industries in the district. It wasn’t until the introduction of the railway line that the Samford Village started to form as businesses scattered around the area relocated to be near the railway station. In 1926 and 1927 the Samford Railway Station consigned more bananas to southern markets than any other station in Queensland. The banana cropping industry was ruined in the early 1930’s due to the “Bunchy Top” virus infecting the region. As a result of the virus the government ordered all the plantations to be destroyed. During the early 1920’s a granite quarry was formed at Camp Mountain with granite sourced from the quarry being used as the base of Brisbane City Hall. In 1937 electricity came to Samford and dairy farmers started increasing their herds as they were able to use electric milking machines.
After WWI some returned soldiers were given approximately 40 acre holdings on a 3327 acre property which was bought back by the Commonwealth government at £6 an acre. A number of soldiers ended up leaving the properties as they were too small for which to make a living on. WWII saw many local boys again go to war but many also stayed on their farms as farming was an essential service.
On the 5th May 1947 tragedy struck Camp Mountain as a train carrying 215 passengers derailed on the 2 mile decent toward Samford. Sadly 16 people lost their lives and 38 were injured in what is still Queensland’s largest loss of life in a railway accident. It is estimated that the train was travelling 65kph on a 32kph curve. It’s commonly thought that this accident was the reason for the closure of the line between Ferny Grove and Samford but with the increase of motor transport and costs of maintenance and repairs on the track the decision was made to close the line in 1955.
The last Samford district dairy farm was finally closed in 2001 and after 40 years of operation the CSIRO farm closed down and the land was sold in 2002. Land sales of the farms for housing development started in the 1960’s. With people realising the capital appreciation benefits of acreage properties in this area demand is drastically increasing. Today Samford is one of Brisbane’s closest and most sort after semi-rural acreage living areas and offers a rural country lifestyle close to Brisbane. The Village offers a variety of shops and a market every second Saturday of the month.
We would like to thank the Samford District Historical Museum for all their time and help.
If you would like more information on Samford and its surrounds, please visit the Samford Museum for a guided tour.
Open Wed & Sun 10am – 4pm (closed Christmas school holidays) *small admission charged
Quick Facts about Samford and the 4520 Postcode
Total Population: 11,160
Median Age: 37
Mean Household size: 3.1
Median Weekly Household Income: $1,625
Never Married: 24.4%
Divorced or Separated: 8.6%
Total Employed: 60.4%
Total Workforce: 5,991
Full-time Workers: 60.4%
Part Time Workers: 31.6%
Clerical and Administrative: 15.9%
Technicians and Trades People: 13.4%
Sales Workers: 8.0%
Camp Mountain 1,189
Cedar Creek 489
Mount Glorious 295
Mount Nebo 302
Mount Samson 723
Samford Valley 2,631
Samford Village 657
Wights Mountain 970
(Statistics taken from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census Data 2006)