History of Thornlands

History of Thornlands

Popular Thornlands grocer's, The Round Shop, 1998; image courtesy of Redland Libraries Local History Collection 

The Quandamooka story

The traditional owners knew the area as Nandeebie or Nandillie. This was a Jandai language word spoken by the Koobenpul people, the earliest known occupants of Cleveland and surrounds. Like the rest of the Redlands, there are several accounts of early interactions between the original inhabitants and the first European settlers.

Behind the name

Originally Thornlands was part of Cleveland. It was named Thornlands after George Thorn, one of the early land buyers in the area. George Thorn was an Ipswich businessman and politician. Thorn bought a big parcel of land between South St, Redland Bay Rd and King St, most likely in the 1860s. He died in 1877.

His land stayed with the Thorn family for another 23 or so years and was finally subdivided and sold about 1900. At the time, the land was called the Thornlands Estate and only included about a third of the current suburb of Thornlands. As the years went by, land around the Thornlands Estate also became known as Thornlands. 

When the settlers arrived 

During the 1850s, all of the area from Ormiston to the Logan River was leased to Joseph Clark, who ran cattle on the land. He relinquished the lease in 1858 and farmers began arriving in the area, mostly to grow fruit crops such as bananas, citrus and mangoes.

As the years passed, the land was slowly subdivided into smaller parcels. The subdivisions were given their own names, much like today. For example, the area near Eprapah Creek was called the Eprapah Estate. Another large area was called Pink’s Selection and later became Pinklands. 

A growing area

As more people moved to Thornlands, they needed more facilities, such as schools and particularly roads. Many of the roads now in Thornlands were formed in the early 1900s so the farmers could travel to and from their farms. 

Street names can give many clues about the history of an area. Kinross Rd was named after Abraham Street’s farm, through which the road now runs. Dinwoodie Rd is named after William Dinwoodie, who owned about 15 acres. Trundle Road is named after Sam Trundle, who farmed his parcel from about 1916. 

When was it? 

  • The Thornlands State School opened in 1910.
  • Thornlands received a post and telephone service in the late 1920s.
  • A jetty was built at the end of South St about 1920. It was one of the main recreational areas in Thornlands until it was closed in 1974.
  • The Thornlands Hall became the suburb’s main venue for community and other events when it opened in December 1938. It was also known as the Dance Palais and was used for regular dances as well as fetes.
  • The Nazarene Bible College opened in 1976 in Woodlands Dve, Thornlands.
  • King Country nursery opened in Dinwoodie Dve, Thornlands in 1978.
  • Plans were announced to build the Pine Lodge Equestrian Centre in 1983.
  • The Cleveland industrial estate on Wellington and South Sts was officially opened in August 1985.

More information