The History of
Caboonbah Homestead

established 1890
(Caaboonbar is an Aboriginal word meaning 'Big Rock').

This is the original home of Henry Plantagenet Somerset and his wife, Katharine Rose. Due to his warnings of the disastrous 1893 floods, Henry played an extremely important role in future flood warning schemes for Brisbane.

Henry Plantagenet Somerset's ancestry descended from "Rollo, The Norse Sea King", (Grand Sire of William the Conqueror) and can be traced back to a long line of English Kings. He descended from John of Gaunt and Katherine of Swanford.

H.P.SomersetHe was a man of great courage and love for his fellow man. While his home was no palace, it gives you an insight into the lifestyle of that particular era. He was a member of the Divisional Board of the Esk Shire Council, now known as the Council of the Esk Shire of Esk. Henry served as chairman in 1904 before entering the Queensland Parliament. He represented his electorate for 16 years, with the electorate ultimately being named after him. Somerset Dam was built following his persistent representations with construction commencing in 1936, the year he died (he lived long enough to see this dream commence).

His wife, Katharine Rose McConnel, was the daughter of David Cannon McConnel whose family was one of the original Brisbane Valley settlers-establishing Cressbrook Station in 1842. She, in the true pioneer spirit of the day, braved the hardships along with her husband rearing 8 of their ten children. Two are buried in a small cemetery at Caboonbah Homestead.

Katharine, who inherited her resourcefulness through her Scottish ancestry, assisted in the development of the Brisbane Valley by helping to establish schools, hospitals and medical physicality's.

See for yourself the panoramic views surrounding the homestead and the preservation of 'days gone by' which is now being achieved by members of the Brisbane Valley Historical Society, in co-operation with the Brisbane Water Board.