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The History Of Mundoolun

The penal colony of Moreton Bay was originally established in 1829, and European free settlers were excluded from a 50-mile radius of that penal settlement. The exclusion affected most of what is now Beaudesert Shire until 1842 when transportation of convicts to Moreton Bay ceased.

 The Mundoolun Estate is a portion of the original Mundoolun holding, one of four claims in Beaudesert Shire, registered with the land commissioner in Sydney, prior to the end of 1842.

William Humphries, an Irish immigrant drove sheep north from Liverpool Plains west of Sydney through Cunninghamís Gap, and settled on this land that he later called Mundoolun. He built a slab hut on the site where the Old Mundoolun homestead stands today.

John Collins and Anne Martin were married at Cove of Cork (later Queensport), Ireland, in March 1839 and sailed to Sydney where they arrived in September that year. John Collins initially worked in a warehouse: however in 1844 when a fire destroyed the warehouse, the Collins family decided to move to Mundoolun to join William Humphries, a relative of Anneís.

In June 1844 John and Anne Collins together with their daughter Jane, aged 2, and son Robert Martin, aged 7 months, journeyed on a paddle steamer for Moreton Bay. The Journey took 3 days and they disembarked at Kangaroo Point. Brisbane at the time had a population of some 750, a reduction from the height of the penal colony. The journey to Mundoolun took a further 3 days along the route of the present Mt Lindsay Highway (a journey that today takes just 45 minutes in a car). About a mile from the destination the dray became bogged and the family had to walk the remaining distance. After that initial journey Anne Collins did not return to Brisbane for 7 years.

John and Anne settled at Mundoolun initially in another slab hut built on the hill behind Old Mundoolun and more children arrived. William in April 1846, the first white child born on the Albert River, John George in 1849 and another daughter Anne Bertha in 1851.

In 1847 William Humphries decide to leave Mundoolun and seek opportunities in the Brisbane Valley. He sold his share to John and Anne Collins and established Waterton Station before returning to Ireland in the 1860ís.

Queensland became a state in 1859, and in 1868 the Government of the day passed the Queensland Lands Act, and resumed some of the land that had been settled previously in order to make room for more settlers. They gave the original settlers like John and Anne Collins the opportunity to freehold the balance. The terms were 15 shillings ($1.50) per acre for good agricultural land, 10 shillings per acre for first class grazing land, and 5 shillings per acre for second class, with 10-year terms.

The original freehold titles to The Mundoolun Estate have stayed in the one family since 1877.

John and Anne Collins remained at Mundoolun for the rest of their lives. Anne passed away in 1891 and John in 1898. Their children, Jane, Robert Martin, William, John George and Anne Bertha Fraser had the church of St Johnís Mundoolun built on a hill overlooking the Old Mundoolun homestead in memory of their parents. The church foundation stone was laid in 1900 and the building completed and consecrated in 1902. The tower was added a decade later. The church is constructed of sandstone, and lined and furnished in red cedar. Both materials came from the Mundoolun property. In the small family cemetery at the rear of the church, rest John and Anne Collins, and four generations of their descendants. 

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