Queensland Figaro and Punch Saturday 17th October 1885
In the 1880s Brisbane was growing at a colossal rate. Between 1881 and 1891, the population surged from 37,000 to 88,000, an increase of 137%. There was a resulting continuing strong demand for residential land and the large blocks purchased back in initial land sales in the 1860s were gradually broken up. These were typically around 6 to 9 acres and some owners had adjacent blocks.
Usually sales were by auction with most lots sold on the day. Lunch was often provided.
Typical of this was the large block situated on Highgate Hill owned by Edmund Sheppard subdivided into 215 allotments. It occupied the land between Gladstone Road, Dornoch Terrace, Dauphin Terrace and the river including today’s Hazelwood, Brydon, Roseberry and Derby Streets.
Judge Edmund Sheppard was born in Somerset, England and came to Queensland via Sydney. He was Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland from 1874 until 1882. He lived in his house “Hazelwood” until he returned to England on absence due to ill health. The court complex in Townsville, opened in 1975, was named after him in recognition of his being the first Northern Judge of the court.
The land sale took place after his death and the estate took its name, Hazlewood, from that of his house.
The house “Hazelwood” was later occupied by John Bell, a well known Brisbane businessman who according to his 1911 obituary was also a widely acknowledged expert on birds.
The house and estate are remembered through the naming of Hazelwood Street. Often street addresses retained the estate name for many years. Twenty years after this sale, for example, there are still references to Hazelwood Estate, Highgate Hill.
The break up and sale of large blocks in Highgate Hill continued for many years. For a further example, see the post in this blog Westbourne St. 1930s Architecture
With the high rate of growth in the city, adequate services often lagged behind. Roads were a major problem. These two items appeared in the list of correspondence to the Woolloongabba Divisional Board a few years after the estate sale.
Water was also a major problem until the completion of the Highgate Hill service reservoir two years later in 1889, located adjacent to this particular estate (see my post Highgate Hill Reservoir 1889 ).
For another example of an estate break up, see another of my posts, The Blakeneys of Highgate Hill .