Black’s clear vi­sion for Cleve­land Bay

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

“THE more I see of the place the bet­ter I like it, and it is the opin­ion of all those who have seen it that it will be a most im­por­tant place.”

This is how John Mel­ton Black de­scribed Cleve­land Bay in a let­ter to his em­ployer and city founder Robert Towns in 1865.

Black, who would be­come Townsville’s first mayor, was charged with find­ing a suit­able site for the es­tab­lish­ment of a sea­side port and town­ship.

The site was found near what is now Ross Creek and Mel­ton Hill in April 1864 with Black wast­ing no time in clear­ing the area for fu­ture de­vel­op­ment.

In a let­ter to Towns on Novem­ber 21, 1864, Black wrote: “The man­grove belt fac­ing the creek on the town side I have got nearly cleared, and have found, on clear­ing, a most suit­able place for a wharf and store. I have se­lected suit­able plots of ground for a butcher’s shop and black­smith’s shop, and as soon as ma­te­ri­als ar­rive I shall run them up; also a good place for a ho­tel and tim­ber yard.”

On July 31, 1865, Cleve­land Bay was ready for busi­ness with the first sales of al­lot­ments tak­ing place in Bowen that same day.

It marked the first of­fi­cial recog­ni­tion of foun­da­tion of the city of Townsville “the great seaport and busi­ness cen­tre of North Queens­land, the Gulf Coun­try and the North­ern Ter­ri­tory, with the im­mense pas­toral ar­eas, sugar dis­tricts, min­eral fields and tim­ber lands,” The Townsville Daily Bul­letin later re­ported.

Sixty- nine quar­ter- acre al­lot­ments were of­fered, of which nearly half had been im­proved by the part­ner­ship firm of Robert Towns and Co.

The ti­tle was free­hold in the case of all land sold at the auc­tion.

De­spite the fact that most of the spec­u­la­tors bought from the in­for­ma­tion dis­closed on the map of the al­lot­ments, and had never seen the small set­tle­ment which had sprung into ex­is­tence on Cleve­land Bay, the bid­ding was spir­ited, and ev­ery lot found a pur­chaser.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Townsville was in­cor­po­rated in Fe­bru­ary 1866.

MAYOR: John Mel­ton Black.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.