Toogoom, Then and Now
Toogoom then and now. For the new arrival, Toogoom appears to be drenched in tranquillity while at the same time showing a capacity for renewal and replenishment, continual energy, and creativity. Toogoom’s emergence as a residential area began in the 1970s, following the development of the Hervey Bay coast between Point Vernon and Urangan.
To get to understand the real Toogoom, new and old residents alike really need to step backward in time, into the mid 1800’s, into the log stockades of early settlement.
The following information was copied from framed photo the writer found displayed at Goodys Restaurant in 2012.
The Toogoom Run & Early Residents
The first application of lease on the Toogoom run was by W.McPhail & N. Sheehan in November 1859. It comprised an area of 16,000 acres. It is not clear what happened next but on 16th January 1865 Edgar Thomas Aldridge applied for lease to run Toogoom. The area was then 30 square miles
The lease was issued to commence from 1st January 1866. The rent for the first five years was ₤12/10/- per annum.
Although in 1868 the lands act was brought in and the Toogoom run was cut up.
In 1870 Danish German & Swedes started to arrive and take up small farms.
One of Toogoom’s first families was Hans Christian Jepperson (better known as Old Christy) and his wife Anna Hans Jeppersen came from Denmark and Anna came from Dundowran. They both settled at Toogoom in the early 1900’s. They had three daughters – Annie, Eileen and Christina.
Eileen recalls how her mother used to be frightened of the aborigines until and old aboriginal lady made the girls some shell necklaces which they kept for years.
Jeppersen Road and Jeppersen Beach is named after the family.
Eileen married Ernie Voss whose family was one of Howard’s early settlers. They owned the grocery story and bakery in Howard. They used to come to Toogoom on weekends and holidays. Ernie and Eileeen live in Toogoom today.
Other early settlers were: Bellerts, Znedercics, Henry Martin (retired policeman), George and Mary Putman, Theo Todd, Joyce Sutton & Kerrs. Julie Mrtin who owned the house next to the restaurant which was the original dance hall. John Bellert was the first resident in this area of Toogoom which is opposite the restaurant next to the park.
Sam Hecker operated a joy flight business from Jeppersens Beach (near the caravan park). He landed on the beach in a two seater Tiger Moth and would take you to Burrum Heads and back for 15/-.
Toogoom even had a school in the early days which was situated opposite Joycie Suttons property on the Toogoom Road. Jack Kerr owned the property at the end of Moreton Street which was an orange orchard.
The area is steeped in history of the coal mines what can be seen at the Torbanlea Mining Museum. Well worth a look! This property where Goodys Seaside Inn now stands was owned by Paddy Slattery. We bought the old house which Paddy built with his own hands. It was intended to maintain the old house as a Devonshire Tea house but unfortunately the requirements to renovate were impractical. Paddy’s dream, we are told, was to have a two story home on this land. His ashes were thrown in the water at the front so we hope his dream has come true. We so hope our restaurant will give pleasure for everyone to enjoy.
The name of Goodys Seaside Inn is named after the owners and builders, Warren & Ronda Goodwin. It was then an added interest to find the first licensed in Queensland which was situated in Nanango was called Goodies Inn.
How grateful we all should be to have memories like these of Toogoom’s early days.
Today Toogoom is on the verge of exciting times. Visitors become residents. Those same visitors tell their friends and family and in several areas there are signs of the growth with new housing sprouting quickly. Some fear the new growth will change the old ways but the best way to make sense out of the changing landscape is to embrace it, move along with it and join in the dance.
Even with the progress that will happen sooner rather than later we will always have the chance of a late afternoon walk along any part of the seven miles of beach that stretch along and beyond the Toogoom foreshore.
For a little change from the beach walk, take a walk along Kingfisher Parade up toward Fixter Park for a time. Stroll through one of the older, pretty parts of Toogoom. Beach houses with add- ons, Poinciana trees, fine houses with great wide verandahs, children riding bicycles. Scenes like this are here forever regardless of progress.