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Townsville

Queensland

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Townsville Local History

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Local History of Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Townsville is a city located in the northeastern coast of Queensland, Australia. The city was named after Robert Towns, a businessman who established a shipping company that traded items between Australia and Asia. The founding of this city has an intriguing history that begins in the mid-19th century.

Early History

Prior to European settlement, the area that is now known as Townsville was occupied by the Wulguru and Bindal people. They lived a sustainable life from fishing, hunting, and gathering food crops. In 1864, John Melton Black established a settlement in the area and named it Cleveland Bay. He hoped to build a port for the inland hinterland. However, his plan was abandoned due to the limited access to fresh water.

The Arrival of Robert Towns

In the 1860s, Robert Towns arrived in Cleveland Bay, looking for a new location for his shipping business. He found a better site for his port at the mouth of Ross Creek. A town was established in this area and was named Townsville in honor of Robert Towns.

The Gold Rush

Townsville became a popular destination for prospectors during the gold rush in the 1860s. The demand for supplies and goods increased, and the city became a hub for commerce. By the end of the decade, Townsville had developed into a prosperous town with a hospital, jail, school, and courthouse.

The 20th Century

The 20th century marked significant progress in the development of Townsville. In 1902, the first street lighting was installed in the city. Three years later, a railway line connected Townsville to the rest of Queensland. During World War II, Townsville became a major base for allied troops in the Pacific. The city played a crucial role in the defeat of the Japanese in the Battle of the Coral Sea.

Townsville Today

Today, Townsville is a thriving city with a population of approximately 200,000 people. It is the largest urban center in North Queensland and is home to the Australian Army's 3rd Brigade. The city is a popular tourist destination, known for its beaches, islands, and vibrant nightlife. It is also a hub for education, with several reputable universities and colleges located in the city.

History of in Townsville

The local history of Townsville is marked by significant developments in commerce, infrastructure, and culture. The city has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a port town, and today, it is a modern and vibrant community that celebrates its rich history while embracing change and progress.


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Townsville Beach - Stinger Nets (m) thanks to Mart Moppel