When Europeans first arrived in the area they camped near a large waterhole (now silted up); in fact Benarkin was first known as “Well Holes”, then, confusingly, “Blackbutt” before becoming “Benarkin”. Local resident Ken Crumpton officially opened the “Well Holes” storyboard … Ken’s father Col, who now lives in Toowoomba, worked in the local timber industry all his life

December 7, 2020

Visitors to Benarkin will now have the opportunity to leave with a better understanding of the history of the once-thriving timber town, thanks to the efforts of the Blackbutt District Tourism and Heritage Association.

The BDTHA volunteers have erected seven storyboards stretching from Benarkin State School to the Benarkin Store relating stories about the early days of the town.

The storyboards, funded with a grant from the South Burnett Regional Council, were officially unveiled on Friday.

BDTHA president Noeleen Bird said Benarkin had a great history due to the timber industry, railway and farming.

“It was a very bustling little village way back in the early days,” she said.

She painted a picture of cattle being loaded on to trains and bullock wagons hauling timber along the main street.

The BDTHA now have another signage project planned.

The group has received a grant from the Yarraman / Blackbutt branch of the Bendigo Bank to sponsor signs and a brochure about Jesses Well, the Taromeo Mill, the Sandy Creek Fire Tower and local bora rings.

Blackbutt District Tourism and Heritage Association members pose with the “Well Holes” storyboard, the last sign unveiled on Friday
Benarkin State School students watched as president Noeleen Bird, her mother Barbara Soden, Benarkin; and Barbara’s sister Dawn Reiser, Blackbutt, cut the ribbon on the “School Days” storyboard
Dawn Reiser and Barbara Soden with the “School Days” storyboard
These wooden gates and a concrete foundation (hidden) are all that is left at the site of the Benarkin sawmill
The “Benarkin Sawmill” storyboard … this wasn’t the first sawmill in the town but operated well into the 1980s
Former sawmill employee Iris Crumpton and Bob Hawkins, the son of the former manager of the sawmill, opened the “Benarkin Sawmill” storyboard
Jenny Thomas, from Taromeo, and Gary Gilliland, Benarkin, opened the “Early Benarkin Streetscape” and “Benarkin Forestry” storyboards
The “Early Benarkin Streetscape” storyboard features a sketch of Benarkin depicting what the town would have looked like in the early 1900s
The “Benarkin Railway” storyboard awaits its official opening
The “Benarkin Railway” storyboard was opened by Dennis Forman, from Brisbane, the son of a former Benarkin stationmistress
Benarkin Store owner Tracy Reiser with Gay Beitzel (nee Almond) unveiled the “Historic Benarkin Store” storyboard  … Gay is the daughter of Neville Almond who owned the store for many years
There was an extra special surprise at the morning tea after the opening ceremonies … Benarkin’s “Queen of Scones” Deb Gauld, from Benarkin State School, prepared a cake to mark Ken Crumpton’s 70th birthday

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3 Responses to "Story Of Benarkin Officially Unveiled"

  1. Sheila Tweedy  December 8, 2020

    My husband, Peter Tweedy, was the Benarkin Forester from 1963 to 1971. I remember the day he escorted members of the Queensland Historical Society to view the Bora and Kippa-Ring in the Benarkin State Forest.

    Our three children were born in Nanango, but sadly our forestry house no longer exists.

    Congratulations to all those involved creating this special history.

  2. John  December 8, 2020

    It will be great to see the Aboriginal history linked in to the next project. With Benarkin’s proximity to coastal areas I often wonder what they traded and developed to sustain their people over the many years before forestry and farming.

  3. Trish  December 10, 2020

    How wonderful to be able to go down and read all about this little town that we have called home for the last 5 years. We are always interested in the history of our area. It’s fantastic that you have the story boards.


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