April 22, 2021
The refurbished headstone of one of Moore’s most influential pioneers will be unveiled at a public ceremony on Sunday, May 2.
The unveiling will be held at the Moore-Linville Cemetery on Linville Road at 1:00pm, and will be followed by an afternoon tea at Moore’s Memorial Hall.
The unusual restoration project has been carried out by local history group, Brisbane Valley Heritage Trails (BVHT), to honour the memory of Robert Williams, the original builder and operator of Moore’s famous Stonehouse.
Williams was an English stonemason from Gloucestershire who emigrated to Australia with his extended family in 1873 and purchased two 1000-acre blocks the following year when they were carved from Colinton Station.
Between 1874 and 1888, Williams and his family built the Stonehouse complex, which started life as a humble five-room homestead and later went on to serve as a hotel, a local post office, a way station for stage coaches and a working farm that bred horses, cattle and sheep.
His Stonehouse complex was a regular stopping place for the stagecoach that ran twice a week between Esk and Nanango, and it even figured in Saul Mendelsohn’s bush ballad “Brisbane Ladies” which was popularised in the 1890s.
During a long and varied life, Williams and Stonehouse served the steadily growing communities in the district.
Williams even accompanied Queensland Premier Sir Thomas McIlwraith on horseback from Stonehouse to Nanango as McIlwraith explored possible routes for the extension of the Brisbane Valley railway branch line from Esk to Blackbutt.
When Robert Williams died in 1907 his son Frank – by then a successful stonemason in Ipswich – carved the memorial headstone for his grave.
But in the 114 years since then, Williams’ grave had become dilapidated and the headstone had suffered badly with weathering.
Brisbane Valley Heritage Trails undertook a fundraising campaign to pay for the restoration of Robert Williams’ headstone and grave, and both BVHT members and the public are invited to the unveiling.
To help plan the afternoon’s catering, though, an RSVP would be appreciated.
RSVPs can be made by messaging the BVHT’s Facebook page