FLASHBACK: Ten grandchildren of Robert and Laura Smith in the shade of the Hivesville bottle tree after the plaque ceremony in April
The memorial plaque has been mounted on a rock in front of the Hivesville bottle tree

October 26, 2021

The landmark bottle tree near the former railway crossing at Hivesville has been added to the National Trust’s Significant Tree Register.

The register notes the tree, which was planted to commemorate the memory of a local man killed in a level crossing accident, is a fine example of the Queensland Bottle Tree and a “better than an average” example of its species

The bottle tree was planted in 1932, three years after a level crossing tragedy which occurred just metres away.

On October 1, 1929, local farmer Robert Smith apparently stalled his Ford ute on the railway line which then crossed Wondai-Proston Road.

Seconds later the Proston steam train ploughed into the vehicle, trapping it under the engine.

Mr Smith, 58, suffered fatal injuries in the horrific collision.

Earlier this year, members of the Smith family gathered at the foot of the tree to unveil a plaque to explain the significance of the tree.

The National Trust citations states the bottle tree has local significance because of its scientific, social, historic and aesthetic values.

It was added to the register on October 12.


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