Originally, settlers in the area were farmers, with a strong German influence in the community in the early period. In the 1860s, McCann's Greenbank Dairy was in operation, and Peter Faust was also farming in that era.
In 1873, the White family purchased 53 acres (210,000 m2) on high land that became known as White's Hill, which is still the name of a locality within the suburb of Camp Hill. Robert White, who was a joiner, originally built a slab hut on the northern centre of the hill and was farming (dairy cows, pigs). By the 1920s, he'd built a road to the summit of the hill and built a large home on the summit. A two-storey tower at the northern end was included and was used as an observatory. This is now a public reserve.
It was in the 1880s that a real land and housing boom began, however. In 1882, Isaac Bennett established a rose farm on the corner of Bennett's and Old Cleveland Roads (this land was eventually subdivided). In 1886, John and Thirza Zahel acquired land between Dorothy Lane and Pampling Street and established a vineyard and orchard, and in 1890, the Fiveash family established a dairy as well as a fruit and vegetable farm on land at the corner of Clara St and Stanley Road.
In August 1914, "Mount Bruce Railway Station Estate", made up of over 200 blocks, was advertised to be auctioned by C.A. Gordon. A map advertising the auction shows the blocks in the area bordered by Old Cleveland Road, Wiles Street, Perth Street and Pampling Street. It shows the estate was "at Mt Bruce Railway Station, and within a few minutes walk of Norman Park Railway Station, where 20 trains pass daily".
In 1916 Matilda Margaret Maloney (the sister of Thomas Joseph Byrnes who was the first Catholic Premier of Queensland) sold James Duhig (Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane) 22 acres (8.9 ha) of land in the area then known as East Coorparoo (now Camp Hill), which had formerly been owned by her late brother Thomas Byrnes. Duhig sold most of the land, but retained some for a church and school. On Sunday 11 February 1923 Duhig officially dedicated St Thomas's Church, a wooden building of approximately 9 by 19 metres (30 ft × 62 ft). Following her death in 1922, Maloney's will provided a donation in memory of her brother of £300 towards the £850 cost of the building. Duhig decided the church should be named after Saint Thomas and that it would also be a memorial for Thomas Byrnes.
The "Mount Bruce Homesites" were advertised for private sale by J. Moody and S.E. Costin. The land comprised 60 homesites in the area bounded by Old Cleveland Road, Theodore Avenue (now Wiles Street), Perth Street and New Road (now Pampling Street).
On 10 October 1925, "Camp Hill Terminus Estate, Coorparoo" made up of 14 allotments of land, was advertised to be auctioned by Charlton, Elliot and Sons. A map advertising the auction shows the blocks of land between Old Cleveland Road and Donald Street, bordered by what it now Pampling Street.
Mount Bruce State School opened on 1 July 1926. It was renamed Camp Hill State School in 1931. On 1 January 2007 it merged with Camp Hill Infants State School to become Camp Hill Infants and Primary School.
St Thomas' Catholic School opened on 28 January 1929 when two Sisters of the Good Samaritan began teaching 84 children on the three verandahs that had been added to the church. In January 1937 the school moved into a two-storey brick building.
The US Army had a significant impact on the area during World War II. A large US hospital was built on land to the rear of the Camp Hill Hotel. It accommodated up to 3,000 patients and staff. Now Arrol, Errey, Ascham, Morven, Aubrey and Arrowsmith Streets take up the site. These street follow the same pattern as the US constructed hospital roads.
Camp Hill State Infants School opened on 30 Jan 1951. On 1 January 2007 it merged with Camp Hill Infants State School to become Camp Hill Infants and Primary School.
In November 1957 Archbishop Duhig blessed the foundation stone for a new brick church at St. Thomas’ and then officially opened it in October 1958.This is the current church building.
Other local street names include Hobart, Sydney and Melbourne Avenue, which are the names of World War I ships as well as Australian capital cities.
Lossock Avenue and Tranters Avenue share an interesting history: William Lossock, owner and proprietor of Tranters Hotel in London, met the Brisbane architect who was subdividing land in the Camp Hill area when he visited London in the early 1920s. They became friends and the architect promised to name a street in the new estate after him, as well as one after the name of the Hotel.
Other significant dates:
- 1883 - Bus service to Stones Corner established.
- 1925 - Tram line extended from to Camp Hill
- 1926 - Church of the Annunciation (Church of England)
- 1928 - Camp Hill Methodist Church
- World War II - The Australian Army used White's Hill as an observation site.
Trams and Trolleybuses
Between 1912 and 1926 the suburb was serviced by the Belmont Tramway, which was a steam tram service that connected with the Queensland Government Railway owned and operated Cleveland railway line at Norman Park. Initially the service was operated by the Belmont Shire Council. The service was suspended in 1924. The service was reinstated by the Brisbane City Council in 1925, but was again suspended in 1926. The line branched from the Cleveland line where Acfold Street (in Norman Park) now ends. It then crossed Bennetts Road (Belmont Junction station) and followed a corridor that now contains Bennett's Bushland Park, D'arcy Road, Oateson Skyline Drive (in Seven Hills, including Seven Hills station), Camp Hill Bowls Club (Mt Bruce Station), residences between Perth Street and Stephen Street, the Camp Hill State Infants and Primary School large oval, residences alongside Little Ferguson Road (City View Station) then between Margaret Street and Arrol Street, where it joined Old Cleveland Road.
The Belmont Tramway line remained in place until 1934, by which time the Brisbane City Council had extended its electric tramway from Coorparoo further along Old Cleveland Road, eventually becoming Route 06 between Fortitude Valley and Belmont (now Carina). Route 06 was replaced by a bus service when electric trams ceased operations in April 1969. As at 2016 Brisbane City Council's Route 204 still largely follows the former BCC Tram Route 06 along Old Cleveland Road, while Route 212 largely follows the former Belmont Tramway, although it travels to Carindale via Stanley Road rather than Old Cleveland Road. Although most of the tram tracks have been removed, one section of approximately 625 metres (2,051 ft) remains and is heritage-listed. Should the Eastern Busway be extended to Carindale, it is possible that these tracks may be removed despite the heritage listing.
During the 1960s Brisbane City Council also operated an electric trolleybus line along the Macrossan Avenue-Stanley Road corridor with a branch line along Oateson Skyline Drive. Trolleybuses were replaced by conventional diesel buses coinciding with the closure of the city's electric tram system in 1969.
There has been no railway station in Camp Hill since the Belmont Tramway closed in 1926, however Coorparoo and Norman Park stations are located in neighbouring suburbs. Despite this, Camp Hill is well served by radial bus routes along the Old Cleveland Road, Stanley Road, and Chatsworth Rd corridors. Buses operate frequently and with a long span of service along Old Cleveland Road, between the Brisbane central business district and Carindale Shopping Centre bus station. The most significant stop is Camp Hill Stop 30 on Old Cleveland Road at Bruce Street, which is serviced by express, peak limited stops, and all-stops bus routes. Stop 30 is the site of the proposed Camp Hill busway station as part of the Eastern Busway planning. The suburb is situated within TransLink Zone 1, which makes it attractive to city commuters with respect to relatively cost effective transit travel.
Cycling and Walking
With hilly terrain and busy traffic conditions in Camp Hill, local recreational cycling opportunities are limited, aside from paved circuits on Lavarack Park and Perth Street Park. However, as at February 2016 several citywide cycle routes pass through Camp Hill. Old Cleveland Road is a radial route that includes formal bicycle lanes in neighbouring suburbs of Carina and Coorparoo, although not through Camp Hill. Stanley Road is a radial route that is line-marked as a Bicycle Awareness Zone (yellow stencil stylized bicycle marked on edge of vehicle travel lane). Oateson Skyline Drive - Wiles St is a circumferential route that includes formal bicycle lanes. The inner eastern suburbs bicycle route, also circumferential, includes bicycle lanes on Bennetts Road and then passes through back streets marked as Bicycle Awareness Zones between Old Cleveland Road at Ashton Street, and Chatsworth Road at Greens Road. Packs of cyclists are commonplace along Old Cleveland Road early on weekend mornings.
The hilly terrain and busy traffic conditions also impose some impediment to local walking opportunities. However, the grid structure of the road and street network and the presence of urban borders (verges) on all roadways promote relatively direct and safe walking conditions. The higher order local streets and the major roads mostly have paved footpaths on one or both sides. Old Cleveland Road has four signalised intersections with pedestrian control, which are all located adjacent to bus stops. Refuge islands support safe crossing of other roads and streets. Aside from local parks, nearby recreational walking attractions include Seven Hills Bushland Reserve to the north of Camp Hill, and Whites Hill Recreational Reserve immediately to the south.
In the 2016 Census, there were 11,202 people in Camp Hill. 78.0% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 3.2%, New Zealand 3.0%, India 1.0%. 85.3% of people spoke only English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Greek 1.1%, Italian 1.0% The most common responses for religion were Catholic 32.7%, No Religion 28.1% and Anglican 12.9%. .
Notable public parks in Camp Hill include: Lavarack Park near Stanley Road which feature children's play equipment and a short walking loop; Perth Street Park which includes play equipment, BBQ facilities and a fenced dog park and backs onto the Camp Hills Bowls Club; as well as Whites Hill Reserve, which features a large modern children's play area, BBQ facilities, sports fields, and bushwalking tracks where native wildlife such as koalas and swamp wallabies can be seen. In the suburb's west is Bowies Flat Wetland which includes an artificial lagoon that attracts a variety of birds and lizards.
There are numerous kindergartens and pre-schools dotted around the suburb. Additional amenities include the Fire Station at the end of Stanley Road, as well as numerous Doctor's Offices, Dental Surgeries and Pharmacies located around the suburb. The Camp Hill Hotel is a prominent traditional-style pub with accommodation.
Shopping in Camp Hill centres on two areas. Samuel Street Village is anchored by a large Woolworths Supermarket supported by a myriad of cafes, grocery stores and restaurants. The Old Cleveland Road section features a more eclectic selection of boutique shopping outlets and business, notably a large antiques store in the historic Planet Theatre Building and a HiFi Audio store. It also has a number of cafes and traditional local businesses. The backstreets of Camp Hill have a number of hidden boutique stores, cafes and restaurant, the largest district being along Martha Street.
Camp Hill State Infants and Primary School is a government primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at 676 Old Cleveland Road ( In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 807 students with 68 teachers (52 full-time equivalent) and 46 non-teaching staff (23 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program.).
Whites Hill State College is a government primary and secondary (Prep-12) school for boys and girls at 138 Burn Street ( In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 765 students with 77 teachers (71 full-time equivalent) and 48 non-teaching staff (32 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program.).
St Thomas' School is a Catholic primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at 10 Stephen Street ( In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 330 students with 26 teachers (20 full-time equivalent) and 17 non-teaching staff (9 full-time equivalent).).
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