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Local History

Local history

When Mathew Flinders sailed into Moreton Bay in 1799 he was the first white man to do so. Indigenous nomads living off the sea and land had already developed their own territories on the areas they inhabited. The Aboriginal inhabitants are the direct source for many of the districts place names as they are derived from the European settler's understanding of their language. Wynnum is one such place as the Aboriginal word 'Winnam' means place of the Pandanus Tree. Pandanus Beach is also inspired from the Aboriginal word 'Winnam'.

After European settlement the first land sales took place in 1860, with the auctioning of the 'Manly Beach Estate' in 1882 indicating the growing potential of the area. The opening of the railway line in 1889 was by far the most important development in the Wynnum-Manly area. The train line opened the area as an important fishing and farming district, and by the beginning of the 1900s it had become a popular seaside resort, accessible from Brisbane by train.

Although viewed as a seaside retreat Wynnum-Manly was still effected by the threat of war. In 1877 the town of Lytton was selected as the most favorable point for defending the Brisbane River. As war scares continued for over thirty years the Fort of Lytton was continually developed and upgraded. At the turn of the century the development lapsed although coastal defensive batteries were re-established during both world Wars.

The Shire Clerk's Cottage located in the heart of Wynnum is an important icon to the community. The cottage was the residence for the Shire Clerk of the Kianawah Divisional Board, later hosting the Wynnum Shire Council and finally amalgamated into the Brisbane City Council in 1926. Completely restored in 1984, the cottage is now used to host occasions such as weddings.

The building of the Manly Boat Harbour, the largest small-craft harbour in Queensland began in 1958,developing into a site for several clubhouses. One such clubhouse was the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, established in 1885.

Another location looked to with pride is the Wading Pool located on the Wynnum foreshore. The pool was built during the Depression and was opened in 1932. At high tide the pool is naturally filled with seawater through closing valves along the sea wall. The pool is still regularly maintained and proves popular with families all over Brisbane.

Another project of the 1930s Depression was the stone sea wall used to create the Wynnum Pier. The pier allowed the salt flats to be reclaimed as parkland and a sandy beach known as Pandanus Beach was opened in 1987.

This diverse history can be explored in more detail by taking part in the Wynnum Manly Heritage Link Trail.
Brochures are available from the Wynnum-Manly Tourism and Visitor Information Centre: 43a Cambridge Parade, Manly Qld 4179, Telephone/Fax: (07) 3348 3524.