Almost all of the Eumundi district was part of three cattle runs

Bullock teams hauling logs to the railway yard off Memorial Drive, Eumundi, ca 1912. Image credit: Picture Sunshine Coast.

Origin of name

The name is thought to be derived from "Ngumundi" or "Huomundy", the name of a local Aboriginal warrior said to have adopted escaped convict Bracefield as his son in 1831.

Early history of settlement

From the early 1850s, almost all the area in the vicinity of the Eumundi district was part of three cattle runs - Canando, Yandina and North Kenilworth. The main grazing areas were around Belli and the Verrrierdale-Doonan area. The steep hills rising out of the valley of the North Maroochy River and the slopes of Mt Eerwah were covered with dense scrub, which was useless for grazing purposes, but contained a wealth of timber.

The first road through the district was a dray road, which was marked and cleared immediately after gold was discovered at Gympie in 1867.

By the time the first selectors arrived, the leases of the cattle runs had lapsed and the area was ready for closer settlement. The first selectors to reside permanently in the Eumundi district were Joseph and George Gridley in 1879. A wave of new selectors began to arrive and 47 selections were taken up by 1885. Pioneer settlers included Ball, Arundell, Cowell, Burrell and Fullager.

It was Fullager who selected Portion 110 in 1882. This was forfeited and the Crown took over and had this portion surveyed for streets and for the sale of blocks of land. This then became the town of Eumundi and lots were first offered for sale in 1890. By 1900, shops started to appear, streets were formed and the town businesses developed. Soon there were several general stores, a bakery, saddler, blacksmiths, butcher shops, auctioneers and agents.

After the railway was opened from Yandina to Cooroy in 1891, there was a problem over the naming of the railway depot at the foot of the Cooroy Range. It was called Eerwah, but Railway authorities were encountering confusion with Beerwah further down the line, so the name Eumundi was chosen.

Eumundi, with the railway and the road to the north passing through it, developed as an important centre of the timber and dairying industry.

The surrounding country consisted of dense vine scrubs full of cedar, beech, and pine, and long ridges covered with blackbutt and tallowwood. In 1895 George Etheridge moved his sawmill from Petrie's Creek (Nambour) to Main Camp and in 1900 moved it again to Eumundi, where it functioned as a timber mill until 1938. In 1922, a second sawmill was brought in from Verrierdale by Straker, Gilliland and Bloomfield, and situated near the Butter Factory, convenient to the railway siding there. This mill used hardwood timber, whereas the Etheridge mill mainly processed softwood.

As the timber was felled and the land cleared, paspalum and other grasses were planted and dairy farms established. The building of two butter factories, one at Eumundi and the other at Cooroy by 1920 indicates the significance of the dairying industry in the 1920s.