Sunday History Photo / Qld

Submitted: Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 09:36
ThreadID: 117884 Views:3392 Replies:3 FollowUps:5
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To the traveller speeding along the Mitchell Highway from Charleville to Longreach, Tambo seems nothing special. Located 200 km from Charleville and 208 km from Barcaldine it's just another town in western Queensland. A sign at the southern end of the town announces that it has a population of about 500 and is located 398 m above sea level. This would hardly cause the traveller to even pause.

A closer look reveals that it is a town which has been held in time. Tambo is a country town out of the 1940s or 1950s. There's a couple of lazy pubs, a disused picture theatre which looks like it closed its doors only yesterday, a general store which still feels like a general store - drapery, vegetables, groceries - and a number of old buildings which date back to the 1870s and 1880s.
Tambo proudly claims that it is the oldest town in Central Western Queensland. Certainly it was surveyed and gazetted in the early 1860s and settlement began in 1863.
The first European through the area was Sir Thomas Mitchell who described the region around present day Tambo as 'downs and plains extending westward beyond the reach of vision'. Even the Barcoo River, which is frequently nothing more than a line of waterholes, was described as 'a river traceable to the remotest verge of the horizon'. It was on the basis of these recommendations that the town was established.
Initially it became an important stopping place for itinerant carriers and drovers. A blacksmith's shop was established and by 1865 there was a pub for the thirsty travellers making their way from Charleville to Longreach.

Most notable are the two post offices in the main street. The operational one was built in 1904. It still has the charm of the time and its open weatherboard design is attractive.
Over the road is the original post office which was built in 1876. The key can be obtained from the Council Offices next door but there is little point unless you are interested in old bottles or telegraphic equipment

You can view a full size of this plan PLAN HERE

At the southern end of town is a grim reminder that even in a place as remote as Tambo was affected by the deadly influenza epidemic of 1919. A Memorial erected by townspeople commemorates Reginald Barry who died trying to save the people in Tambo stricken with influenza.

Reginald Sylvester Barry was a manager of Tambo Station for its owners the Turnbull family. He was community minded as well as being a member of the Tambo Shire Council. In 1919, Tambo was hit by a strain of deadly influenza which was sweeping Australia. Barry , although a young man, had lost his wife and two of his three children a year earlier.
During the epidemic, he threw himself into helping those infected by the deadly influenza germs. Finally just as the disease was beginning to abate in Tambo, Reg Barry caught the influenza himself and died. The citizens of Tambo erected the monument in his honour.
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Reply By: Tim F3 - Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 11:18

Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 11:18
Thankyou for this weeks history update,really appreciate the effort you go to each week.
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Follow Up By: Member - bill j (VIC) - Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 16:58

Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 16:58
Yes thank you Doug will go and have look, hope to be up that way again soon
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Reply By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 20:53

Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 20:53
Another interesting thing about Tambo is that the first fatal plane crash for QANTAS happened there on 24-3-1927, the pilot and 2 passengers were killed. There is a memorial at the crash site in the Tambo common at S 24 52.607 E 146 15.19.

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Follow Up By: Geepeem - Monday, May 18, 2015 at 08:44

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 08:44
Yes we went out to the site of the crash and to see the memorial. I have heard some say Qantas has never lost a plane. But that is not true. This crash did occur and lives were lost.
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Reply By: gbc - Monday, May 18, 2015 at 05:59

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 05:59
It wouldn't be a thread about tambo if the tambo teddies didn't get a mention.
Read the history page.
We have a couple from back when they really were the lifeblood of the local farmers for a good while.
Unfortunately these days it's wild dogs that are putting the place back on the map.

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Follow Up By: Geepeem - Monday, May 18, 2015 at 08:45

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 08:45
Even at the zebra crossing the sign says "Teddies Cross Here".
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Follow Up By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Monday, May 18, 2015 at 16:26

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 16:26
gbc , I know what you mean, and I do know about the Tambo Teddies, ....but the Teddies have only been around since 1993 and I'm sorry but they are not in my classification as being history , maybe in another 40 years the Teddies will qualify for SHP.....if someone else is doing them, because by then I'll be history.

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Follow Up By: gbc - Monday, May 18, 2015 at 16:59

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 16:59
Fair cop too :)

I think you'll also find the Royal carrangarra pub is also the oldest licenced premises in QLD. Lots of cool stuff in tambo. And it's a nice place to boot.
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