Sunday History Photo / Qld

Submitted: Sunday, Dec 18, 2016 at 09:05
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Isisford is a small town and locality in the Longreach Region in Central West Queensland, Australia. At the 2011 census, Isisford and the surrounding area had a population of 262. This figure has never surpassed 300..
Isiford is located on the Barcoo River, and is approximately 120 kilometres south east of the town of Longreach


The first European in the area was the explorer Thomas Mitchell, who travelled through the area in 1846. Settlers followed and established a township in the 1870s. In the late 1870s, the town was named after a nearby ford on the Barcoo, and because the Isis Downs property was in proximity to it. Finding the area in drought, Gregory left unimpressed, later stating as Surveyor-General that he could not recommend expenditure on the development of central western Queensland. Regardless numerous pastoral aspirants took up holdings over the next decades, beginning with John Charles Ellis who in April 1866 established the Portland Downs run. C. Lumley Hill followed Ellis in January 1867, taking up ‘Isis Downs’, named after the upper reaches of the Thames River, England. Continuing pastoral settlement encouraged hawkers into the district and misfortune of two of these early traders led to the development of the Isisford township.


Attempting to cross the Barcoo, brothers William and James Whitman broke an axle and decided to settle on the banks of the river. A village soon developed, the siblings themselves erecting a hotel, butcher’s shop, store and saddlery among others. Originally named ‘Whittown’ (or ‘Wittown’) by the Whitmans in self-testament to their founding enterprise, the name was changed to ‘Isisford’ in 1878 when a town was surveyed, based on the presence of a river ford and the settlement’s proximity to Isis Downs station, 20 km east of the town
In 1878, the town was surveyed. A post office and telegraph line were operating by 1881.

Isis Downs Post Office opened on 1 June 1868, was replaced by the Wittown office in 1876 which was renamed Isisford in 1878. In the following years the town progressed with the growth of the pastoral industry.
In September 1956, a deliberately lit fire at the Isisford Hotel resulted in the deaths of a mother and her child.


In the mid-1990s, the first fossils of Isisfordia, an extinct genus of crocodile-like animals, was discovered in a dry creek close to the town. The discovery was made by the town's former Deputy Mayor, Ian Duncan, after which the new species was named Isisfordia (named after the discoverer; former Deputy Mayor of Isisford, Ian Duncan) is an extinct genus of crocodyliform closely related to crocodilians that lived during the Middle Cretaceous .

Its fossils were discovered in the Winton Formation in Isisford, Queensland, Australia in the mid-1990s. Most of the animal was discovered, with the exception of the front portion of the skull. On a later expedition to the location, paleontologists discovered a complete skull which differed from the original specimen in size only. The estimate of the length of Isisfordia is about 1.1 m

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Reply By: boxing kangaroo - Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 08:17

Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 08:17
Us again! MERRY CHRISTMAS DOUG.
We were there few Years back and love the camping grounds along the Barcoo. The one thing that gave us a giggle was the writing on the road. We know it was serious matters but to see it written there was funny.
Cheers and thanks again for those Sunday stories
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