Early Brisbane

Early Brisbane

Andrew Petrie was responsible for the design and construction of many early Brisbane buildings Image: John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

In 1839 Moreton Bay stopped receiving convicts. Preparations were underway to convert the outpost to free settlement.  One of the earliest attempts at settlement was the Zion Hill mission (now Nundah) from 1838 to 1848, established even before free settlement was declared.

John Dunmore Lang was instrumental in bringing the German missionaries to Zion Hill, adjacent to the northwest and essentially part of Eagle Farm at the time. 

John Dunmore Lang also recruited Andrew Petrie, who arrived in 1837 as clerk of works to repair the settlement’s buildings. Petrie stayed on to design and build most of the important structures for the future town.

The Petrie family’s first Brisbane lodgings were in the original Female Factory at the site of Brisbane’s GPO. A year later, Petrie and his family moved into a stone house on the reach of the river now known as Petrie Bight. 

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