History

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Listed below is a near complete index of Toowoomba buildings and locations detailed on the Queensland Heritage Register.

The aim of this article to provide a link to a more detailed narrative of each of these heritage listed locations.

Currently, this is a work in progress and if you can assist, please contact me.

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Toowoomba City Council Logo

Toowoomba city council origins date back to 24th November 1860, when Toowoomba was declared a municipality. This was quickly followed by the first council election on the 4th January 1861.

William Henry Groom became the first mayor of Toowoomba, after which the Australian electoral division of Groom is named after him.

Toowoomba's status of town transitioned to a city at midday on the 20th October 1904.

Toowoomba celebrated its centenary as a city in 2004.

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Toowoomba Historical Society

The origins of the Toowoomba Historical Society date back to approximately 1950 when a small group was formed to discuss Toowoomba's history.

At the commencement of 1970's this group was disbanded and it was not until the latter part of the 1970's that the society had reformed in the same spirit to discuss and research Toowoomba's History. The society was incorporated in 1996.

The society's mission statement is "To stimulate our community’s interest in the economic, social, cultural and environmental history and heritage of Toowoomba and its environs."  - note: the definition for environs is "surrounding areas and districts".

The historical society is constituted of a library with research facilities which is available to members of the public. The society has a vast archive of literature, photos and artifacts. The society does also accept enquiries from the public.

The Library is located at 49 Lindsay St (between Queens Park & Queens Park Gardens) in East Toowoomba QLD 4350.

post: PO Box 1171 Toowoomba QLD 4350
tel: (07) 4638 7362
web: www.toowoombahistory.org.au
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Toowoomba Coat of Arms

Crest:
A violet and sprig of wattle in saltire tied with a red ribbon is used as the crest in Toowoomba's coat of arms. The wattle and violet are Toowoomba's floral emblems and represent the cities colours of gold and purple respectively. The colours were adopted by the city in 1932.

Wreath (Torse):
In keeping with tradition, the wreath features the same heraldic colour (red) and heraldic metal (gold) as the mantling. It consists of two ribbons coupled together by twisting them several times, then wound around the helmet, designed to hold the mantling securely in place.

Mantling (Trimming):
The mantling streaming from the helmet consists of a heraldic colour (Red) on one side and a heraldic metal (Gold) on the other side.

Helmet (Helm):
The helmet, sitting atop the shield, is a carry over from the days when a coat of arms was used to distinguish combatants on the battlefield.

Shield:
The shield of the Toowoomba coat of arms is divided into four fields. The charges that occupy the four fields and their origin and meaning are summarized as follows:

  • 1st Field - Horse head on gold background


The horse played an important role in Toowoomba's pioneer days, serving predominantly in the areas of agriculture and transport. The purple horses head on gold background represent the colours of this extraordinary garden city.

  • 2nd Field - Golden Fleece (Sheepskin) on red background


The Golden Fleece symbolizes the sheep that would have grazed on lush pastures. The red background could possibly symbolize Toowoomba's volcanic rich red soil.

  • 3rd Field - Sheaf of wheat on blue background


Wheat grain was the main production crop in Toowoomba's early days. The blue background symbolizes clear skies of the Sunshine State.

  • 4th Field - Emu on gold background


The emu, a large native bird and unofficial faunal emblem of Australia was originally intended to be used as one of the supporters of the shield. This was decided against as the Australian coat of arms already had a kangaroo and emu as supporters. Instead it was incorporated into the 4th field.

Supporters:

Two kangaroos are used as supporters of the shield. A sprig of wattle is placed on each kangaroos shoulder to make it easily identifiable from other coat of arms.

Compartment:
A grassy mount is used as the compartment upon which the two supporting kangaroos, shield and scroll of Toowoomba's motto rest.

Motto:
Toowoomba's motto, the Latin Prodimus Dum Crescimus, translates to We prosper as we grow, indicating Toowoomba's prosperity and progression as a city.

Useful Links: Coat of Arms
Please report inaccuracies: Contact

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tfThe Toowoomba foundry was established in 1874 by George Washington Griffiths and was officially opened in February 1876 and was originally known as Griffiths Brothers and Company.

In July 1884, the company was floated and then became known as Toowoomba Foundry and Railway Rolling Stock Manufacturing Company Ltd.

Some of the products the foundry manufactured amongst other things included parts for railway vehicles, boilers for steam engines and pumps.

Sold in 1987 (to National Consolidated), the site continued to operate as a foundry until 2012 when it was put up for sale on the market.

Eventually, in October 2013 Bunnings purchased the site and got approval from the Toowoomba Regional Council to demolish certain sections of the heritage listed site where the new Bunnings Toowoomba North warehouse would be located and opened in 2017.

The remaining portion of the Heritage listed Foundry Precinct was developed and sold off by Bunnings in January 2019, with the view the remaining site will be used as office and retail precinct.

address: 251-267 Ruthven St, Toowoomba
Queensland Heritage Register: 7 July 2004

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