Chermside is a well known location to Brisbane's northsiders, especially due to the popularity of the large Westfield Chermside Shopping Centre.

The suburb of Chermside was named in honour of Sir Herbert Chermside a former Governor of Queensland (1901-04).  The area was previously known as Downfall Creek however the name was changed to Chermside in 1903, due to the efforts of James Youatt, a local teacher.

The early settlers and residents in the area included:

  • Andrew Hamilton and family (1866) who purchased land in an area that was then known as Deadman’s Gully.
  • William Bell who purchased a property adjoining Andrew Hamilton's.
  • Aaron Adsett.
  • German immigrants settled in the period after 1860 in the area adjacent to the present intersection of Hamilton and Webster Roads.  These included the Hermann Family, Frederick Lenz and Christian Bachmann.
  • Blacksmiths and coach builders.  Andrew Hamilton’s Five Mile Town Shoeing Forge and General Smith.

Andrew Hamilton's blacksmith shop on Gympie Road, Chermside, ca. 1890, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Image No: 6105

  • Charles Murr’s Blacksmith’s Forge.
  • August Vellnagel who worked for Murr in the 1890s offered to purchase the forge but was unsuccessful.  He eventually opened his own forge on a site in Gympie Road near the entrance to Marchant Park.  
  • Slaughter Yards.  Dow and Slack; Alonza Sparkes; Bert Robinson.
  • General Stores.  John Patterson (1870s) in Gympie Road; Gottlieb Conradi’s Potsloe Store (1880, named after an adjoining land subdivision); William Sammell; Joe Fisher’s Noah’s Ark Store; J. & K. Lemke, Butchers.

Gottlieb Conradi's general store on Gympie Road, Chermside, ca. 1888, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Image No: 6096

  • The Chermside Theatre was opened in 1928 with the first feature being The man who laughs.  The theatre later changed its name to the Dawn Theatre, which has subsequently closed.
  • Horse Buses.  The first horse bus service commenced October, 1886 with the awarding of a mail contract to David Goodrem of the Edinburgh Castle Hotel.
  • The tram service was extended to Chermside in March 1947.


First tram to Chermside, 1947, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Image No: 119364

Some local sites of interest include:

  • Marchant Park.  William Edward Murphy purchased approximately 204 hectares in 1868 for £372.  Soon after, George Marchant bought a portion of this land for use as a spelling paddock for his horses.  Later, in 1918, the Kedron Shire Council, under public pressure to develop more parkland in its area approached George Marchant and he eventually donated land as a park.
  • Kidston Park.  Named in honour of William Kidston, former Premier of Queensland.
  • Annand Park.  Named in honour of Colonel Frederick William Gadsby Annand, an early Town Clerk.
  • Bradbury Park.  Named in honour of Alderman F.W. Bradbury, an early Brisbane City Council Alderman.
  • Chermside Garden Settlement.  Opened in 1936.
  • United Free Methodist Church, on the Adsett Property (1873).
  • Church of England, in the School of Arts Building (1910).
  • Assemblies of God (1922).
  • Congregational Church (1932).
  • Presbyterian Church (1961).
  • Catholic Church (1962).
  • Lutheran Church (1963).
  • 1859 – only a few residents in the area.  Early survey maps show that the Chermside section of the track which would later become Gympie Road, existed.
  • 1864 – The Queensland government requested Edgar Huxtable, a surveyor, to draw subdivision plans for the Chermside/Aspley area.
  • 1865 – First land sales took place.
  • 1867 – Gympie Gold Rush has a positive impact on the area, particularly the areas along the road to Gympie.
  • 1900 – Chermside State School opened on 7 July 1900.
  • 1947 – Tram service extended to Chermside.
  • 1957 – The Allan & Stark Drive-in shopping centre is opened – the first such shopping centre in Queensland.

Interior of Allan and Stark Limited, Chermside, ca. 1957, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Image No: 119383

  • 1959 – The Chermside Hospital is opened as a chest clinic.  It was later re-named the Prince Charles Hospital.
  • 1975 – The area encompassing North Chermside is gazetted as being within the suburb of Geebung.

more photographs of Chermside


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Both the Lenz and Bachman Families mentioned are my great grandparents. Any data you have on details of their land purchases would be greatly appreciated.

My grandparents were Ludwig Herrmann and Pauline Staib (Ettie) who were married in 1915 at Nundah.A couple of the houses built in Hamilton Road by Ludwig still remain.(The spelling of the surname is often incorrect, and doesn't agree with the signature on the Marriage Certificate and Will.)

Hi Pam,My Grandmother on my mother's side is Jean Frahm (nee Hermmann). She is descended from the same Herrmann settlers, so I think we are relatives! I am currently in Melbourne but the rest of my family are still in Brisbane. Anyway, I just thought it was interesting :)

Thank you for informing us. You must be a useful follow-up issues.Bayrak

Dear Mr. LenzInformation on land purchases in Queensland is normally held by the relevant government department eg. Titles Office and/or Lands Office and it is suggested that you contact them with your specific enquiry. Also, the Queensland State Archives may also hold useful information such as rates records that may assist with researching land ownership.Dear Ms McLeanThank you for this information.. Spelling of names is always an issue with research into places and localities and often change over time.

I'm a descendant, as Fred LENZ, above, of the parents of the LENZ who married the BACHMANN girl.Fred and I are in contact re our LENZ ancestor, Frederick Wilhelm LENZ.Some years ago I did some photocopies of D.R. Treague's "The History of Chermside" at the Fryer Library at the University of Queensland.I didn't photocopy the whole book, but the pages that I did photocopy are very informative.There is a lot on the Downfall Creek families: e.g. HERMAN, BACHMANN, STAIB, CONRADI, MURR, FISCHLE, BENEKE, HAMILTON, KNOX, BULLING, STAIB ... KNOX & PACKER ... very interesting info. on various businesses: Slaughteryards, Blacksmiths, Coachbuilders.Fred LENZ's and my direct ancestor, Frederick William LENZ, who emigrated from Germany, (Wood Carter), died 4 Feb. 1900 at Gympie Road, Kedron. Cause of death as per the Magisterial Inquiry (of which I have a copy from State Archives) = "accidental - through the wheel of a dray passing over his stomach". The names of the witnesses to the Inquiry provide a weath of information. Two of the Witnesses to his actual burial are G. BULLING (this would be Gustav, and Thos. F. POWELL (probably the Thomas POWELL, who along with John KING William SAMMELS, Thomas HAMILTON, Chris MURR, Fred MURR, Paul MAGGS, Lou CAMPBELL, George HACK, Ludwig HERMANN and James HAMILTON were on the School Committe for the Downfall Creek shool in 1900 (later to be renamed Chermside State School).The Edinburgh Castle Hotel comes into the Inquiry into the death of Frederick Wlhelm was outside this, I think, from memory, that he actually died, despite the fact he was taken to what was then called the Brisbane Hospital (Royal Brisbane).There seems to me to be quite a bit of inter-marriage between the families. Various Electoral Rolls are a wealth of information, as are the online BDM, Brisbane City Council Grave Locations site.I have to say how thrilled I was recently to attend the play: "Skating on Sandgate Road" at Golden Years Seniors Club at Nundah - (Brisbane City Council/Aust. Catholic University/Q150.) Nundah's not quite Chermide but I do know there would have been interaction with the various Germans of the 1880s. e.g. the Lutheran Minister - The Rev Immanuel EGEN ... who was "name of religion of minister" on death certificate of Frederick William LENZ...married into the LENZ family...he died at Nundah 1932...A genealogy "tragic"Di Randell

Dear DiThanks for this great additional information.John Oxley Library

We recently read an article titled "The Phantom Landlady of Chermside, Marion Eaton interviewed Merle Berg" published online by the Chermside & Districts Historical Society. In this article it mentions a house in Chermside "In retrospect, the house was a very significant one in the history of Chermside. It had belonged to the Beneke family who arrived in the district in 1865 on the vessel Susanne Godeffroy from Germany. They owned a large area of land and made a living by selling the timber cut from their own site. "We are researching the history of the ship "Susanne Godeffroy", and the passengers who emigrated from Hamburg, Germany to Brisbane on the 1865 voyage. The aim of this research is ultimately to produce a book whichwill not only tell the history of this particular voyage, but also the story of the lives and fate of the 530 passengers who undertook this adventurous voyage to begin a new life here in Queensland. The ship "Susanne Godeffroy" left Hamburg on 09 May 1865 arriving Moreton Bay 6-9-1865.One of our passengers was Johannes Behnke aged 21 was passenger 413. His occupation was a blacksmith. His last place of residence was given as Hüttbleck Holstein.We would be interested in any information on the Beneke family of Cheermside.ThanksNoel & Del Bergman

Hi Noel and DelOur family history librarians will have a look and get back to you.

I found this obit in the Courier Mail. abt 22.10.2004. I kept it because it intrigued me. Can you throw any light on it as it mentions Chermside Girls Home. it is printed as follows.CARMEL. From Chermside Girls Home Finchgirl came a lovely waif without a name. To all the world a nobody. She was all the world to me. Now I age I cant be sad for soon I will see the gentle mab.I know this is an odd request but my curiosity is great. Thank you Joyce Hunt. Beaudesert QLD. Thank you.

thanks heaps for this info. I am a descendant of frederick wilhelm lenz 1826 who was my g g g grandfather on my late mothers side. Exciting stuff! Rosina Jane skinner 1887 was my grandmother.I have info Di Randell kindly researched although there is a lot not as yet included and I have so much info to as yet put on my data base.My contact details