Skip to main content
state library of queensland
John Oxley Library


By JOL Admin | 6 January 2009

The history of Mitchelton will appear on a future segment within Channel Seven's Great South East program.  The staff of John Oxley Library have been assisting with the research involved.

The name of the suburb derives from the Mitchell family who, together with the Nicholsons (John and William), the Keylers and the Duncan family were early settlers.  The Mitchell family arrived in the 1850s and Nicholas Mitchell later purchased 75 acres on the southern bank of Kedron Brook.  The family's estate was called Mitchelton and was subsequently subdivided into smaller allotments.

The land was originally covered with iron bark forest which was a source of timber for various uses.

View along unsealed road, Mitchelton, Brisbane, 1927, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Image No: 16226

View along unsealed road, Mitchelton, Brisbane, 1927, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Image No: 16226

Some early settlers, industries and businesses included:

  • Chinese market gardens existed in the area facing the present Brookside Shopping Centre (1930s).

View of the Chinese market gardens, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Image No: 118864


  • Edward and Hannah Pickering operated a vineyard at nearby Enoggera (1880s).

Samuel Taylor’s winery and vineyard, ca. 1915, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Image No: 49085


Some sites and buildings include:

  • St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, built on land donated by early settlers John and Mary Nicholson.  The building was designed by the prominent and well known Colonial Architect, Charles Tiffin, who is said to have based his design on the church at Barford St. Martins, Wiltshire, England.  The foundation stone was laid by Sir George Ferguson Bowen, Queensland's first Governor on 23 September, 1867.  The church building is believed to have been constructed from locally made bricks with the clay coming from a site near the intersection of the present Elsworthy Street and Grovely Terrace.
  • Grovely Farm/Winery (late 1800s).  This enterprise was established by John and Mary Nicholson with their family name commemorated by Nicholson Street.  Grovely Terrace also commemorates this farm and vinyard and its alignment follows the drive that led to the Nicholson house (Grovely Lodge)

Grovely Lodge, 1948, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Image No: 46777


  • Glen Retreat Winery (late 1800s).  This winery was established by John Lade with the name commemorated by Glen Retreat Road.  The winery was situated in the vicinity of the Kooya Road intersection, producing burgundy, claret, reisling and Queensland Madeira.
  • Taylors Vineyard operated by the Taylor family.  This is commemorated by Taylors Road.
  • Hurdcott Vineyard/Winery located in the vicinity of the present Hurdcott Street and South Pine Road.
  • Auburn Winery.
  • Surrenden Winery operated by the Lade family.
  • The first picture theatre was established by John Nugent in Osbourne Road (1916) .  In 1923, renovations undertaken included the installation of a good guality dance floor.  During the 1920s and 1930s it was used as a community centre.  Following the theatre's closure in 1959, the building was used as a skating rink.
  • Brookside Shopping Centre – opened September 1971
  • Mitchelton Shopping Centre.  Two Miss Lees (sisters) opened a general store in Blackwood Street in 1917.  Their brother, Alec, later became the postmaster for the area.

E. H. Bone’s General Store, Mitchelton, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Image No: 118979


Some important dates in Mitchelton's history and development include:

  • 1857 – land originally opened up for settlement with the first land purchased 30 January, 1857
  • 1914 – Grovely State School (later Mitchelton State School) established.
  • 1918 (2 March), a 1.3 kilometre section of the Dayboro branch railway line, linking Gaythorne to Mitchelton, was opened.
  • 1926 (26 August), the Mitchelton Presbyterian Church was opened by Rev. W.H. Waters.

more photographs of Mitchelton


Your email address will not be published.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments.

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.
We also welcome direct feedback via Contact Us.
You may also want to ask our librarians.