Southport allotments sale [Labrador], 1886 (Map of the Week)
State Library of Queensland has an extensive collection of historical maps of Queensland, some of which have been digitised and can be viewed online.
This real estate map for 1886 is advertising 233 allotments of land for sale at Southport (although this land is now designated part of the Gold Coast suburb of Labrador). The auction was held on site on January 30. Allotments were spread over the following streets in Labrador - Wilson Street, High Street (now Turpin Road), Harris Street, Echlin Street, Robert Street, Central Street, Ahern Street, Muir Street, Government Road (now the Gold Coast Highway), Whiting Street and Musgrave Avenue.
Prior to the sale extensive publicity was published in newspapers such as the Brisbane Courier and The Telegraph. The advertisements emphasised that the allotments would be in the close proximity to the planned site of the Southport Railway Station.
"The money for the construction of the railway has already been voted, the plans and specifications approved of,...so that in all probability the next eighteen months will witness the iron horse carrying visitors for the metropolis and other inland towns of the colony to this lovely watering place, which seems as if designed by nature." .
Advertisements also stated that the introduction of the railway line would increase tourism. It was reported that 6,000 people had visited Southport during the Christmas period of 1885. Agents speculated that the number of tourists would quadruple with the introduction of the railway line.
A special excursion was organised by the auctioneers to transport prospective buyers from Brisbane to the auction site on the Gold Coast. The steamer Kate was chartered and left Brisbane at 2pm the day before the auction with approximately 120 passengers. According to the Brisbane Courier - "Macleay Island was reached about 6 pm. Captain Stehn anchored for the night, and the whole party had a good night's fishing".
At 8 am the following morning the Kate arrived at Southport, with the auction commencing at 11 am with a free luncheon provided.
The Brisbane Courier reported that 220 allotments were sold on the day of auction for a grand total of £7922 (an average of £36 per allotment).
You can view a higher resolution image of this map through our One Search catalogue.
Myles Sinnamon – Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland