Wilston Estate, 1885 (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 Brisbane real estate map from 1885 advertises 309 allotments of land for sale at Wilston Estate. The allotments were situated along Olney Street, Vale Street, Heather Street, Mars Street, Abuklea Street, Wilston Road (now Lamont Road), Stains Street (now Stain Street), Cross Street (now MacGregor Street) and two unnamed government roads (Newmarket Road and Kedron Brook Road).
The sale also included the residence Wilston House, which still stands today on Watson Street, with approximately 8 acres of land. The residence was designed by Brisbane architect James Cowlishaw and constructed ca. 1876 for William Wilson, a mercantile and insurance broker and later Brisbane representative for the Adelaide Milling Company.
Prior to the sale extensive publicity was published in Brisbane newspapers.
"300 magnificent villa sites occupying that splendid knoll on the righthand side of the main entrance leading up to Wilston House, being one of the prettiest spots for formation and views to be had within a radius of twenty miles of Brisbane. Also, Wilston House, and about 8 acres of land, which embraces all the improvements, and occupies the highest spur in the estate...There is not within fifty miles of the city an estate of equal area that can be compared to the Wilston Estate, every inch of land being high, dry, and sound, free from all noxious smells, and with unequalled views, and splendid formation for drainage."(The Telegraph, May 6, 1885)
A public auction was held at the site on the afternoon of May 9, 1885. The Brisbane Courier newspaper reported the results of the sale.
“John Cameron reports a highly successful sale at the Wilston Estate on Saturday. A numerous company was present, and, although the sale opened slowly, after awhile the people seemed to wake up, and a total of 100 lots were sold for the sum of £2847. The house and 8 1/2 acres of land was withdrawn and will be sold privately". (Brisbane Courier, May 11, 1885)