The following is an excerpt from ‘They Came to the Plateau’ by Jean Harslett and Meryn Royle.
Stanthorpe in 1900: Two pontoons are being constructed each capable of a capacity of at least 6,000 yards and costing 7,000 pounds each.
One to be suited on the Brisbane Claim and one at Broadwater.
Mighty Oaks out of Little Acorns Grow
Initially, despite little recognition of the potential of Stanthorpe for agriculture, there are various trees today bearing testimony of quality, to wit a pear tree well in excess of one hundred years, in the garden at ‘Maryland’.
Another grows to great height providing annual spring glory in Miss Jean Chauvel’s garden.
This tree is the sole survivor of the well known Scholtz market gardens.
At Ballandean a grapevine of the White Syrian variety was planted in 1859 to mark the occasion of separation.
Reference in the Ballandean claims it covers 445 square feet and has been capable of producing 1,500 lbs of fruit in a season.
David Clarke, a chemist of Warwick and apparently a man of varied interests, advertised in Stanthorpe apple, pear, peach, apricot and nectarine trees for sale, while in Warwick a vigneron received attention for selling “3,000 gallons of wine for 10 pence a gallon, suggesting that a large vineyard would be very profitable”.
In June 1874, Mr Sommerlad of Tenterfield brought two dray loads of apple tress to Stanthorpe which were sold by auctioneer T. N. Rose at the rear of Scowen’s Hotel.
Mr Rose reports in 1892 that fruit from those trees were mainly the winning displays at the show.