Stories from the Samford Range

News and stories from the Samford Museum

The Samford Range as it looked back in 1920. No traffic and few accidents! The road in this picture wound its way closer to the top of the mountain than it does today after extensive road-building improvements over the years

The most popular transport link between the northern suburbs and nearby Samford districts is Samford Road across Samford Range.  

H. H. Payne was the first to cross the range by bullock dray when he and his son H. T. Payne were taking up land at Wights Mountain after 1865.  Traffic consisted of bullock and horse teams hauling logs to Brisbane sawmills and wagon loads of bananas to markets in Brisbane for railing to southern capital cities. Loaded wagons were hauled to a level section of road on the Samford side of today’s Bygott Road (known  then as ‘Paddy’s Pinch’), where they were left overnight. The horses spelled in near-by farmers’ properties ready for a very early start next morning.  Logs were hauled to by bullock teams, then horse teams took the load on to its destination.  Passenger vehicles were carts, sulkies and drays.

Teamsters had signals, that were whip cracks, to warn other teams of their presence coming towards Samford. The outbound team was given sole use of the road to the top of the range.

Dr. Marks is understood to have driven the first car across the range. Mr. Scheldt, who was working on the road, offered to tow the car with his horse and dray should the car not manage to make the steep grade. The offer was not required!

Motor vehicles became more popular as time went on, however numbers were not sufficient, even in the 1940’s and early 1950’s, to prevent local children setting up their cricket wickets (4 gallon kerosene tins) in today’s Main Street, moving them only when a vehicle was heard approaching.

Cattle were driven by drovers on horse back across the range at night to the Samford butcher’s slaughter yards. Major improvements and surface sealing took place in the late 1940’s and 1950’s.  

For more information contact the museum at

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