Queensland places – Proston

Two small collections that have recently gone live on SLQ’s One Search catalogue shed light on the early days of the town of Proston in Queensland’s South Burnett region. Acc 6605 Burns Family Photographs of Proston District  contains 16 images from the 1930s and Acc 6608 Proston Photographs contains some earlier images from 1923-1924.

Cars parked on the street in front of the Terminus Hotel, ca. 1935. From Acc 6605 Burns Family Photographs of Proston District. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image: 6605-0001-0005

Located approximately around 280 km by road north-west of Brisbane, Proston has its origins in 1910 as English settlers made their way to the area via a land ballot. In the following decade a railway construction camp was established in Proston to work on a new branch line. A school opened in 1917 and once the railway line was completed to Murgon in 1923 the town grew quickly. Cattleyards were built next to the station and a community hall and a hotel soon followed.

Shops fronting Rodney Street, Proston, with the newly completed railway line in the foreground, 1923. From Acc 6608 Proston Photographs. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image: 6608-0001-0001

By the 1930s the region had become one of the most productive dairy areas in Queensland. 1934 saw the South Burnett Dairy Co-operative Butter Factory built in Proston to assist the busy factory at nearby Murgon. The new butter factory contributed to further growth in the town.

Crowds at the opening of the Butter factory, Proston, 1934. From Acc 6605 Burns Family Photographs of Proston District. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image: 6605-0001-0007

Butter factory, Proston, ca. 1935. From Acc 6605 Burns Family Photographs of Proston District. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image: 6605-0001-0002

Delivery truck of Mondarga Farmer’s Association outside Butter factory, Proston,ca. 1935. From Acc 6605 Burns Family Photographs of Proston District. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image: 6605-0001-0015

In the following years an electricity-generation company, a cinema, a hospital, a sawmill, a cash and carry store, a hairdresser, a baker and several tradespeople were established in Proston.

Building of Max Burns Wholesale Produce Merchant, Proston district, ca. 1935. From Acc 6605 Burns Family Photographs of Proston District. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image: 6605-0001-0013

Businesses of Levitt & Smith Premier Butchers and Kewpie Pictures at Proston, ca. 1935. From Acc 6605 Burns Family Photographs of Proston District. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image: 6605-0001-0003

These two collections can be viewed in full on State Library of Queensland’s One Search catalogue.

Avondale Station homestead near Proston, Proston, 1924. From Acc 6608 Proston Photographs. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image: 6608-0001-0003

Man & woman picnicking under a large tree, Proston district, ca. 1935. From Acc 6605 Burns Family Photographs of Proston District. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image: 6605-0001-0008

R. Hillier – Librarian, State Library of Queensland