History can explain why several roads follow the catchment borders:
Early roads kept to ridges (the watersheds) wherever possible to avoid creek crossings. It was very difficult for horses and bullocks to negotiate steep creek banks with rigid carts and wagons, and broken axles, spills and bogging were dangers to be avoided. Keeping to the ridges also avoided the often denser undergrowth along the flats and waterways.
History is conveyed in the names of these early bordering roads of the Wolston Catchment:
Old Logan Road (western border) – led from the Logan River to Wolston (at Gailes). This road was important in the early days because Ipswich was initially the centre for trade and business. Wolston was the closest point from Logan to meet the Ipswich Track. Today the Logan Motorway links the areas in much the same way.
Sumners Road (northern border) – Sumner’s property was at the end of the road, fronting both the Brisbane River and Wolston Creek. Roads were often named for the landowner at the farthest end or at the beginning of the road. Solicitor Sumner was a Member of Parliament, which could also have influenced the name choice.
Archerfield Road (part eastern border) – this road led to the first “big” homestead in the Richlands/Forest Lake area on the 5500-acre Archerfield Station. Built in 1876, it housed the famous Durack family for some years, and the site is now Homestead Park, Forest Lake.
The names of the creeks themselves carry history and they also illustrate how we name features in our landscape:
Sandy Creek – (a simple description). The country the creek runs through is sandy soil, not good for farming without modern fertilisers. In the early local settlement days, a large area of the catchment was named the Woogaroo Wastelands and has been among the last to be subdivided for sale, something still occurring in 2009.
Bullockhead Creek – (an event or story). The old Ipswich Track ran from Cooper’s Plains to Wolston (at Gailes) along Bowhill Road, Willawong and Government Road, Richlands. It was not a well-marked track, and one good creek crossing was indicated by the skull of a bullock – thus the creek became known as Bullockhead Creek.
Wolston Creek – (named by or for an influential local person). Dr Stephen Simpson features in the early history of Queensland and Brisbane as well as the local area. Christened in Wolston Village, England, Simpson named the home he built in the catchment ‘Wolston House’, and likely named the creek too.
The Ipswich-Brisbane railway was built through the Wolston catchment 1874-76 and there are three railway stations in the area today: Darra, Wacol and Gailes.
Darra Station – was initially simply a ‘stopping place’ in the bush. Its location was dictated by distance (every 2 miles in the country), unlike the ‘stations’ at Wolston and Goodna which already had small settlements. Darra grew around the railway, as a railway workers camp was established there.
Wolston Station – was sited here to service the Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum (as it was referred to back then). The name was no doubt taken from Wolston House, by then occupied by the influential Goggs family. In 1927, after new equipment was installed at the railway to weigh the coal coming from Ipswich, and because of confusion with Wilston, the name was changed to Wacol.