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History

Milton’s history is rich and varied but essentially very Queensland from farming beginnings, to the birth of XXXX and home to more Davis Cup matches than any other Australian city.

Early History

In 1851, nine years after the region was open for free settlement, Brisbane chemist Ambrose Eldridge purchased 30 acres of riverfront land. Upon this land he built Milton House, which is one of the oldest examples of Colonial Georgian architecture in Brisbane and experimented in growing cotton which he believed would stabilise the settlement if successful. He sold up to the pastoralist John Frederick McDougall in 1856 and McDougall expanded and grew the property. The name ‘Milton House’ was the precursor to the suburb name Milton but no one is sure whether it was named for the poet John Milton or after McDougall’s birthplace Greater Milton, England.

Industry

Farming and grazing was a profitable business in the early days of Milton. Perhaps that is what the Surveyor-General, John Oxley, believed when he discovered the area remarking that the soil was good with plentiful fresh water and perfect for settling.

Later Milton became the epicentre for industry in Brisbane with many iconic brands setting up shop in the region. Milton was also host to a furniture factory, brick works, beehive factory and tram workshop which helped the World War II effort and that’s just to name a few!

XXXX Castlemaine Brewery

In 1878 Fitzgerald, Quinlan and Co. set up shop on the brewery site we know today to produce Castlemaine XXX Sparkling Ale. In 1916 the company introduced XXXX Sparkling Ale which is how the brand got its name. It wasn’t until the 1940s that the company built the brick building you see today which has become one of Brisbane’s most iconic landmarks and the eye grabbing neon XXXX sign was erected in 1959. You can take a tour and explore the Ale House today.

Morrows' & Arnott's Biscuits

Located on Boomerang Street was the Morrows’ Biscuit factory which opened in 1912 and produced some of Queensland’s most loved biscuits like the Crystallised Cocoanut Bars. The company produced up until the 1960s when it amalgamated with Arnott’s Biscuits. Locals can recall the smell of biscuits baking coming from the factory.

World Expo '88

World Expo ’88 is thought to be responsible for Brisbane’s ‘coming of age’ and this is certainly the case for Milton as it influenced ‘Savoir Faire’ the Park Road dining and shopping precinct. Expo '88 brought in 36 nations and showcased each country's display so it helped open up Brisbane's eyes to what else is out there and so the European flair of Savoir Faire was much heralded.

Sporting History

Milton Courts was the home of tennis in Queensland from 1915 up until the 1999 when the centre closed. These 19 hard courts and 4 grass courts hosted the first Australian Open in 1969 and 16 Davis Cup matches including three finals. Spectators were lucky to watch Tennis greats like Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Tony Roche, John Newcombe and Lindsay Davenport play on centre court. The centre has now made way for Frew Park and the public can play at the Roy Emerson Tennis Centre.

Suncorp Stadium or Lang Park as it was previously named was established in 1914 on the site of Brisbane’s primary cemetery the North Brisbane Burial Ground. Once the area around Milton became more populous the area was redeveloped into a recreational site and fenced off in 1914. Throughout the years the grounds have been leased by many different sporting associations and became the home of Rugby League in Queensland.

 

 

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