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Esk
Queensland
Esk Main Street.JPG
Main street of Esk, the Brisbane Valley Highway
Esk is located in Queensland
Esk
Esk
Location in Queensland
Population 1,698 (2016 census)
 • Density 28.49/km2 (73.8/sq mi)
Established 1872
Postcode(s) 4312
Area 59.6 km2 (23.0 sq mi)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10:00)
LGA(s) Somerset Region
County Cavendish
Parish Esk
State electorate(s) Nanango
Federal Division(s) Blair
Localities around Esk:
Biarra Coal Creek Murrumba
Redbank Creek Esk Glen Esk
Mount Hallen Mount Hallen Moombra

Esk is a town and locality in the Somerset Region in South East Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, Esk had a population of 1,698 people.

Geography

Esk Post Office
Esk Post Office, 2010
Esk Queensland
Aerial view of Esk with flooded Wivenhoe Dam in the background, photographed a week after the devastating floods of January 2011

Esk is approximately 64 kilometres (40 mi) northwest of Ipswich on the Brisbane Valley Highway. It was named after the River Esk in Scotland and England. It is the administrative centre of the Somerset Region.

The town of Esk is contained in the Queensland electoral district of Nanango.

History

The land around Esk was first explored by Captain Patrick Logan in 1830. The town was established to service the short-lived copper mines of Eskdale and Cressbrook Creek. Settlers moved into the region during the 1840s.

Mount Esk Post Office opened on 1 February 1874 (a receiving office had been open from 1873) and was renamed Esk by February 1881.

Mount Esk State School was opened on 1 November 1875 and was renamed Esk State School in 1887.

In 1886, the Brisbane Valley railway line reached Esk from Lowood. Several sawmills were built and in 1904 a butter factory opened. The timber industry declined in the 1920s.

In July 1941, a Lutheran church was opened.

Dairying slowed from the 1960s onwards, which has eventually led to the decline of the town's importance as a major rural centre.

StateLibQld 1 116908 View across the grass to Cressbrook Homestead, ca. 1887
View across the grass to Cressbrook Homestead, circa 1887

The Caboonbah Homestead was destroyed by fire on 10 May 2009.

During the 2010–2011 Queensland floods, the centre of Esk was flooded when Redbank Creek burst its banks for the first time ever.

Heritage listings

Esk has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

War memorial and memorial park

Esk War Memorial 2010
War Memorial and War Memorial Park, 2010
Esk War Memorial
War memorial

On 30 November 1920, Dr Graham Butler laid the foundation stone of the Esk War Memorial. The finished memorial was unveiled by General Lachlan Chisholm Wilson on 27 August 1921. The memorial records the names of 462 Shire residents who enlisted during the First World War. It also contains bronze honour rolls bearing the names of 83 local men who died during the war. Four commemorative plaques have subsequently been added to the structure. The war memorial stands in Esk Memorial Park, which also contains a memorial to Captain Logan, who was murdered while exploring the Brisbane Valley in 1830.

Attractions

Grand Hotel, Esk.
Grand Hotel, Esk

Nearby attractions include Lake Somerset and Lake Wivenhoe, both lakes created by dams, and Ravensbourne and Crows Nest National Parks.

The historic Bellevue Homestead is located in the area. Also close by are the peaks Glen Rock and Mount Esk.

Past population

At the 2006 census, Esk had a population of 1,166.

Economy

The small town serves as a centre for a rich farming area.

Education

Esk State School is a government primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at 49 East Street (27°14′51″S 152°25′35″E / 27.2475°S 152.4263°E / -27.2475; 152.4263 (Esk State School)). In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 172 students with 15 teachers (13 full-time equivalent) and 9 non-teaching staff (6 full-time equivalent).

As there is no high school in Esk, students from the Esk State School typically attend Toogoolawah State High School in Toogoolawah, Lockyer District High School in Gatton or Lowood State High School in Lowood or private schools in and around Ipswich.

Notable people from Esk

  • Douglas Berry (1907–1957), butcher and Liberal MP in the 1950s
  • Roderic Dallas (1891–1918), First World War fighter ace
  • The Kransky Sisters, a comedy musical trio who claim to be "from Esk, in Queensland" before every show
  • Henry Newton (bishop) (1866–1947), Anglican colonial bishop
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