Telling tales of life in the 1900s
ARMED hold-ups at Curra Station, near-death experiences at Harvey Siding and pioneering life in Wide Bay in the early 1900s.
It's all in The Life of a Queensland Settler, the memoirs of German immigrant Konrad Nahrung.
Goomeri's historic Boonara Homestead turned 150 last month but three years after it was established, Konrad was working and married there.
He had migrated to Australia in 1858 and, after arriving in Sydney, found work in Maryborough, then Roma and Mackay, working as a bullock driver, shepherd, cook and bootmaker.
He dabbled in gold mining and was a publican before settling on a farm at Miva, where he lived out the rest of his life. His descendants still live in the district.
In the early 1900s, Konrad provided his hand-written memoirs to his grandson Alex, who assembled the loose sheets and added his own introduction and postscript.
Now, Konrad's great-great-grandson Jason has further organised, annotated and indexed Konrad's account of life as a Queensland pioneer.
The book includes photographs, family tree information and details on the voyage of Konrad and his sister from Germany to Sydney.
His memoir provides a first-person view of interactions with Aborigines and commentary on the opening up of large tracts of Queensland.
On his Gympie sojourn, Konrad writes:
"They say fortune only knocks once on your door and it knocked on mine during the few days I remained at Gympie, for I was offered what turned out to be the famous New Zealand claim for 30lb, but I did not heed the knock as I ought to have done. The men working it were short of funds and I thought if it is not worth their while, it is not worth mine."
Konrad declined to buy the claim, which was instead bought by Black Brothers, who made a fortune.
He then took his wife and family to Nine Mile - now Harvey Siding's - and stayed with the Palmere family for a few days. It was about that time the gold escort was robbed near Curra Station, then owned by CJ Booker.
"The robbers, five in number, first of all frightened or secured the servants in the kitchen and outhouse," writes Konrad.
"Evidently their intention was to get the gold under the escort and Mr Booker's money in the one act."
One of the robbers got the drop on the escort, resting on a sofa in the room where the gold was kept, but a struggle then ensued and the robber's weapon was knocked out of his hand and then used to shoot at him.
"The alarm was now given and the robbers made off," Konrad writes. "In the morning, traces of blood were found, no doubt the effect of (the escort's) shot."
The book is published through Lulu.com as a free e-book or cost-only paperback.