Prayer-Faith-Work – these must surely have been the watchwords for the early settlers, when Rosewood was known as Rosewood Gate, with a few homesteads scattered among the dense scrub.
Mr Samuel Waight opened his home for people to gather for worship. Attendances increased and Mr Matthews, another early settler, donated an acre of land in John Street.
A building was erected at a cost of 125 pounds and opened as the Rosewood Congregational Church on May 24th, 1875.
By 1888 the fellowship had 11 members and 90 adherents. A Manse (Minister’s residence) was opened early in 1898.
Walloon opened their church in 1900 and Haigslea in 1911. In 1923, the Rosewood Church celebrated their Jubilee by erecting the distinctive bell tower, which is still a prominent landmark in the main street.
The original church and Sunday School buildings were sold for removal, and became the Masonic Hall in William Street. The new Church building opened in 1954 and the present hall in 1963.
In 1977, the members all voted to become part of the Uniting Church in Australia.
Through all the years since then, our church members have continued to maintain their worship of God and their service to the community. The present members of the Rosewood Uniting Church strive to show the love of God for all people through their activities in the community. They have a concern for the protection of the local environment and as a ‘green’ church, they actively support the work of the Rosewood District Protection Organisation, and offer them the use of the Uniting Church hall for their regular meetings.
Haigslea Uniting Church
Haigslea Uniting Church congregation, after long and prayerful consideration, made plans at the end of 2019, to close the Church and cease worshipping in this place.
A Service of Dissolution + Closure had been planned for Sunday, March 29th, 2020 but needed to be cancelled when we were all directed to cease our public worship and fellowship gatherings from March 18th.
Fortunately, Rev Peter Taubner was able to record a short message that can be accessed below, and this edited version gives you an idea of what might have happened on that day.
The distinctive scenes and special history around the township of Rosewood are what makes it a unique and memorable place to visit.
Some historical facts
Rosewood Scrub – was a rich source of food for aboriginal people. The Calvert area (particularly the Old Man Waterhole) was a frequent meeting place. The scrub was a tract of dense vine forest which stretched perhaps from Rosewood to Fernvale. It contained many interesting flora species such as hoop pine, rosewood, crows ash, blackbean and red cedar. Only a few patches of the original scrub survive today.
Peace Park – another great place for a picnic, this area contains a tree garden which has been planted with around 100 of the original species once found throughout the Rosewood Scrub. Rare and endangered species from around the Ipswich region have also been planted. This area is also known as Rosewood Scrub Arboretum.
Settlement During the 1860’s the State Government of the time also passed legislation allowing people to take up parcels of land.
Railway – In 1865, the first railway in Queensland was built through the area, starting at Ipswich and ending at Grandchester.
Coal mining – began in the Walloon area in a round 1877 and became a major industry in the Rosewood region, along with dairy farms. Since the 1950’s though both these industries have declined and the area is now largely rural and residential.
Significant Local Sites and Landmarks
RAAF Base Amberley – first opened in 1939 it was the home of the F-111 fighter from 1973 until 2010. Now, Super Hornets are seen in the skies above and on the ground.
Rosewood Railway Station – both an attractive and unusual building, the current railway station was constructed in 1918 of pre-cast concrete which imitates a timber appearance.
Tallegalla Lookout – a picturesque cemetery is located on the hill outside of town and is a good spot to view the area from both sides of the hill. (The Rosewood UC has been using this site as a venue for its Easter Sunday Dawn Service, followed by a pancake breakfast.)
St Brigid’s Catholic Church – the largest timber church in the state (and possibly, even the southern hemisphere) was opened in 1910. The beautiful interior includes exceptional mural work, a pressed metal ceiling, and numerous stained glass windows. The complete area includes a convent, school, presbytery accommodation, and a bell tower.
Rosewood Courthouse – Built in 1892 this building is a reminder of the times when country towns were very much self-contained.
John Street – The main street of the Rosewood township has a very distinctive characteristic – an almost continuous line of street awnings held up by timber posts. After a fire destroyed nine buildings in 1914, their have been some more modern additions but the quaint look is still visible.
Boutique Shopping – a series of well maintained and serviced ‘Thrift and/or Op Shops’ as well as a few ‘niche’ fashion outlets are also found on John Street.
Johnston Park – is situated in the main street and has an attractively landscaped area to explore that includes toilet facilities, BBQ, and tables undercover, and a special playground for the young at heart (incorporating a few model dinosaurs).
*Post Office and Wisdom Seat – The Post Office is typical of a federation-era building. It was originally in Marburg but was moved to Rosewood in 1941. A timber bench in the shade of a fig tree is located between the Post Office and the Uniting Church Goodwill Shop. It offers a quiet place for locals to perhaps sit and exchange opinions, hence its name.
*The Rosewood Uniting Church which started out in 1875 as a Congregational Church. The prominent bell tower is a focal point and landmark of the main street. The site also includes a columbarium, the Goodwill Shop, and the Church Hall.
Cobb + Co Heritage Park
Henry Lawson Bicentennial Park – a lovely spot for a restful picnic or barbecue. A skateboard bowl is a feature as is the memorial to the Walloon Babies (see below).
Walloon Saloon – First opened in 1877 but re-located. This building has also operated as a boarding house.
CWA Building (also Community Hall). Began use as the first School in Walloon.
Babies of Walloon – In 1891, sisters Bridget and Mary Jane Broderick drowned at Walloon while trying to pick water lilies. It was thought at the time that the older sister drowned while trying to rescue her younger sister. Their story was put to verse by the famous Australian poet Henry Lawson, and of course, that is also the reason for the name of the Park .