In the 1880’s a road was put through from Port Douglas and the Hodgkinson goldfield to Georgetown. In doing so, Henry Wade established his Oakvale Hotel on the north side of Oaky Creek near its confluence with Emu Creek.
This became known locally as ‘Wadetown’.
Besides having the Oakvale Hotel with its attendant butcher shop and orchards, also had another hotel and two stores. A postal receiving office existed here from 1893 to 1900.
Phil Halpin found silver and tin in 1890 some four and a half kilometres to the northwest around the Comstock and Dover Castle mines, an area which became known as ‘Lappa Lappa’. In 1893 wolframite was discovered at Bamford Hill, one and a half kilometres north of Wadetown. With all the activity in the area, Wadetown became officially known as ‘Lappa’.
When construction of the Chillagoe railway line began in 1899 a town was surveyed on the railway line on the south side of Oaky Creek, some 1.2km from the hotel. This settlement became known as Lappa and Wadetown became sections 3, 4 and 5 of this town. A State Battery for Bamford was erected in 1917 beside Wadetown. Sections 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of Lappa were known as ‘Petford’ when when the survey was done on 19th August 1899, but it was not until 1918 that the name Lappa was officially dropped.
If you have any items of interest on life in Petford and would like to share them with us please use our Contact form to let us know.
Some of the types of items we are interested in saving are:.
~ old photos, maps, calendars, receipts, newspapers, magazines, brochures, directories, catalogues and phone books ~
~ any photographs, negatives and glass slides ~
~ family histories and trees, the history of old houses, old deeds etc.,
Text taken from:
1. ‘Angor to Zillmanton: stories of North Queensland’s deserted towns’ by Colin Hooper (2002).