5 Interesting Facts About Tarragindi

Did you know that Tarragindi, named after Tarragindi Tasserone, was first called ‘Sandy Creek?’ Here are some other interesting facts about Tarragindi.

Read: Tarragindi Tasserone: The Man Behind The Suburb’s Name

It was first called ‘Sandy Creek’

Photo credit: norman-creek-catchment.org.au

Sandy Creek is a watercourse that has its source in Toohey Forest to the south and flows through the major part of the suburb. It can be hard to find the creek these days as it weaves its way from Toohey Forest through reserves and parks, but it was once home to a range of native plants and a home to wildlife.

It was named after Tarragindi Tasserone

interesting facts about Tarragindi
Photo credit: State Library of Queensland

Tarragindi, or simply Tarra was believed to be originally from the Loyalty Islands  (New Caledonia) but managed to escape from his plantation. He was taken in by Alfred Foote who found him sitting on the roadside. He worked for Mr Foote’s family until the last days of his life in 1913.

He also worked for Samuel Grimes, known as the founding father of the area and is connected to Mr Foote. Upon learning that ‘Tarragindi’ was synonymous to camp on a hill, Mr Grimes gave the name to his new home.

The entire area was officially called Tarragindi in 1931, almost two decades after Tarra’s passing.

It was a rural area until the interwar years

interesting facts about Tarragindi
Circa 1871 (Photo credit: John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

A Congregational chapel, the Cracknell Road Congregational Church first held its services in the suburb by the early 1900s. However, there was no school and other church building or public hall in the area by that time.

Sandy Creek Progress Association was behind some of the early developments in the area. The group sponsored fund-raising for a public hall and lobbied for a district primary school. 

The first land sales, advertised by Isles Love & Co Auctioneers, occurred only in October 1914.

It used to be separate from Ekibin

Photo credit: norman-creek-catchment.org.au

Ekibin is now one of the roads in Tarragindi, but did you know that it was a suburb before? It was identified as a census district between 1947 and 1971, covering the Boggo Road Gaol to the Tarragindi reservoir. Its name was subsumed by Tarragindi in 1976. 

A field hospital was built during WW2

Photo credit: Sara Juanita Volpe/Google Maps

One of the most interesting facts about Tarragindi is that it was once home to the Ekibin Hospital which was built in 1941, within Sexton Street and Toohey Road. 

Shell-shocked soldiers during World War II were treated to the Ekibin Hospital. It was also occupied by the 102nd Australian General Hospital which treated patients suffering from psychoneurotic disorders.

Read: A Look Back at the Ekibin Hospital During WW2

The site is now home to the Ekibin Memorial Park which was built to honour the role it played during the Second World War.

Published 22-March-2023

Tarragindi Tasserone: The Man Behind The Suburb’s Name

Did you know that Tarragindi was named after a person? Who is he and why was the suburb named after him? Here are the answers to those questions, plus a short look-back on Tarragindi’s life.

Read: Revisiting the Cycling Trails of Toohey Forest

The area was once called Sandy Creeks, taken after a creek that has its source in Toohey Forest to the south and flows through the major part of the suburb.

Samuel Grimes, who was believed to be the founding father of the area, built a house there and called it ‘Tarragindi,’ from the name of Tarragindi Tassarone, who helped clear timber from his property.

According to the Queensland’s Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Grimes seemingly asked Tarragindi what they should call the property and he suggested calling it Tarragindi, which means ‘camp on the hill.’

Samuel was one of the children of William and Mary Grimes who emigrated to Brisbane from Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire, England in 1849.

Samuel Grimes and family (Photo credit: State Library of Queensland)

The Grimes were among the emigrants selected by John Dunmore Lang to colonise the recently-opened Moreton Bay settlement and sailed on the Chasely, one of Lang’s chartered ships.

The family became one of the most prominent political families in Tarragindi and were central figures in the history of South Brisbane.

Tarragindi Tassarone, on the other hand, was originally from the Loyalty Islands but he was kidnapped from there in the late 19th century, escaped from his plantation, and was taken in by Alfred Foote who found him sitting on the roadside. He worked for the Foote family in Ipswich and later became their much-loved member.

Tarragindi, also known as Tarra to his loved ones, never fully commanded the English language, but he made himself understood by expressing himself through quaint sayings and ‘peculiar gestures.’

Tarragindi (in the back row, third from the end) with the Foote family (Photo credit: State Library of Queensland)

For a time, Tassarone would help clear lands and one of his previous employers was Grimes, who was building his house in the area in the 1890s.

Tarra was said to be impressed that the Grimes family named their homestead after him. The news soon spread and some locals would call the property, Tarragindi Hill. 

Tarra’s headstone in the Ipswich cemetery  (Photo credit: State Library of Queensland)

Tarra lived with the Foote family until he passed away at the age of 63. He died on 13 January 1913 at the Ipswich Hospital after months of trying to recover from a severe injury. He was buried at the Ipswich cemetery with a headstone that reads ‘In Memory of Tarra.’

The entire area was officially called Tarragindi in 1931, almost two decades after Tarra’s passing.

Natural Landscape and Great Uphill View at Tarragindi’s Visitor-Friendly Reservoir

In Tarragindi, there’s a certain place hidden in the heart of the suburb where you can have a peaceful, relaxing time with Mother Nature. Natural scenery, beautiful trees, serene hiking trails, cool forest breeze, pet-friendly atmosphere, and a great uphill view – what’s not to like for any nature lover?

The beautiful Tarragindi Reservoir is a gem of a place well-hidden amidst houses of locals. To get there, you’ll have to drive (or walk) through a narrow road. Be wary of quite a few cars parked on the roadside. Because of this, passersby often drive through the opposing lane.

Once you get to the place, you’ll notice that it is surrounded by a one-way road. You won’t miss it because quirky handwritten one-way signs are everywhere. No cemented parking spaces are available. However, you can park anywhere on the wide grassy field without having to worry about your vehicle being a hindrance to other site visitors.

To reach the uppermost part of the area, you’ll have to traverse a few flights of stairs. Don’t worry, the steps are manageable. They’re not very steep and the sections alternate between flat and hilly grounds. On a good note, trails like the ones in the area are very effective for exercising. For those who prefer a consistent flat ground, they can just stroll around the water works area.

As you go up the flights of stairs, you’ll get to notice several more structures. These structures are built for the purpose of managing and balancing the water supply in the suburb. That said, Tarragindi Reservoir is basically a big water facility area. Not to set your hopes up for any visible natural bodies of water, this place is perfect, nonetheless, for a sunny nature stroll.

Camp on the Hill

The adorably hilly suburb of Tarragindi was formerly referred to as “Sandy Creek”, according to the Department of Natural Resources and Mines in Queensland. In the 1890s, Samuel Grimes, an early settler in the suburb, named it “Tarragindi Hill”.

Mr Grimes employed a certain Kanaka man named Tarragindi Tasserone, who was responsible for clearing the property’s timber. When asked by Mr Grimes as to what they “should call the property,” the employee reportedly answered, “Call it Tarragindi, it means ‘camp on the hill’.”

Once a rural area, Tarragindi was eventually urbanized in the inter-war years. In 1922, the service reservoir was established as the first urban structure. It was followed four years later by a primary school in Wellers Hill (formerly Weillers Hill).

Tarragindi’s freely accessible Reservoir is open to people of all ages. It is located in the suburb’s 159 Tarragindi Road. You can bring your pets along, take a stroll, jog, have a picnic, enjoy the uphill view, or do anything else that you like. Once there, do not forget to take Instagram-worthy photos.