TURALLIN – THE TOWN THAT VANISHED
– Author unknown
Turallin is, pinpointed, on the tourist and local maps. However, the sign post guides the traveler to nowhere except antiquity. At the end of this desolate tarred road rests the imaginary boundaries of this mystic town, displaying no evidence of it’s ambitious past. Embalmed within these boundaries lingers the sweat, hopes, dreams and memories, of all its former inhabitants, young and old.
The community, once proudly modelled its existence to the tempo destined to a prosperous future, unaware what fate had ordained for the town. Until the proclamation of the Shire of Millmerran on the 23rd April 1913 the area which was approximately the same size was under the administration and control of the Jondaryan Divisional Board, similar to that of Pittsworth.
In 1841, the first white settlers, the Gore family, took up a vast area of tens of thousands of acres and formed the “Yandilla Station”. It was splendid sheep country with a run of 100,000 sheep. The north west corner of the Yandilla station included what was then the Turallin district.
In the late 1860’s, part of Yandilla, including the Turallin area, were resumed by the government and made available for settlement.
When the Turallin township began to develop those who lived there worked either on “Western Creek” or on the individual properties cut up from Yandilla. Before the properties were fenced, before the 1860s, sheep were yarded nightly for protection from dingoes. The shepherds, mostly Chinese, lived in slab huts roofed with bark. These locations were called folds, some being located around the Turallin district.
Turallin was a pastoral township on the Darling Downs, some 20 miles from Pittsworth, on the new stock route to NSW and 10 miles from “Yandilla”.
The population of the district was estimated at 340 people. The post office for the district was set up at “Western Creek” in 1871. It was transferred to the developing town of Turallin on 1 January 1888. Mrs J Bacon Postmistress. A telegraph working to Leyburn was installed in 1908.
The town was surveyed in 1889, and had some 50 allotments. It developed on the eastern side of “Pine Creek” where there was a camping site for the teamsters. They were the carriers and suppliers who traveled the Toowoomba – Goodiwindi road. These teamsters would carry rations to the big stations and on their return journey bring back the wool.
The Town boasted:- a store, post office, hotel school, church and a race course. For medical attention it was necessary to travel to Pittsworth.
A mail coach service operated from Pittsworth on Wednesdays and Sundays. A private coach service, run by Mr J. Johnson, operated on Saturdays and Tuesdays to connect with the mail train to Brisbane.
The Railway Department contemplated a railway hook-up from Pittsworth to St. George via Turallin. The town’s future seemed secure and development planned to meet the anticipated growth of the town and district.
For whatever reason, fate dealt a cruel blow and the rail line terminated at “Back Creek”. The birth of Millmerran and the knell for Turallin.
The final act in the saga of Turallin was the closure of the Post Office in 1973, ending 25 years service of Postmistress Mrs Elizabeth McDonald.
The church was relocated at Rocky Creek, the school converted to living quarters at Western Creek and some houses to Millmerran.
Turallians your epitaph still stands pointing defiantly in its obsolescence.