Millmerran - Culture and History


It is thought that the town's name comes from two Aboriginal words 'meel' meaning 'eye' and 'merran' meaning 'to look out'. This is related to the fact that the town is located near a lookout which was commonly used by the local Aborigines.

The area was first settled by Europeans in 1841 when St George R. Gore and his brother Ralph T. Gore established the vast Yandilla Station in the area between Millmerran and Pittsworth. It is said 'yandilla' was a local Aboriginal word meaning 'running water'. This huge property spread over an estimated 689 sq miles (1784.51 sq km) and at one time it was the size of a small township with its own store and telegraph station. In 1874 the community around the station was so large that a school was established with a student population of around 20 to 30.

The All Saints Anglican Church in Yandilla was consecrated by Bishop Webber in 1887. For many years it was used as a private chapel for the Gore family and the workers on Yandilla Station. Now listed by the National Trust it is the oldest building in the Millmerran Shire and is almost certainly the second-oldest church in Queensland.

The township of Millmerran grew as a direct result of the Crown Lands Alienation Act of 1876 which saw a portion of Yandilla Station selected by Edward Walpole who, in 1881, set up a general store. At the time the area was known simply as Back Creek (it was the creek behind Yandilla Homestead). It later became known as Domville and in 1895 it finally became known as Millmerran.

The economic focus shifted from sheep to dairying. By the 1890s substantial amounts of butter and cheese were being produced. The reduced size of local land holdings meant that much more mixed farming was practiced with piggeries, dairy herds, beef cattle, sheep, wheat, poultry and even apiaries emerging.

Today Millmerran is an important service centre for the surrounding farms. An excellent book titled Back Creek and Beyond: Millmerran's Story of Change 1881-1981, edited by Nell Macqueen covers the development and history of the town and surrounding area in an interesting and entertaining way. Visitors wishing to know more about the town should visit the Millmerran Historical Society Museum.