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Our Town - Part Two

Saturday, October 03, 2009
The city of Brisbane, guarded by the iconic Story Bridge.
Through the rest of the nineteenth century, Brisbane gradually lost its identity as a penal colony, instead fixing itself on the map as the largest city to the north and the main centre of commerce in Queensland.

In 1864 the city got a taste of big city natural drama, with two fires which gutted Queen Street (now home to Queen Street Mall, the state's largest retail district) and
The 1893 Floods.
a major flood in the city centre. It would not be the last flood Brisbane experienced. The town was struck by flooding in 1887, 1889, 1890 and 1893 (pictured).

The economy followed a national depressive trend and this newcomer to the colonial party was not faring well.

However gold was discovered in Gympie (160km north of Brisbane) in 1867, alleviating the financial malaise and attracting prospectors from all over the world. An 1882 demonstration of electric street lamps - the first time
Adelaide Street, 1865.
electricity had been used for the public, anywhere in the world - symbolised a bright new future.

Investment in public transport triggered the growth of Brisbane's suburbs and the city rapidly expanded for the rest of the 1800s.

By 1900, 130,000 people called themselves Brisbanites.
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