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Murrumba Downs (Qld.)
Petrie, with the help of Aboriginal friends, inspected the North Pine area and negotiated with Mrs. Jane Griffin, the widow of Captain George Griffin, to purchase the lease of ten square miles of the Redbank section of the Whiteside run in 1859. The property, which he called Murrumba, extended from Sideling Creek in the west to Redcliffe in the east.
As Mrs. Griffin had raised money by mortgaging Redbank, technically she was unable to make an agreement with Petrie who subsequently found himself left without clear title. From 1862, in response to changing land laws and in order to protect his investments, he was obliged to purchase the land. In so doing, he became one of the first freehold land-holders north of the North Pine River. By 1864, the Murrumba homestead had been built on the eastern side of Petrie Hill (on land now owned by the Roman Catholic Church) replacing early temporary structures used by the family.
Although increasing closer settlement reduced the extent of the Murrumba property, by 1888 the Petries still held 3,000 acres which were closely fenced and well stocked for horse and cattle raising. By this time, Murrumba had become an important centre for the local community.
The year following Tom Petrie's death, the Department of Railways changed the name of the North Pine Station to Petrie and a stone memorial was unveiled in his honour. His epitaph, engraved on the stone obelisk, reads “Pioneer, Patriot, Philanthropist”. As well as Petrie and Petrie Street, the name of the locality of Murrumba Downs celebrates Tom Petrie’s achievements.
Aerial photograph looking east from over Lawnton Pocket Road towards the junction of the North Pine River and South Pine River
Aerial photograph looking northeast over the North Pine River to Kallangur and the Murrumba Downs area, 1972.
Aerial photograph of North Pine River with the Bald Hills-Burpengary Bypass (Bruce Highway) under construction, 1972