Here in History

Here in History

WOODSTOCK – The depot paddock for Swifts Meatworks


The original Woodstock Station on the southern outskirts of Gladstone had a colourful history.

Woodstock was a 4,000-acre property running south from the Tondoon Lagoons and encompassed the area of Mt Morris, while to the north and east it encircled the road, rail and city.

John Stapleton who owned the Young Australian Hotel in 1913, established his 23-year-old son John Edwin Henry (Edmund) into the pub.

Edmund wanted to be a cattleman so he bought Woodstock from John Cooke and began grazing cattle.

They thought that the fattening of cattle could be greatly improved if they cleared some of the trees from this dense scrubland.

This was in the days of the Kanakas, (South Sea Islanders) and they were employed to tree-clear with axes all week at Woodstock.

They would be paid on Fridays, only to recycle their wages back to Edmund’s hotel.

This arrangement worked so well that Woodstock was nearly totally cleared and grassed, making it a prime property by WW2.

The station was bought by Bob Boys, who built the first slab hut and cattle yards.

Boys sold the paddock to the American meat company, Swifts, and it was used as a depot paddock for the adjacent meatworks for many years.

Much of Woodstock is now a suburb on the outskirts of Gladstone and is a popular real estate development.

Photo courtesy John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.