Peachester

Peachester is an elevated rural village on the eastern slopes of the Conondale Range, 25 km west of Caloundra.
The Stanley River has a U-shaped course through Peachester, flowing east and then west until emptying into Lake Somerset. It is thought that Peachester was named after the peach trees found growing beside a crossing on the Stanley River. The name was originally given when a town was surveyed at the crossing in 1888. A year after the town survey a public hall was built, and in 1892 the Peachester School started in the hall.

There was ample unfelled timber to supply Grigor’s sawmill (1899) and a case factory for fruit growers in the 1920s and the post World War II years. Dairying, however, was the main farm industry, and three- quarters of the 50 or more farms listed in the post office directory in 1949 were dairy. Most of the others were fruit growers. Peachester Public Dip is a concrete formed cattle dip framed with slab posts and a sawn timber roof clad in corrugated iron sheeting. It dates from 1915 when it replaced an earlier timber dip built by Landsborough Shire Council on the site, which had been reserved as a Stock Dip Reserve in November 1910. These dips were erected in response to the spread of cattle tick into Queensland which threatened the cattle industry throughout the State and dairying in south-east Queensland.

Between the 1930s and 1950s Peachester was well-known as the home of Inigo Jones, the famous long-range weather forecaster. Jones’ family settled just north of Peachester in 1892, at Crohamhurst, and Jones opened his weather observatory in 1935. He worked there until his death in 1954. During the 1970’s a number of dairy farms were sold up and in many cases turned over to rural/residential living and today the town has a well connected community that includes a Heritage Centre, general store, a Uniting Church (the Church of England was lost in a cyclone in 1963), two recreation reserves, a public hall and a primary school. Its cemetery is north of the Stanley River in Chrohamhurst.