Queensland history

Would you like to find out more about the history of your suburb or city? We have a great range of local history guides for areas in and around Brisbane as well as books on Queensland's heritage.

Lighthouse of Tragedy

Lighthouse of Tragedy


Buchanan, Stuart

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The story of Bustard Head Lighthouse, Queensland's first coast light.

No other lightstation in Australia has a history of tragedies to equal that of Bustard Head on Queensland's Barrier Reef Coast. Even before the lighthouse was completed in 1868, the station claimed its first life when a workman was fatally injured in the tower. Since then, shipwrecks, murder, abduction, suicide, drownings and cyclones have shattered the lives of lightkeepers and their families, as well as people to whom Bustard Head was no more than a name on a map.

In Lighthouse of Tragedy, author Stuart Buchanan vividly depicts those events, and reveals the facts about the unsolved mysteries of this beautiful, isolated area, which have intrigued journalists and others for decades.

Buchanan describes the mammoth task of building the unique, prefabricated cast-iron lighthouse, the alterations it has undergone, the changing lifestyles of its keepers through 118 years, and how women on the station coped with childbirth, schooling and housekeeping far removed from civilisation.

Lighthouse of Tragedy is the most comprehensive account ever written about an Australian lightstation. This captivating story spans from the discovery of the headland by Lieutenant James Cook in 1770 to the present day.

Included is a yearly list of lightkeepers who worked at the lightstation from 1868 to its demanning in 1986.

ISBN: 9780958643306
Author: Buchanan, Stuart
Format: Paperback
Pages: 241
Dimension: 248mm X 174mm

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