James Low is credited with being the first business person of Yandina. He operated a combined hotel, store, post office and butcher’s shop until his death in 1883. His widow Christina Low continued the store and post office until 1891, but the liquor licence was allowed to lapse in 1883.
Yandina was without a hotel for about five years until J. G. Sommer built the Australian Hotel on the corner of Fleming Street and the Gympie Road in 1888 or 1889. It continued until 1891 when the hotel was shifted to its present site over several days, using rollers and bullock teams. The hotel continued to trade during the journey.
Many businesses sprung up over the next decades: in 1898 Daniel McNab opened a general store in Farrell Street called the Excelsior House, and then in 1909 a new store of the same name in Stevens Street. 1911 the store was sold to Glover & Glassick who sold it to R. M. Burnett in 1914.
The first blacksmith was Alex Meldrum in 1891 in Old Gympie Road. A boarding house owned by Mrs Murray from 1896 to about 1903 stood at the corner of Farrell and Stevens streets. The first baker was Tomas Rutherford who sold his wares from a building on the corner of Farrell and Stevens streets circa 1900. L. A. Browne’s General Store was established in Railway Street in 1935.
Maroochy River Co-operative Cash Stores bought both Burnett’s stores in Yandina and Maroochy River in 1919 becoming the Maroochy Co-operative Society Ltd in 1921.
The Society made the greatest contribution to the future of the district during the depression years of 1929 to 1935. The sugar industry was at a low ebb and many farmers leaned heavily on the Co-op by securing 12 months credit. The Society’s overdraft was secured on a bond guaranteed by the directors. As one later recalled: “If we had all been called upon to honour the bond it would have bankrupted us all.”
An industrial estate was established on land boarded by the old Bruce Highway, Wappa Falls Road and Gobberts Lane in the 1960s. The Pioneer Road industrial development began in the 1980s with the establishment of the Yandina Ginger Factory. A third industrial estate was grown around Cordwell Road, the Yandina Cemetery and Central Park Drive. Cordwell’s Concrete has traded there since 1965.
A complete history of the development of Yandina is contained Yandina 125 Years 1871 – 1996, a Yandina & District Historical Research Project, available from Yandina Historic House.
Image credit: Picture Sunshine Coast. Sunshine Coast Council Heritage Library.