Rosewood owes its establishment and early development to timber, coal and the railway. In the pioneer days a dense forest of hoop pine, rosewood (which gave the town its name), crows ash, brigalow and red cedar extended from Rosewood as far as Fernvale, bringing hundreds of “timber getters” to the region.
In the 1850s coal mining began in Ipswich and later several mines were developed in the Rosewood-Walloon region, coinciding with the expansion of the railway from Ipswich to Toowoomba.
All three industries are remembered today in and around Rosewood. Rosewood Scrub Peace Park includes an arboretum, or tree garden, which when completed will contain about 200 of the original tree species from the area. Some of the town’s old timber buildings, like the former wheelwright’s and blacksmith’s shop in William Street, are also reminders of the early timber industry.
An open cut coal mine still operates on the northern edge of Rosewood although there are now only a few working mines left in the Ipswich region and the old days of mine shafts being sunk by manual toil are long gone.
Rosewood’s current railway station is an attractive but deceptive structure, built in 1918 of pre-cast concrete to imitate the look of timber. The Steam Railway at Cabanda operates on a former branch line on the last Sunday of each month, allowing visitors a rare chance to experience the steam locomotives that helped establish Rosewood.
Rosewood also boasts the largest wooden church in Queensland. St Brigid's Church was, erected 1909-10 and is closely associated with the development of the Rosewood district in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Architectural and artistic characteristics of the church include gable decoration and pressed metal ceilings, stained glass windows and painted wall murals. The place is significant for the rare ecclesiastical mural by important Queensland artist, William Bustard.
Did you know… The Handmade Expo, held monthly at the Ipswich Turf Club, is a great place to check out locally handmade wares including children's clothing, patchwork & gourmet goodies.