Some of the story of Margaret Anderson
health centre in Kalbar there is a memorial plaque
for Margaret Anderson.
She was nee
McDonald, married Alexander Balbi whose grave/headstone
is at Fassifern Reserve near Kalbar. They had a hotel on the main
road until Alexander’s death. (He was originally from Malta.)
There is a bush cemetery on the site of their hotel half way up
Spicer’s Peak Road.
Balbi’s death she married Anderson,
hence the name at
her death. She had no children but her brother George McDonald
lived in the area and he married and had a few children.
She left all
her estate (practically nothing, a Biblical “widow’s mite”) to build a
health facility in Kalbar because she had seen so many women and
children die due to lack of health care. It was nowhere near
enough of course but it was not lost and decades later it was put
towards the health centre on which the plaque is pictured.
covered in detail in the book JCH
Gill “Spicer’s Peak Road:
a new way to the Downs” published
1981 by State Library.
The JCH Gill
book reference is the correct book. It is a good book but no
chapters or any other divisions – just one long text from start to
end. He has lots of good info in there if you can only find
it. p. 58 he says Margaret married JJ Anderson at Ipswich on 20
More info in
MBC 22 Oct 1861 and 23 oct 1861 This mentions George McDonald as
being with Balbi then.
p. 32 - J Bartley met Jubb at McDonald’s hotel in Ipswich in
“Opals and Agates” p. 118-119
McDonald (son of James McDonald and Margaret McBain) married Alice
Phelan (dau of William Phelan and Maria Quinlan) on 9 Oct 1866 at St
Stephens in Brisbane. It is presumed he was brother of Margaret
as he was with them in the 1860’s and took over their inn after Balbi’s
Balbi Inn –
Qld Times 21 July 1864 – ad for Balbi’s inn. The Bush Inn was at
Fassifern. Then Balbi later built his new hotel The Halfway House
at Clumber at the foot of the range – see Gill’s book.
interesting book for that area (Kalbar) is Herb Krause’s books “Out of
the Brigalows” and the school history book. You’ll see Krause
names in your cemeteries. According to Herb Krause’s own stories,
Herb was a polio victim as a child and his father was the local
saddler. He used to carry young Herb into the shop and sit him up
in a heavy horse collar to support him and the old men would come in to
yarn with his father. And he knew Margaret Balbi and heard her
stories too of the Spicer’s Gap road and the early pubs. He wrote
that Margaret sailed from Scotland with two brothers in 1852.
Herb wrote a
couple of stories in the “Fassifern Guardian”. Angela Collyer
photocopied about 100 stories mainly by another local Boonah historian
named TW Hardcastle and put them into a home-bound book and named it
“Centenary Stories” because they were published at the time of Qld’s
centenary. Angela Collyer put a copy of this “book” in the Uni of
Qld library – since they had allowed me to use their microfilm to copy
local (Harrisville) historian named Harry Pugsley also wrote a story
about Balbi in the Sunday Mail Colour magazine in the 1960’s – short
funeral notice was in QT on 20/4/1867 “Balbi, Alexander on 19 April at
his residence “The Halfway Home Hotel,” Clumber age 44.
Friends of the late Alexander Balbi are informed that his funeral will
move from his residence at Clumber, Sunday morning next.”
Monument” story in “Fassifern Guardian” on 27 Oct 1965
Courier 18 Oct 1861 “Mr Balbi of the Bush Inn, Fassifern succeeded on
Oct 18th in capturing the blackfellow George who had violently
assaulted Mrs Ryan near Ipswich. A reward of £25 had been
offered by the govt for George’s apprehension.”
Death Cert -
Margaret Anderson died 15 April 1916 at Kalbar. Parents James
McDonald and Christina McBain. Married alexander Balbi in Ipswich
and JJ anderson at Ipswich.
book is “Fassifern Stories” which the Shire Council put out for the
Bicentennary in 1988. Lots of nice photos.
Her brother was George McDonald (though his mother’s Christian name is
slightly different – Margaret) and he was a publican in early Ipswich
and then took over the Balbi’s old inn at Fassifern and then had the
Peak Mountain (Peak Crossing) hotel in the 1870’s and then had a hotel
at Boonah in the 1880’s.