Uncovering Langsville Creek, Part 3 – The Headwaters

This is the third in a series of posts about Langsville Creek, which was Western Creek’s upstream neighbour on the Toowong/Milton Reach. Before reading this, you may like to look at Part 1 and Part 2 of the series.

I started this series of articles about Langsville Creek as a distraction from my original mission of writing about Western Creek. My new interest soon produced another distraction when I stumbled across a dump of old bottles and cans while exploring Langsville Creek’s headwaters. When I finally finished writing about those bottles and cans a few months later, I took a holiday in Melbourne from which I returned with enough ideas about contrasting topographies to divert myself for several weeks more. Now, having gotten those ideas out of my system, I am resuming work on my first distraction so that some day in the near future I might return to my original goal.

This episode will be pick up the story in the same part of the creek as I got distracted in by those bottles and cans — its headwaters. Having mapped out Langsville Creek’s catchment in the last installment of the series, it is time now to trace where the water flows, and the logical place to start is where the water does: at the top.
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Uncovering Langsville Creek, Part 2 – The catchment

This is the second in a series of posts about Langsville Creek, which was Western Creek’s upstream neighbour on the Toowong/Milton Reach. You may want to check out Part 1 and Part 3 of the series.

The whole iceberg

Langsville Creek as depicted on A.R. McKellar's map of Brisbane, published in 1895.

Langsville Creek as depicted on A.R. McKellar’s map of Brisbane, published in 1895.

If you look at the Milton Reach of the river on any of the old maps of Brisbane, such as the one drawn by A.R. McKellar in 1895 (shown to the right), you will notice a creek with several winding branches that meets the river at Patrick’s Lane. This was known as Langsville Creek. As we saw in Part 1 of Uncovering Langsville Creek, the creek as it was depicted on the old maps is now gone. A few drain openings are about the only physical reminders left of what must have once been a prominent part of the landscape.

But there must have been more to Langsville Creek than just the meandering branches shown on the early maps. Each of these branches must have had an origin somewhere further upstream. With one or two exceptions, the early maps show nothing of those upstream parts of the creek. Our understanding of Langsville Creek will remain very superficial, however, if we do not look further than what we can see on the maps. It would be like trying to understand an iceberg while ignoring everything under the water. If we want to uncover Langsville Creek and its legacy in today’s landscape, we need to look further upstream: we need to see the whole iceberg.

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