See also Noakes and the sugar industry and Springhill House
George Walter Noakes (1848 - 1917)
Margaret Noakes (nee Clark) 1854 - 1923
Mary Ann Noakes
Noakes family group c.1896 (courtesy Heather Noakes)
Noakes family at Springhill House 1894

Excerpts from ‘Memories and Faces and Stories – A short history of Albionville, Bucca and Kolan North State Schools’ by Kaye Williamson ( courtesy Rhonda Harris, Bundaberg Heritage Society)
George Noakes arrived in Bundaberg in the 1870s with his brother James Noakes from Maitland, New South Wales. He was married to Margaret Clark in 1873. They grew maize until the development of the local sugar industry, and he then joined forces with his brother James to form Noakes Brothers. They took up cane cultivation on a large scale and subsequently founded Springhill Plantation and Mill. The Springhill house can now be found at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery.
With this challenge behind him, George moved to Albionville in 1900 and took over Albion Farm, which was in the possession of Union State Bank, from Mr. Scott and Mr. Walters. When George took over the farm, he decided that the sugar mill was not a profitable venture, so it was closed. He did, however, pursue the running of the sawmill as it could supply a lot of timber to the locals and the Bundaberg region. The sawmill was in such demand that he opened a timber yard in Bundaberg on 8th April, 1901. So as to recognise the locality of the timber yard, the Council named the street George Street, after Mr. George Noakes. While the sawmill was in progress, he also pursued a successful dairy farm, milking 80 head a day by hand.
George and Margaret had 12 children, 11 at Springhill, and 1 at Albionville. Mary Ann, James Ephraim, Charles Frederick, George Tanner, Florence Margaret, Mabel Thornhill, Oliver Richard, Thomas Norman, William Thornhill, Laurence Walter, Hilda Eveline and Elsie Phyllis. The four youngest children attended Albionville School.

1917 was a year the family suffered the loss of both George Noakes as well as his son William who was killed in France during World War 1. The property was subdivided into 90-100 acre blocks and the sugar mill, sawmill and the barracks were all sold for removal.
George Tanner Noakes also went to War at the age of 21, and was lucky to return ‘unscathed’. He married Martha Workman in 1906 and they had four children, George, Mona Isobel, James Workman, and Martha Helen. All of the children went to the Bullyard School. His wife died in 1919 and he remarried in 1920 to Bessie Evelyn Trevor and together had another four children, Dorothy, Cedric William, Ivan Keith, and Beryl who also went to Bullyard School. George owned a property called ‘Table Top’ at Bullyard and subsequently sold it to Mr. F.E. Stehbens.
Oliver Richard Noakes married Rosina Mason, daughter of David and Sarah Mason, on their 151 acre property at Albionville. It is rumoured that the dogs outnumbered the people! They had 7 children, Stanley Oliver, Arthur Lesley, Rose, Linda, Esme, George Raymond and Ruby Vivienne, who all attended Albionville School. They worked their land growing sugar cane and their own vegetables. Corn was especially productive with 4 cobs of corn growing on one stalk. White corn was grown for porridge and sweet potatoes would be fed to the pigs. The farm life kept the children entertained.
In 1917, after the death of his father, Dick removed the barn from his father’s property and rebuilt it on his land. The barn had many uses in its lifetime, including a home for Messrs Parkes and Havers whilst building their homes, and more prominently remembered as the schoolroom for the Albionville children whilst their school was being relocated.
Dick was renowned for his horse handling skills and when the railway line went through in 1920, the railway department used many of his horses. He was also extremely talented (as were many local farmers) at making rawhide whips and ropes. After a beast was killed and the meat placed in wooden casks, the hide was pegged out over a log, dried and then sprinkled with coarse salt. The using a pocket-knife, and starting from the centre, he would cut it out in a circular motion. It was then hung and weighted to straighten the circle, then cut into lengths. It was then plaited for whips and ropes. The fat from the beast was boiled down to make soap. Not much went to waste.
Not to be outdone, Rosina made her mark with the children of the district, by bringing out dry ice from Bundaberg so that her and the children could churn it into icecream. This was done at the school picnics and Christmas days.

Notes from Bundaberg & District Pioneers – a Biographical Index 1901 ISBN 95588096 1 5 (one of Bundaberg Heritage Society publications)
Noakes, George – Residence, Woongarra Scrub; subscribed for Church of England and National School Bundaberg, April, 1875.
June 1876, application for Certificate Fulfilment of conditions 150 acres Co. Cook.
May, 1883 Certificate granted 1290 acres, Kolan
Sept. 1899 Disposed of his interest in Springhill Plantation and mill (sugar) (operated since 1873) to A.P. Barton.
1901: of the Albion Sawmills ‘has opened a timber yard in George Street, Bundaberg, 8th April, 1901.
From “Bundaberg History & People” by Janet Nolan. (in Bundaberg Heritage Society library rooms)
James Noakes, a shopkeeper in Maryborough, left to join his brother, George in a farming venture in 1873. The first crop was crushed in 1882. The scrub was exceedingly heavy and cost 10 pounds per acre to clear. By 1888, they had 223 ha freehold and 259 ha leasehold under the name Spring Hill Plantation. 202 ha was under cane. A sugar processing plant was installed at a cost of 20,000 pounds in 1888.
NB Geoge's Church baptism certificate says abode as West Maitland, date of birth 31 Dec 1848, and date of baptism 18 Feb 1849 Maitland (courtesy Joyce)