Amongst the majestic crags of the McPherson Range in the Gold Coast hinterland stands a rocky sentinel called Buchanan’s Fort (28° 17′ S 153° 04′ E). In 1867, John Thomas BUCHANAN (1847-1936) applied for and received a selection of land at the very top of Christmas Creek which was called ‘Glenlamington’. Little is known about John Thomas’s origins except that his parents were James BUCHANAN and Margaret COLLINS, and he was born in 1847. Like other selectors, John Thomas would have been required to clear a certain amount of forest every year. Timber gathering remained a primary occupation for a further 50 years. In 1869, he married Maria Amelia CONDON (1845-1929) whose family had settled in the local area.
John Thomas and Maria had six children:
1. James Henry BUCHANAN (1873-1941) married in 1902, Mary Ann (Marion) Adelaide BACK (1881- unknown). James was a hotel keeper and teamster, and lived in Christmas Creek and Wynnum. They had five identified children, Olive Ivy BUCHANAN, Mable Ella BUCHANAN, Robert Carlyle BUCHANAN (served WW2), Elsie Florence BUCHANAN, and James Edwin BUCHANAN (served WW2).
2. Louisa Mary BUCHANAN (1875-1893) died at 17.
3. John BUCHANAN (1878-1962) married in 1916, Mary Emma EICKENLOFF (1892-1980). John was a storekeeper and farmer, and lived in Christmas Creek. They had three identified children, Eric Munro BUCHANAN (served WW2), Roy John BUCHANAN (served WW2), and George Dunkeith BUCHANAN (served WW2). After finding the wreck of the Stinson in 1937, the first two people Bernard O’Reilly had contact with were the older two sons of John who were hunting flying foxes. O’Reilly then alerted the authorities using the phone at Glenlamington. John and his two older sons were heavily involved in the Stinson aircraft wreck recovery mission.
4. Robert BUCHANAN (1879-1892) died at 13.
5. Edwin BUCHANAN (1882-1954) married in 1911, Mary Elizabeth KINGSTON (1889-unknown). Edwin was a teamster and sawyer, and lived in Christmas Creek. They had five identified children, James Thomas BUCHANAN (served WW2), Frances Leslie BUCHANAN, Francis Edwin BUCHANAN, Ervine Ellis BUCHANAN, and Evelyn Dorothy BUCHANAN. Francis, a pilot, conducted an aerial search for the Stinson wreck.
6. Kate (K/Catherine) Isabel BUCHANAN (1885-1932) married in 1906, George Graham West BACH/K (1879-1964). George was a horse driver, labourer and farmer, and lived in Christmas Creek, Biloela and Caboolture. They had four identified children, Justin George Edwin BACH (served WW2), John Christian BACH, Adelaide Marie BACH, and Colin Roy BACH (served WW2).
I have read that the Queensland Bushwalkers Club periodically organises walks to Buchanan’s Fort.
The information in this article has been sourced from a wide range of on-line public domain sources including Queensland Birth, Death and Marriage records; historic newspapers; electoral rolls; national and state archives; the ubiquitous Google search; etc. I am confident that I’m 80% accurate however if you find an error please accept my apology and I welcome correction and feedback.