The French connections in the early settlement of Rockhampton and its region
One of Rockhampton’s Founding Father, Anthelme Thozet, was French. A botanist, he was instrumental in developing the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens (1861), the first Rockhampton cemetery on the southside and the tree plantings along the Fitzroy River CBD area. Frenchville was named to recognise his impact on the development of Rockhampton.
The town of Clermont is named after Clermont-Ferrand in France; Clermont-Ferrand was the ancestral home of Oscar de Satgé, one of the ﬁrst European grazier who owned the Wolfang Downs pastoral run. He was born in a French aristocratic family exiled to England for involvement in a royalist revolt in France in the 1800s. From England, he migrated to Australia in 1853.
Rockhampton was the only Australian city to use Purrey Steam Trams, built in Bordeaux, France. Nine trams and six trailers were used on the municipal transport system from 1909 to 1939. One tram is lovingly maintained by the Archer Park Rail Museum team.