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Stehbens Park, Kepnock, Bundaberg Q

"Stehbens Park" was officially named, in honour of Claus Johann (John) Stehbens who first settled and successfully farmed an area (being 80 acres on the southern side of Kepnock Road) in July 1871". Bundaberg City Council, 24th February, 2005.

Claus Johann Stehbens and his father, Detlef Staeben, first selected this area in 1871 to develop it into a farm and own it as freehold land. This was a dense vine forest landscape then, but they cleared and developed it into a successful farm.

One of the keys to their success was that they recognized that a deep well would access groundwater. They dug it and bricklined it, Detlef being the brickmaker and bricklayer. In order to make the bricks, Detlef selected another 80 acre block, 1km away, with access to surface water, clay and timber. After 7 months, sufficient bricks made, Detlef relinquished that selection as it was not suitable for agriculture, and it had served his purpose. (That site is now at the head of Baldwin Swamp which has been reserved as an environmental park.)

The Stehbens were the first Germanic farming family to arrive in Bundaberg and to successfully develop their farm. Many others, especially from Schleswig-Holstein, followed, and there is a large population of Danish/German descendants in Bundaberg today. Lutheran and Apostolic Churches still have substantial congregations, 140 years on.

Claus Johann was known as John Stehbens and his father as David Stehbens. John called this farm "Forest View" and when he sold it, he bought a much larger farm on the Burnett River, where he became Bundaberg's successful pioneer tobacco grower whilst also raising cattle and horses.

A subsequent owner of his "Forest View" property, Thomas Young, renamed the farm "Kepnock" which has become the name for the modern suburb and a high school.

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  • Uploaded on May 6, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens