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Photographs supplied by John Huth

The memorial commemorates the centenary of the Botanic Gardens and the work undertaken by its first curator, Mr. J. S. Edgar.

The Rockhampton Botanic Gardens was gazetted as public gardens in 1869 and were opened in 1873. Prior to this, from 1861 most of the land that was to be utilised for the gardens was a Native Police barracks. Between 1868 and 1872, three sites were gazetted as botanic gardens for Rockhampton. The influence of Anthelme Thozet, a local botanist and collector, is thought to have prevailed in the selection of the Spencer Street site. The proximity to a constant water supply, in the adjacent Murray Lagoon, and striking vistas from the western slopes of the Athelstane Range were primary considerations for a successful botanic gardens site.

The development of the first ten acres of the 100-acre site commenced after the curator James Scott Edgar took up residence in a modified dairy shed on the grounds in 1873. Edgar was trained in the Royal Botanic gardens. Kew and this first section to be developed is still known as the lower gardens. Local Botanist Thozet, Ferdinand von Mueller of Melbourne Botanic Gardens and Walter Hill of Brisbane City Botanic Gardens contributed material for the garden. The Queensland Acclimatisation Society was also active in providing plant stock and seed material to the new curator. Edgar maintained a professional link between these and other international botanic gardens, collecting specimens and distributing seed stock developed in Rockhampton as well as receiving plants and seeds for propagation in the gardens.

Note: The information on the plaque states that J.S.Edgar was curator from 1869 to 1901. According to an extract from the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens – Botanical Collection Management Strategy, James Scott Edgar (1822 – 1902) served as curator from 1873 – 1902.


Address:Spencer Street, Diggers Park, Botanic Gardens, Rockhampton, 4700
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -23.401892
Long: 150.491952
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture
Actual Event STart Date:1869
Actual Event End Date:1969


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 12th September, 1969
Front Inscription

This Plaque Unveiled 12 - 9 - 69
Commemorates The Gardens
And The Pioneering Work
Of The Fi
rst Curator 
 J. S. Edgar,
    1869 - 1901

Source: MA, QHR
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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