Olga Hapgood’s recollections of “Sunshine Valley” farm at Kin Kin

Olga Eileen HAPGOOD (1918-1994) was born on 17 Dec 1918 in KinKin to William Charles Hapgood and Clara Rose NEWTON. She was the youngest child in the family of 8 kids- her eldest brother Jeffrey Gordon Hapgood was born in 1899, and there was a 7 year gap between her sister Stella Hapgood. The Hapgood family at Kin Kin is a famous family photo I have always loved, although unfortunately Olga was not yet born, so there are only 7 of the 8 kids in this photo.

The Hapgood family from Kin Kin, Queensland, c1915
Back row: Jeffery Gordon b1899 and his mother Clara Rose (Newton) b1877
Middle row: Mona b1905 and her father William Charles b1872 and Iris Jane b1902
Front Row: Clarice Phyllis b1900, Clara Gwen (seated) b1910, Stella Annie (on lap of her father) b1911 and Ina Rose b1907.
Not in photo: Olga Hapgood (born later in 1918)

Olga was a prolific writer all her life , especially poems, and she wrote a fantastic memoir for her grandchildren and great grandchildren about growing up in Kin Kin, until she got married in 1942. Its a lovely story of home life on a farm. (If you are a family member and havent read Olgas memoirs, email me at karenhapgood [at] gmail.com). My niece Hannah is very interested in the “olden times” at the moment, and I sent her a copy of Olgas story with some pictures added, and thought I would quote the main sections about the Kin Kin Farm here. This is slightly edited — each paragraph is an exact quote, but some paragraphs between these sections have been left out because I dont want to reproduce the whole thing without the permission of her family.

Pioneers

I was born in Gympie on the 17 December 1918 – the seventh daughter and eighth child of Clara and Bill Hapgood who with their seven children were some of the pioneers of the Kin Kin district settling there from the Northern Rivers of New South Wales in 1913.

The farm of 160 acres was very hilly and still standing scrub, but before bringing the family to QLD Dad had organised the building of the homestead – a large 4 bedroom house with a huge dining room- a small kitchen with a wood stove and cement floor, and wide verandas around the house completed the picture. That was the house as I remember it but I understand that the original home had a detached – kitchen joined to the bedrooms and veranda by a covered landing.  The house had not been completed when the family arrived, so they were housed in the haylofts and sheds on the adjoining property which was owned by Bill and Sarah Payne also pioneers from N. S. W.-Sarah being a sister of my mother.

The farm was very suitably named “Sunshine Valley” as the house was set in a beautiful valley with the hills rising at the front and back. Many new settlers had bought the near by land, so homes and farms were soon established there so very soon it became known as Kin Kin Junction.

Olga Hapgood Memoirs 1918-1942
Hapgood property “Sunshine Valley” in Kin Kin, set on about 160 acres
Hapgood property in Kin Kin. This 4 bedroom house was built by William “Bill” Hapgood around 1913 for his family.

My earliest recollections of Kin Kin was of a busy thriving town in the early days of the nineteen twenties. By this time the scrub had been felled and the hills were well grassed with paspalum, and many of the high hills dotted with bananas, so dairying and banana growing were the main sources of income. Brother Jeff (Hannahs great grandfather) grew many acres of bananas. I vaguely remember the huge bunches being lifted across the gullies and hills to the packing sheds with the aid of ropes and pulleys, commonly known as a “flying fox”. I remember being fascinated by the sight of these huge bunches hurtling down the slopes dangling from a wire.

Olga Hapgood Memoirs 1918-1942
Olgas eldest brother Jeff Hapgood (my grandfather) with 100 boxes of bananas at Kin Kin. About 1920.
Olgas eldest brother Jeff Hapgood (my grandfather) with 100 boxes of bananas at Kin Kin. About 1920.
Olgas eldest brother Jeff Hapgood (my grandfather) with his dog Gilligan at Kin Kin. About 1920.

Most of the hills had been cleared on the farm- except for a few acres at the back. As a child I loved the hills, the creek and the beauty of the whole area. As I grew older I loved to walk to the very top of the hills behind the house where one could see the sandhills and parts of the ocean. At Christmas when the white Kurragongs were in flower along the creekbank we could see the white flowers with the backdrop of the green hills, like a scene from a picture postcard.

Olga Hapgood Memoirs 1918-1942
Hapgood property Sunshine Valley in Kin Kin

Olgas memoirs are really wonderful, including life on a dairy farm, going to the movies, tales of food and cooking and housework and listening to the cricket on the radio …. I cant really quote them all here. But I do have a 2nd post about her time at Kin Kin Junction School, with photos, coming up next

If you are a relative of the Hapgoods (or Waddells) from Kin Kin and dont have a copy of Olga’s memoirs, then please email me at karenhapgood [at] gmail.com and I can share a copy with you.

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