Cooroy Heritage – Cooroy takes it’s name from the nearby mountain. The original spelling, ‘Coorooey’ meaning possum is derived from the language of the Gubbi Gubbi people, the original inhabitants of the area. Before Europeans arrived, the land was covered in thick rainforest and magnificent stands of tall timber.
From 1885 sawmillers Dath, Henderson and Co. held 5.507 acres stretching from Mt. Cooroy westwards including what is now the township area. The timber industry was central to the development of Cooroy. once the railway line was completed in 1891, log timber and produce was loaded at Cooroy where goods and mail were received. The railway station was a focal point of the district. Horse drawn coaches transferred mail, goods and passengers to the coastal resorts.
In 1902, the ‘township’ was described as a collection of huts and tents of timber workers clustered around the railway. The only buildings were the office of James Duke and the Station Master’s residence. JL. Boden established the first store in Cooroy in 1906.
The Queensland Government repurchased the area from Dath. Henderson and Co. in 1907. Surveyed into agricultural farms and town lots. known as the Cooroy Estate, the first land sale was held on 24th April 1908.
The majority of the selectors came from Northern Rivers and the Illawara districts of New South Wales. The land was cleared of dairying, sugar cane, fruit and vegetable growing.
A sawmill was built in 1908 to process the plentiful timbers and to supply the demand for building material.
Cooroy quickly became a thriving township and by 1910 three banks had been opened, with a hotel and several cottages also under construction. The school. built in 1909, had an attendance of 67.
Following the closure of the butter factory in 1975, land use gradually changed from farming to rural residential. The closure of the sawmill in 2000 ended an era for the town that great around a timber camp. The township of Cooroy however retains many of the original buildings which contribute to its charm.
Cooroy has matured in recent decades and its strong community identity within Noosa Shire has fostered its prosperity and expansion. The town’s steady development and flourishing retail centre attracts new businesses and industries to service the growing population, whilst retaining the gentle rural ambience and heritage features that continue to attract new combers to the area.