Bruce Highway

Grave Tales: Bruce Highway’ features people who willingly or unwilling were participants in events that made headlines. These people may have lived in the same suburbs, streets, and even the same houses as exist now, at cities and towns along the Bruce Highway. Stories include:
Sunshine Coast:
  • Inigo Jones – The man that predicted one of the nation’s worst ever droughts would break, became a household name around the nation – many Australians lived by his weather tips.
  • Ewen Maddock –a woman who died at sea but wanted to be buried on land led to a tragedy on what is now one of the state’s top tourist strips… and Ewen Maddock and a Pandanus tree add to the mystery.
  • Henry Buchanan – the unarmed stretcher bearer who, while looking for injured diggers in the world war one trenches of France, captured 18 armed German soldiers. How did he do it?


  • James Nash – Belted by drought after drought Queensland was technically broke when gold was discovered at the place that became known as Nashville – but did the man who found it get treated fairly?
  • George Argo – He knew every inch of the North Phoenix Mine on the Gympie goldfield yet mysteriously, without explanation, he fell to his death down one of its shafts. Was their foul play?


  • Mollie Thompson –went missing early one morning – no-one knew where she was until her body was found 10 days later in an impossible to get to water tower that had been searched three times.
  • O’Connell family, Cecelia Bauer, Rose Adelaide Wiles – tragedy for a family who lost five children from an outbreak of Pneumonic Fever the and sacrifice of the nurses who put their lives on the line to save their town.


  • Thomas Griffin – It’s been called a crime unparalleled in Australian history, the most treacherous and cold-blooded murder of two policemen by their corrupt commander who was driven by greed.
  • Dorinda Ann Curtis and Maria Cramp – It’s well known that a developing town is usually well served by several good hotels… meet the ladies of the Criterion Hotel who made it what it is today.


  • The Welch family – They were expecting the destructive winds and torrential rains that come with a cyclone but it was the storm surge, almost eight metres high, that took a mother and five of her children.
  • Father Pierre Bacus – the story of 19 abandoned children who died in an orphanage founded by a well-meaning Catholic priest…  but built in an unfortunate location.


  • Thankful Willmett – in the early 1800s everyone thought there would be at least two states where Queensland is now… it just made sense. This is the story of the man who led the struggle for a new state in the north.
  • Charles ‘Jack’ John Miles – Life was a ‘boys-own’ adventure for ‘Jack’… and he was living it to the fullest. A boxer, pilot, and recently married man, Jack might have had it all, had it not been wartime…

Mena Creek:

  •  Jose and Margarita Paronella – he came to Australia for a new life. Prepared to work hard, Jose had a dream, and with his wife, he created a most original playground and shared it with generations.


  • Peter Tibbs – The Great Barrier Reef warrior who, when the Crown of Thorns Starfish came, wasn’t satisfied to let someone else stop the destruction… he took the predators on almost single-handedly.
  • Martin Brennan and Alexander Corbett – they were building the most difficult railway line in the country through the rugged jungle up a jagged range … it opened up the north but at what price in lives?


  • Mary Watson – a desperate bid for survival after being attacked and driven off a Barrier Reef island is relayed in the diary of young mother adrift in a makeshift craft with her baby and an injured helper.


Journalists, Helen Goltz and Chris Adams have between them spent many decades in the print and electronic media working for network television,  radio, and state and community newspapers. With a joint love of history, digging for a good story and storytelling, they have collaborated to create a series of books that brings our history to life again.

Connect with the authors on their Grave Tales Facebook page, Instagram or YouTube channel.

Buy the book or ebook from Amazon or the paperback or gift card from the Grave Tales shop.

Price and availability:

  • $25  inc postage in Australia only, if purchased directly from the Grave Tales shop;
  • Available as an ebook and paperback from Amazon (postage cost determined by Amazon);
  • Also available through all good bookstores at the recommended price of $29.95.