The opening up of land on the Darling Downs led to a steady flow of settlers down the range to the Helidon District. In 1841 Superintendent Somerville, in search of a sheep run, came down the track, which was to become the historic Toll Bar Road, and took up Helidon Station.

At that time, travelling on this road to Helidon was very dangerous because of conflict with the local Aboriginal people, and parties of travellers were always heavily guarded.

In the early forties a small corps of soldiers from the 28th, 58th and the 99th regiments were stationed for three years near Helidon, to afford some protection for the squatters. Scrub cutting and conflicts with the Aboriginal people kept the squatters very busy.

When the Australian Government started resuming land and began dividing up the various stations in the sixties, the population of Helidon saw a swift increase. Another factor in this population build up was the opening of the railway line from Ipswich to Helidon in 1866 and then to Toowoomba in 1867.

Early in 1874, the settlers in the Helidon District wrote to the Board of General Education regarding the establishment of a school. On the 11 May 1874 the school was opened with a total of 8 pupils. Helidon State School was the second school established in the Lockyer Valley (Lower Tenthill State School was the first) and the 52nd school to be opened in Queensland.

Helidon’s original school was established on the East bank of the Lockyer creek at the spot beside the intersection of Railway street and the Warrego highway. In 1914 the original school was damaged by a cyclone and the fences were washed away. Temporary repairs were made, and the decision was made to select a new school. This is the spot where we are now. The new building was completed in 1919. In 1947 the school was extended. In 1969 the present main building was constructed and the old building replaced. In 1990 a double classroom modular building was constructed. In 1992 a design double classroom was constructed.

The following information has been taken from 'The History of Helidon - 1841-1991' the 150th Anniversary souvenir book, written by Suzanne Hogan.

Helidon - the name

Helidon was originally spelled 'Hellidon', the second 'l' was dropped around 1851. The first squatters lease was issued with the name Hellidon, and the early maps have that same spelling. It may have been changed by map makers misinterpreting rough maps.

Just how Helidon got its name is as big a mystery. Two theories have been proposed. It could be named after a small town of Hellidon in Warrickshire, England, and not too far from the town and to the north is Grantham, in Lincolnshire. It was possibly named for Hallidon Hill in Scotland, the site of one of the classic battles.

Last reviewed 03 February 2020
Last updated 03 February 2020