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Population: 297 [1]
Postcode: 4408
LGA: Dalby Regional Council
State District: Darling Downs
Federal Division: Maranoa

Bell is picturesque a village nestled in the western foothills of the Bunya Mountains of Queensland, Australia, about 40 kilometers north of Dalby. Data from the 2006 census showed that Bell had a population of 297.[1].

Bell, located on the Bunya Highway, lies between the agricultural areas of the Darling Downs and the South Burnett. Looking out over rolling hills of quilt-like patterned farmland, Bell is known for it's traditional country arts & crafts as well as rural-based activities such as horse race meetings, the rural show, rodeo and campdraft competitions. The local show, which celebrated its 50th consecutive year in 2008, is held annually on the first weekend in March. The show features wood chopping, displays of the area's livestock (including milking goats), and working cattle dog 'trials'. The area's main industry is farming of beef cattle, grain, sheep and pigs.

Facilities available in Bell include a caravan park, a country hotel (pub), a swimming complex, tennis courts, a lawn bowls club, a 9-hole golf course and a horse racing track. The main social gathering point in town is at the 'Bellview' pub while at the Memorial Hall country dances and/or balls are hosted a number of times during each year. The Bell State (government) School, which caters for children in classes from Prep to Year 10, celebrated its centenary in 2007.

Originally the area around Bell was part of a large land holding called Jimbour Station. In the 1870's the area was opened up for closer settlement and Angus & Christina McPhee from Scotland became the first settlers nearest to what would become the village of Bell. Over time other families - including Bellingham, Bradley, Edwards, Ensor, Rush and Walker - settled in the vicinity of Cattle Creek and in 1878 a school was established at Maida Hill to cater for these families. In April 1906 the railway line was extended from Dalby and the first land sales in Bell were in May 1906. The village was named after Sir Joshua Peter Bell who, at that time, was owner of Jimbour Station.

The Railway Heritage Parkland, built on the site of the original railway terminus, features an early model diesel locomotive and a vintage passenger carriage as well as a historical mural painted on the shed wall. Worth seeking out are a number of Bell's early buildings which were constructed from locally sourced sandstone - the best example is a stone house which was built in 1913 and is easy to find on the highway. A visit to the Roman Catholic Church will be rewarded by seeing a mural, painted by local artists, showing a history of Salvation. The art gallery holds displays of local artists' works.


External links

Coordinates: 26°55′57″S 151°26′55″E / 26.9325°S 151.44861°E / -26.9325; 151.44861 (Bell)



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