European settlement of the Tweed Valley commenced in the 1840's
First to arrive were the cedar getters, followed by the boat builders and publicans
After the Robertson Land Acts enabled closer settlement, population grew, firstly along the fertile river flats and the rich volcanic soil of the Cudgen plateau.
In the 1900's selections were opened in the upper river valley and the catchment creeks. Each area had leading families that contributed to the development of the valley by pioneering the primary and service industries.
Early industry included: - Sugar - Sweet Potatoes and vegetables - Logging - Boat Building Although European settlement was thriving, the local Indigenous population were not. Europeans used these people as slaves and the peaceful life they once knew was now over.
Not long after the British invasion, the local Bundjalung people who had been in the area for thousands of years started to get very sick, disease wiped out many. Sailors and convicts brought smallpox, syphilis and influenza with them and the aboriginal people had no resistance. Clans reduced to just ten percent of what it was 50 years before European settlement.