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Gordonvale

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Gordonvale is a small sugar-growing suburb situated in the southern end of Cairns on the Mulgrave River. At the 2006 census, Gordonvale had a population of 4,420.Once a separate town, urban sprawl has resulted in Gordonvale being subsumed into the suburban extremities of Cairns. Gordonvale was previously called Mulgrave and then Nelson. The name Gordonvale was settled on as a tribute to John Gordon, a pioneer in the district. Gordonvale lies approximately 23km south of the Cairns central business district and is just east of the Gillies Range which leads to the Atherton Tableland. Gordonvale was located within the Shire of Mulgrave until its amalgamation with the City of Cairns in 1995. The City was subsequently merged into the larger Cairns Region in 2008.A prominent natural landmark is Walshs Pyramid, which rises steeply to 922m.HistoryThe area was first settled in 1877 by the Alley and Blackwell families who cut a road through to Trinity Inlet so they could haul out cedar logs. By 1880, the road was well-used by miners and packers and they established the Riverstone Hotel to service the passing trade. After a while, a small town developed, encompassing three pubs, a store and a butcher shop run by John Gordon.In the Cairns area, a Chinese businessman, Andrew Lee On built the first sugar mill in 1882, named Pioneer Mill, and established the Hop Wah Plantation on 612acre of land. Other plantations and sugar mills were also established in the area in years following, and the region developed into a sugar cultivation and milling area.
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