Samford’s very first inhabitants were an aboriginal tribe which belonged to the Waka language group, whose territory also included the upper Brisbane River and the South Burnett. While there are no aboriginal tribes still living in Samford, their history remains by means of the very well maintained Bora Ring at Wights Mountain, the burial site near Upper Camp Mountain Road and the records kept at the local historical museum.
Although they’re closer to Brisbane than most acreage areas in thePine Rivers Shire, the secluded valleys of the upper reaches of the South Pine River were not settled by Europeans until the mid 1850s. The first land auction was held on 1 February 1855. After the subdivision of farms into acreage homesites commenced in the 1960s, and substantial upgrading of road access more recently, some of Samford’s residents now commute from their homes to work in Brisbane.
By 1908, banana growing on the steep ridges at the foot of the ranges had become one of the most important industries in the Samford district.[ After World War 1, the Government created additional small farms so that returned servicemen with limited capital were able to get started in the industry. During 1926 and 1927, more bananas were consigned to southern markets from Samford Railway Station than any other railway station in Queensland. This success was short-lived, however, as a virus which had wiped out banana growing in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, ‘Bunchy Top’ disease, finally affected the crop and was the primary reason for the decline of the industry in the Pine Rivers Shire.
The first hotel to operate in Samford was erected in 1906 on the site of the C.S.I.R.O. buildings on Dayboro Road. The Hotel was destroyed by fire and rebuilt around 1915 and was known variously as Samford Hotel, Railway Hotel or O’Hara’s Hotel. With the coming of the railway to Samford in 1918 the Town saw unprecedented progress with numerous businesses established along Main Street. Later that year, James O’Hara bought the Bake House shop and moved the Hotel in 3 sections by Bullock Dray to its present site. In order for the sections to cross the bridge over Samford Creek, the uprights on the bridge were sawn-off level with the railings. Further development soon followed and the Hotel became known as the Golden Valley in 1956-1957. Throughout the history of the hotel wonderful characters like James O’Hara and John Foxlee have held the license. The name was again changed in 2003 to the Samford Valley Hotel.
The Facade of the Hotel has altered considerably over the years. In 2003 a major renovation was carried out on the hotel to include the magnificent Village Garden Bar & Grill. In 2014 another upgrade saw a brand new gaming room, a revamped public bar/sports bar and the widely popular HOPs Craft Beer and Wine Bar.
Since 2003 the Samford Valley Hotel has been owned and operated by Les Pullos and his family along with a dedicated team of management and staff.
The warmth and character of ”The Samford” lives on.