Montville has a true village charm. You will find a pleasant blend of Tudor, Irish and English cottages of log or stone, Swiss and Bavarian chalets, an old mill water-wheel, colonial and old Queenslanders and of course, one of the most spectacular and panoramic views over a coastal plain you could find in Australia.
Settlement first occurred in Montville in the late 1880s. The area had been extensively logged prior to this decade and the escarpment is still marked by timber ‘shoots’ (or ‘chutes’ / ‘shutes’), such as ‘Lander’s’ and ‘Remington’s’, where logs were ‘shot’ down the mountain to be hauled away to sawmills in the Council area or in Brisbane, . Land was selected as early as 1881, but the first settlers did not begin to arrive until the mid-1880s. Among the first settlers were the Smith brothers, Henry (Harry), Edward and Alfred. As with nearby Mapleton, the new arrivals quickly discovered that the land was suited to fruit orchards and oranges, lemons, mandarins, limes and strawberries, amongst other crops, were soon planted. A provisional school was established in 1896, indicating the settlement – originally called Razorback, but officially Montville – was slowly growing.
Palmwoods, established in 1891, became the primary outlet for the produce of Montville farms. The current Palmwoods-Montville Road was opened in 1929. The village began to develop in the early 1900s, but particularly the 1910s. A school of arts building was erected in 1903, now the Montville Hall. Henry Smith opened a store on his property on Western Avenue, which also included the postal receiving office. A new school was built in 1908 (within the current school grounds). Smith moved to a new store on the corner of Western Avenue and Main Street in 1912 and a Methodist church was built on Main Street in the same year. St Mary’s Church followed in 1914, the Manjalda Guesthouse in 1915 and the Masonic Temple in 1920. Memorial gates commemorating the district’s soldiers who fought in World War I were erected at the front of the School of Arts in 1921.
Like nearby Mapleton, Montville became popular as a resort for the convalescent and tourists. The Blackall Range was promoted as ‘Queensland’s Blue Mountains’ and guest houses abounded, especially in Montville. Guesthouses in the village in addition to Manjalda included ‘Elston’, ‘Mayfield’, ‘Belvedere’, ‘Awatea’ and ‘The Lachlan’. Indeed, it appears Montville had the highest number of guesthouses on the Blackall Range. The village remains popular with tourists seeking a mountain retreat and the design of many of the buildings constructed in the second half of the twentieth century was inspired by a European ‘Alps’ aesthetic (consonant with mountain villages) . It also developed as an arts and craft destination, particularly with the establishment of the Montville Pottery in the mid- 1960s.
History Source - 'Thematic History of the Sunshine Coast', Sunshine Coast Heritage Study, Sunshine Coast Council, August 2019