2013 marked the 150th anniversary of the Harrisville township which was built on land purchased from an early settler Robert Dunn, being part of Portion 159 that he bought from the Crown in 1863 for £48/5/-. (Forty-eight pounds and five shillings) In today's money - $96.50
In 1870 merchants George & John Harris bought further land from Robert Dunn and established a store and cotton gin. The cotton gin was needed because the American Civil War was interfering with the supply of cotton, and local farms were able to grow and supply cotton in large quantities . Several cotton gins were built, one being owned by Cribb and Foote who were major merchants in Ipswich.
Mr Dunn's daughter was given the honour of selecting a name for the locality and thinking of the Harris brothers who had opened the first store she submitted the name "Harrisontown". This was rejected by the colonial government as it had already been given to a Toowoomba suburb so the name "Harrisville" was chosen instead.
By the mid-1870's the new township was flourishing and the Harrisville Inn (now called The Royal Hotel) was established and Harrisville continued to advance with a railway branch line constructed in 1882.
The new township expanded rapidly and the Royal Hotel was opened in 1875, being one of the earliest hotels in the area.
In 1916, after 40 years of operation, the original Royal burnt down but was then rebuilt in 1920 in its current form.
The Harrisville school which was opened in 1887 closed in 1932, the only reminder being the school bell which now lives at the Harrisville Historical Museum.
By 1963 when the township celebrated its centennary, the main produce was various grains and dairy products.
The construction of the Cunningham Highway to the west of the town and the subsequent increase in road transport led to the closure of the Harrisville railway in 1964.
The small hospital closed in 1973 and many of the small business houses and dairies have also closed down. The remaining dairies have grown much larger and have evolved with the introduction of the latest technologies.
Another industry which has been established in Harrisville is wine making, with two established wineries operating in the township.
In 2008, the Harrisville boundaries were changed from the Ipswich City Council area to become part of the Scenic Rim Regional Council.
THE ghost stories surrounding Harrisville's Royal Hotel may be more fact than fiction after paranormal activity experts witnessed a mysterious figure on Sunday night.
Renowned ghost investigators Paranormal Paratek Queensland set up their hi-tech equipment to record any ghostly experiences within the Royal Hotel, known as one of Australia's top 10 haunted sites.
President Darren Davies and his team watched a misty figure pass before their eyes and heard footsteps along the hard wood floor throughout the night.
Mr Davies said the pub was sealed off to the outside world, with black plastic sheets taped over the windows among the measures taken to distractions from the beyond the walls.
The 150cm-high full figure appeared to be female and was seen in the entry to the kitchen - the same location a ghost was spotted by previous patrons.
They believe the figure was female and slowly moved past the doorway.
He said the amount of activity was a level above what he expected.
"We had some very strange things happen visually," he said.
"It was creepy. It was so dark and quiet we could hear those movements."
Owner Monika Patrick said the findings were interesting.
But she won't let the sighting spook her when she is in the pub on her own.
"I think he may have been surprised because we hadn't seen anything," she said.
She hopes the findings will help to dispel the original haunted tales of seven people perishing in a blaze in the early 1900s.
The arrival of Mr Davies had resurrected many stories about the pub's past. She said the way Mr Davies and his crew approached the evening and how they conducted themselves was very professional. "I really was impressed with the way they conducted themselves and how serious and passionate they are about trying to find the truth," she said.