There's never been a lot in Eulo, a tiny southwest Queensland town that lies on an 'S'' bend on the Bullo Development Road. In 2011 Eulo lost the general store to a fire, a town icon and the only business from which the sixty residents could buy supplies.
Thankfully the Eulo Queen Hotel was unharmed. This old bush pub has a history as interesting as the publican it was named for. Isabel Gray (c.1851-1929) was a vital Eulo character. Born in England (although she claimed to be Mauritian) she arrived in Australia around 1869 where she married and quickly became a widow. She married again and with husband Richard, managed and then purchased a hotel at Eulo on the Paroo River. The couple acquired two more hotels, a store and butchery and Isabel, who is supposed to have had an elegant Swiss education, became an astute opal dealer.
Isabel was adorned with the title 'Eulo Queen' and lived a lavish and flamboyant lifestyle. Apparently possessed of striking beauty and a 'life of the party' attitude her establishments were places of great frivolity and merriment, some even suggesting that the young ladies that adorned her bars were available for discreet liaisons.
Isabel became a widow for a second time when Richard Robinson died in 1902. Her wealth had diminished and she married for a third time - a Tasmanian, Herbert Gray. Isabel rebuilt her empire and for a time she left Australia to live in Europe. On her return Herbert Gray was charged with assaulting her and they lived an estranged life thereafter with Gray eventually leaving to fight in World War 1.
Eulo was an important opal centre and Isabel used the gem stone as currency but with the advent of the war the mineral's value was near worthless. In later years Isabel was admitted to a Toowoomba mental hospital where she died in 1929. On her death she was worth £30. The local pub is still called 'The Eulo Queen'.
For a tiny settlement Eulo packs in a great deal of enthusiasm for the local attractions. Of lighthearted interest is the monument to 'Destructo' a cockroach from N.S.W. who, in 1980, defeated 'Wooden Head' - a champion racing lizard. Destructo was stomped to death after the challenge race, and yes, Eulo held the annual 'World Lizard Racing Championships'.
There are artesian Mud Springs 9km from Eulo while at 'Palm Grove' artesian mud baths are on offer. Three baths set in a rustic shelter of corrugated iron and thatch provide and hour and a half soak in 'revitalising' mud.
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