Macknade, a town of about 300 people based around the Macknade sugar mill, is 12 km north-east of Ingham. It is one of two sugar mill towns in the Herbert River valley and was named after the Macknade Sugar Company. Macknade was the name of the house in Kent, England, where the mill's owners had lived.
A pioneering sugar mill, Macknade had its first crushing in 1874 and was acquired by the Colonial Sugar Refining Company (CSR) in 1896. By then large plantations were being superseded by small holder cane farmers, and three years before the CSR takeover a local primary school had been opened. A strong Italian community developed, and by 1922 Italian families owned 86 of the 159 farms supplying cane to the Macknade mill. Not unexpectedly, Macknade among all mill towns suffered most from internments during World War II.
Macknade's population peaked in the 1950s, and by the 2001 census numbers had declined by around a half. At about the time of peak population Pugh's Queensland directory recorded two hotels (the Lion and the Macknade), a cinema and several stores. The Lion Hotel has continued, and residents have a choice of bowling club or golf course near the sugar mill. The Macknade mill is one of two large CSR mills in the Herbert River valley which supply sugar to the Lucinda bulk export facility.
Macknade's census populations have been: