Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Budding young historians lead the way at Newstead
Although Australia is not as old as our ancestors in the United Kingdom, we can still be proud of the heritage within our own cities, which many historical societies are keeping alive.
Newstead House is the oldest Brisbane residence and looks grand sitting on the hillside back from the busy Breakfast Creek Road. The house was originally built in 1846 for pastoralist Patrick Leslie who pioneered settlements in the Darling Downs region. However, after a year he sold it to his brother-in-law Captain John Wickham, officer in the Royal Navy and senior government official of Moreton Bay.
The Little Historians Festival, Newstead House (Photo courtesy of their Facebook page)
At first build, the house was of single storey for Patrick Leslie, however John Wickham extended it to include extra rooms and a wide verandah. When John Wickham left in 1857 to return to England the house was occupied by many owners. In 1932 Queensland's Royal Historical Society took the house over and an act was passed in 1939 to ensure the preservation of the property for generations to come.
The property is fully restored today displaying furniture of that era, with visiting hours on a Friday and Sunday from 9.00 to 5.00pm and Saturday from 9.00am to 1.00pm. A small admission fee is required for entry. For those who may be interested, they say there is a resident ghost.
Heritage artwork on fences in Brisbane (Author's photo)
On Sunday 15th May, Newstead House will host "The Little Historians Festival". Families can bring a picnic and sit in the grounds enjoying the experience of early colonial days. You may even like to dress up in period costume. Some of the educational activities for children on the day are the chores all families would have had to do in their daily life. These were times of no electricity or television so our children will obtain a good understanding of what it was like to toil in the garden, assisting their mothers in the kitchen or learning just how tough it was to remove stubborn stains from clothes in the washing rooms. There will also be games on the green with dancing and crafts.