The Old Lady sat decaying behind overgrown shrubs and creepers, her steps twisted and worn, her gutters, rusted and falling, her paint long faded and flaking.
Iris Brewer, Chairperson of the Shire Clerk's Cottage Restoration Committee
In 1884, the Shire of Wynnum had just been established and the volunteer councillors needed a residence and a place to entertain distinguished guests. The Shire Clerk's Cottage was built in 1890 in a Victorian filigree style with the wraparound verandah common in the early Queensland homes.
Over the decades, the Shire Clerk's cottage served different purposes as needed. Tennis courts and a croquet lawn were added, dangerous goods could be stored onsite, and during World War I, the area served as a shooting range. But the fell out of use, and into disrepair, as the twentieth century wore on. During the 1980s, a committee was formed to restore the cottage to its former glory.
Today, the Shire Clerk's Cottage is a heritage-listed glimpse back to the days of kitchen gardens, milk delivery, and meat safes. The exterior and grounds have been restored and maintained, while the interior has been meticulously recreated by dedicated volunteers.
Members of the public can view the cottage during the Cottage Markets. The first for 2020 will be 21 March, and then they will run approximately monthly after that (check out their calendar or follow the markets Facebook page). The markets bring together approximately 70 stallholders offering a range of second hand and homemade goods. Stalls are $15 for a 3x3 outdoor space or $10 for a 1.8 metre table inside. While you're there, enjoy a tour of the cottage or take Devonshire tea on the verandah.