Historic homestead preserves family’s rich history
MUSEUM and much-loved tourist attraction, the Greycliffe Homestead, will next month host a dinner to celebrate 50 years of the Banana Historical Society.
Greycliffe Homestead, built of slabs cut with a pitsaw and adze, round bush timber rafters and a shingle roof, was constructed near Banana in the early 1870s.
The modest home is square with a semi-detached kitchen, including a large living room with an open fireplace, and bedrooms lined with calico and chintz stuck on the walls to cover the rough slabs.
The historic property is heritage listed by the National Trust of Queensland as “an essential building worthy of preservation at all costs.”
It was home to the family of William Nott, son of Charles and Elizabeth Nott, convicts transported to Australia in the 1830s, and would remain the property of the Notts for more than one hundred years.
William Nott’s wife Sophie gave birth to seven children at Greycliffe Homestead.
One of their daughters, Emma, the homestead’s final resident, went on to become a trained nurse and served in Egypt, on hospital ships and in Army hospitals in England during WWI.
After her mother died in 1929, Emma, an independent and capable character, lived a solitary life at Greycliffe until her death in 1972.
In 1979, the Historical Society, fearing the cherished site would decay or be burnt in a bushfire, resumed Greycliffe Homestead, cut it in two and transported it 37km down the highway to its present home on Gladstone Rd in Biloela.
The group of dedicated individuals has preserved the building which gives people an insight into what life was like 100 years ago.
The homestead has been restored and refurnished in the period when the children of Sophia and William Nott were raised, recreating Greycliffe’s ambience for the enlightenment of future generations.
In the years since, a blacksmith’s shop, slab kitchen and machinery shed have been added to the impressive complex.
On the evening of Sunday, November 4, the Historical Society, which began in 1968 at informal meetings in people’s homes, invites residents to attend its 50th anniversary at Greycliffe.