His­toric home­stead pre­serves fam­ily’s rich his­tory

Central Telegraph - - NEWS -

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.

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