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AHS helps preserve one of Buderim Mountain’s oldest surviving houses


Pioneer Cottage in Buderim is an excellent example of what a community can achieve by taking action to protect their local heritage for future generations.

For many years Buderim residents understood the significance of Pioneer Cottage as one of their district’s oldest remaining houses with strong connections to local industrial and social history.

A critical moment came in 1966 when owner Sybil Vise transferred ownership of the site to the Buderim War Memorial Community Association (BWMCA), who subsequently formed the Buderim Historical Society (BHS) to conserve it as a heritage destination.

AHS was recently asked by BWMCA to create a Conservation Management Plan with guidance on how the building should be conserved within the context of its role as a local visitor attraction. The project was funded with the assistance of the Sunshine Coast Council Heritage Levy.

Built for prominent Buderim Mountain settlers John and Ann Burnett

Pioneer Cottage in Buderim was built circa 1882 for notable Buderim Mountain settlers John and Ann Burnett, whose family was closely associated with the early success of Queensland’s sugarcane industry.

John and Ann Burnett arrived in Australia in 1866 and two years later purchased a 160-acre homestead along Burpengary Creek. By 1876 they had moved to Buderim where John was employed at Fielding and Dixon’s sugar mill.

Having purchased eight hectares of land in 1878, the construction of Pioneer Cottage began circa 1882 on the corner of Ballinger Road and what is now Main Street, Buderim.

It is one of the oldest surviving houses on Buderim Mountain and is a fine example of a pit-sawn and hand-tooled 1880s farming cottage made from locally resourced timbers.

The house was hand built with white beech used extensively for the floor, walls and hallway ceiling boards. The joinery is of red cedar, the staircase was constructed from hoop pine and tallowwood hardwood was used for the floor bearers.

The cottage’s original components are largely preserved, although some changes occurred during the 1920s and 1930s. This included the conversion of the rear partitioned bedroom, demolition of the kitchen wing, enclosure of the remaining rear verandah and installation of a new kitchen.

The Burnett family outside Pioneer Cottage circa 1890 (SLQ)


The specific style of local carpenter Harry Board

Pioneer Cottage is a remarkably intact example of an early timber cottage on the Sunshine Coast which showcases the principal aesthetic and architectural qualities of local building traditions in Queensland during the late 19th century.

The timbers used in the construction of the cottage are now rare, providing an excellent example of the availability and value of Buderim Mountain resources for the early timber industry.

The design of the cottage is typical of Buderim’s middle-class homes during the 1880s and reflects residential development in Queensland’s rural areas in the late nineteenth century.

The house demonstrates the early growth of Buderim Mountain as a successful timber resource and agricultural settlement during the late 19th century, and also celebrates the specific style of carpenter Harry Board who built similar cottages in the Buderim area.

Contemporary views of the dining room including original hardwood flooring and horizontal beaded wall boards


Implementation of new technologies

The BWMCA and BHS are to be applauded for their dedication to best practice conservation and management at Pioneer Cottage. This is reflected in the generally very good condition of the building and its setting.

Although Pioneer Cottage already has relatively successful measures to interpret the site’s heritage values, there is an opportunity to ensure that the building’s fabric itself remains interpretable.

The implementation of new technologies such as virtual reality or QR codes should be considered as a strategy to reduce signage and other display limitations.

The AHS team looks forward to seeing the Pioneer Cottage remain a popular destination for functions, school excursions and community events in the future.

To discover how we may be able to assist on your next project, contact us today here or phone (07) 3221 0000. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn.

Contemporary view of Pioneer Cottage

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The Challenge

Pioneer Cottage in Buderim was built circa 1882 for notable Buderim Mountain settlers John and Ann Burnett, whose family was closely associated with the early success of Queensland’s sugarcane industry.

John and Ann Burnett arrived in Australia in 1866 and two years later purchased a 160-acre homestead along Burpengary Creek. By 1876 they had moved to Buderim where John was employed at Fielding and Dixon’s sugar mill.

Having purchased eight hectares of land in 1878, the construction of Pioneer Cottage began circa 1882 on the corner of Ballinger Road and what is now Main Street, Buderim.

It is one of the oldest surviving houses on Buderim Mountain and is a fine example of a pit-sawn and hand-tooled 1880s farming cottage made from locally resourced timbers.

The house was hand built with white beech used extensively for the floor, walls and hallway ceiling boards. The joinery is of red cedar, the staircase was constructed from hoop pine and tallowwood hardwood was used for the floor bearers.

The cottage’s original components are largely preserved, although some changes occurred during the 1920s and 1930s. This included the conversion of the rear partitioned bedroom, demolition of the kitchen wing, enclosure of the remaining rear verandah and installation of a new kitchen.



How we helped

Pioneer Cottage is a remarkably intact example of an early timber cottage on the Sunshine Coast which showcases the principal aesthetic and architectural qualities of local building traditions in Queensland during the late 19th century.

The timbers used in the construction of the cottage are now rare, providing an excellent example of the availability and value of Buderim Mountain resources for the early timber industry.

The design of the cottage is typical of Buderim’s middle-class homes during the 1880s and reflects residential development in Queensland’s rural areas in the late nineteenth century.

The house demonstrates the early growth of Buderim Mountain as a successful timber resource and agricultural settlement during the late 19th century, and also celebrates the specific style of carpenter Harry Board who built similar cottages in the Buderim area.

Results

The BWMCA and BHS are to be applauded for their dedication to best practice conservation and management at Pioneer Cottage. This is reflected in the generally very good condition of the building and its setting.

Although Pioneer Cottage already has relatively successful measures to interpret the site’s heritage values, there is an opportunity to ensure that the building’s fabric itself remains interpretable.

The implementation of new technologies such as virtual reality or QR codes should be considered as a strategy to reduce signage and other display limitations.

The AHS team looks forward to seeing the Pioneer Cottage remain a popular destination for functions, school excursions and community events in the future.

To discover how we may be able to assist on your next project, contact us today here or phone (07) 3221 0000. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn.

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AHS ensures cultural preservation of the Mt Coot-tha Kiosk and Lookout, unearthing a rich history at one of Brisbane’s premiere vantage points

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AHS helps to record and conserve Bega’s network of historic granite kerbs and gutters for our client Bega Valley Shire Council

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AHS delivered a Conservation Management Plan for the State heritage listed former Cairns Masonic Temple

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Delivering heritage services including an Archival Recording at the Coffs Harbour Forestry Building

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AHS projects with Cairns Regional Council include a CMP for Mulgrave Shire Council Chambers

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