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Cairns Time Machine on Historypin

By JOL Admin | 4 December 2012

Historypin showing the offfices of the Cairns Post newspaper, ca. 1930 and how it looks today using Google Street View

 Guest blogger: Cheyenne Morrison with his project Cairns Time Machine ™ on HistoryPin

I was compelled to start the Cairns Time Machine project on Saturday 17th November 2012 when I attended the opening of the new Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal. This was created from the old Trinity Wharf in Cairns and looking around the port area I was really shocked at how many old building in Cairns had been pulled down for redevelopment. The destruction of the Cairns Yacht Club was the worst example which created widespread anger in the community. However many other historic buildings have been lost due to redevelopment, or are in danger of being lost unless we appreciate their heritage.

Then and now. Historypin showing Auctioneer E. Hunter's building in Cairns, ca. 1900 and how it looks today using Google Street View

The Cairns wharf precinct is one of the last remaining historic industrial waterfront building collections in Australia with a long industrious history. The wharf was originally established in response to the goldmining boom in north Queensland in the 1870s, and the existing wharf structures were built between 1910 and 1925. The port has played integral part in the development of the primary industries in Cairns such as the timber industry of the 1880s onwards, and primary industries such as fishing and sugar production. The area played an important part of Australia’s defence in WW1 and WW2, and a long running part in Cairns’ growth as a tourist hub, providing essential infrastructure for the local fishing and tourist enterprises of North Queensland.

Historypin showing the Post Office Hotel and the National Bank on Abbott Street, Cairns, ca.1930 and how it looks today using Google Street View

The goal of my project is to document the historic buildings that Cairns has already lost, highlight those that remain, and give people in Cairns (and tourists) more appreciation of its history. My hope is that by showing historic images rephotographed in a “Then & Now” format more people will appreciate the heritage that Cairns has and be compelled to protect it.

 Time is a continuum; progress started long before us and will continue long after us. Cairns has seen many changes – some for the good and some not so good. I am using historic images of Cairns supplied by the State Library of Queensland in combination with the Historypin App to create an interactive view of the history of the Cairns Port and Central Business District. Hopefully the Cairns Time Machine ™  images will help to communicate some of these changes and offer a window into Cairns’ past.


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