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John Oxley Library

Heritage and history in Maryborough

By JOL Admin | 21 March 2016

In 2016 representatives from the State Library of Queensland were invited to attend the launch of the joint QANZAC 100 Historypin project Maryborough Commemorates: Patriotism in the Wide Bay Region of Queensland. Q ANZAC 100 Regional Coordinator Niles Elvery and Queensland Memory’s Engagement Officer Anne Scheu attended.

Prior to the function there was an opportunity to visit three (3) of Maryborough’s premier heritage museums and societies. Each can be applauded for providing visitor access to research collections or for showcasing the unique aspects of the social history of the region.

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A glimpse of  three significant heritage sites of Maryborough.

Ken Brooks greeted us at Brennan & Geraghty’s Store Museum (National Trust); the members of the Maryborough Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society Inc.; and Marilyn Jensen representing the Wide Bay Hospitals Museum who shared her professional knowledge of the collection housed in the building that was formerly a Doctor’s residence on the grounds of the present Maryborough Base Hospital site.

Inside Brennan and Geraghty's Store Museum, Lennox Street, Maryborough.

In the short time available we were able to appreciate the interesting collections, objects and displays at each centre pertaining to Maryborough’s significant heritage.

The upper gallery of the School of Arts building, Kent Street Maryborough is home to Maryborough Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society Inc.

The highlights were many! Below are a few snippets shared and small selection of  images.

  • Brothers-in-law Patrick Brennan and Martin Geraghty opened the store for business in Lennox Street in 1871. Family members operated it continuously until 1972 – 101 years in total. The doors closed with more than 50,000 stock items left on the shelves. In 1975 the store was acquired by the National Trust and reopened to the public as a museum. Dedicated volunteers assist the National Trust in the operation.
  • The former School of Arts building is home to the Maryborough Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society Inc. More than 3000 books from the original School of Arts collection grace the walls of the upper gallery – a magnificent site. Researchers and visitors are welcome! More than 3500 photographs in the collection reveal Maryborough’s contribution to Queensland.
  • Australia’s only outbreak of pneumonic plague occurred in Maryborough in 1905. Eight people died of the infectious disease – 5 children of one family, a neighbour who assisted in their care and nurses Rose Adelaide Wiles and Cecilia Elizabeth Bauer. A fountain was erected outside City Hall to commemorate their service and sacrifice. Read more about this significant event here.
A popular room for research in the Wide Bay Hospitals Museum.

Did you know 17 organisations and heritage centres contribute to the Fraser Coast heritage trail?

Displays and archived collections carefully documented.


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