BRISBANE'S HISTORIC HOMES.
IV.—Pahroombin. (See illustrations on page 40.)
By F. E. LORD.
WHEN looking up to the pretty gable windows of this old home—now owned by Mr. J. Irving, of J. Irving and Sons, and almost within sight of
Mayne Junction railway station—one is reminded of these lines by Brunton Stephens: "As I sit beside my little study window, looking down From the heights of contemplation (attic front) upon the town." Even when Mr. Irving purchased the property about the year 1912 they say that that part was still but sparsely populated, so one's "contemplations" there could the more easily picture the old home, situated in what must have been in its young days, before separation, quite the "bush." It was built, I understand, for Mr. George Edmondstone, whose name is mentioned in most of the old records of Brisbane. Its pretty, smooth red bricks still have the appearance of being quite new. Over the front door way they are beautifully fitted into an arch. In its early days the old building was, no doubt, roofed with shingles; now the unbeautiful corru- gated iron covers it. Water is still pumped from one old well, with an oval covering of concrete, across which, one side of the garden fence runs, but, of course, the grounds round the house were more extensive in the older days. The interior of the house has an old-time air with its long wide hall, its fireplaces, and its papered walls; and its old-fashioned staircase that might be English oak, but is of cedar, leads up to a landing off which are the two large attic rooms, which we can picture as nurseries. The gable window of the back one looks down into an old-fashioned garden now, but in its place, when Mr. Irving bought the property, there stood a wooden ad- dition to the house, consisting of 10 rooms. These he had demolished. It is fitting that an English lady is the mistress of this old home now; she has kept up its air of an older land. Its furniture in general is modern, but of a type that is not out of place with older pieces. Among the latter is an adorable old grandfather clock, stand- ing in the front hall. And the large lounge at the end of the hall, with a box window at one end and a fire place at the other, is the acme of comfort. It was in this room, I be- lieve, that the two princes—our present King and his brother, the late Duke of Clarence—danced when visiting Brisbane in the year 1881 (In a previ- ous article I mistakenly gave the year of their visit as in the late seventies.) But I do not know if Mr. Edmondstone was their entertainer or other members of his family. A daughter, I under- stand,—married into the Markwell family, and "Markwell's Paddock." old home, Pahroombin, and now built nearer to the railway station than the on, was well known to old Brisbanites. The daughter referred to may have been the one spoken of by Mr. Hartley in his "Opals and Agates." Speaking of a visit to the home of the late Mr. Andrew Petrie, at Petrie Bight, he says: "If my memory serves me, the first time I saw the inside of it . . . was on one occasion when Miss Edmondstone, a bonny daughter of old George E., a 'flesher' from the North country, was there." And in William Cootes' history of Queensland we read that the municipality of Brisbane was proclaimed on September 7. 1859, and among the councillors elected later is the name "G. Edmondstone." So some of the oldest memories of Bris- bane cling round this, outwardly, al- most modernised old house. =========
surprisingly resulted in a decisive vote against the retention of women em- ployees after marriage.