Like many areas of Brisbane, West End started off as farming land. In the 1880's, there were market gardens located on Montague Road as well as plenty of cereal crops and a strong timber industry. In fact, West End housed a number of different industries, including a gas works, a concrete pipes works, a boot factory, an iron/steel works, a soft drink factory and an ice cream plant.
These industries have been steadily weeded out of the area as West End has been developed into a trendy inner-city suburb.
Thanks to the blogosphere, I recently crossed paths with Magnus from A House in Auchenflower. Magnus very kindly offered to carry out a bit of investigative work regarding our cottage's history, and I gladly took him up on the offer. You can read all about it over on his blog here.
|Edward Robert Drury - former land owner|
Our 405m2 block of land was once part of a 27 acre parcel that was purchased back in 1850 by a Scottsman, Adolphus McWilliam, for a meagre 54 pounds.
It changed hands a couple of times, but continued as farming land until about 1884 when Edward Robert Drury, the landowner at the time, subdivided and sold it off in 80 separate transactions over the next six years. It wasn't until this time that West End became a suburb in it's own right.
Early records show our house was constructed prior to 1927, but that is as much as we know about when it was built. It would appear that the cottage was first constructed as a rental house, and it has largely remained one since that time. It's rather amazing that the house is still standing in it's original condition. While we are renovating and extending the house, I am proud that we are retaining the cottage as close to it's original form. I hope that it is seen as a beautiful and special home by future occupants over the next 100 years.