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News > From the Archives > The Big House – Mooloomburram

The Big House – Mooloomburram

1886: The house was built for Andrew Lang Petrie, the eldest son of John Petrie.

1886: The house was built for Andrew Lang Petrie, the eldest son of John Petrie. Andrew Lang Petrie brought his second wife (Eliza Anne Agnes Luya) to the new house after their marriage on 14 April 1886.

A sketch of the horse stables

Mooloomburram was taken from the Maroochy Aboriginal dialect combining Mooloon (shady tree) with burran (parrot). The owner’s initials “AJP” were inscribed in the stained glass at the entrance to the home which is still in evidence. The family used many of its own building materials. For example, the driveway gutter was lined with bricks stamped Petrie. Sadly – these were covered over in 2011 and are no longer visible. 

1890: Andrew Petrie was a keen gardener and planted bunya and hoop pines as well as an orchard. By 1890, there was a circular driveway, a statue, and trees and vines. The two bunya pines are still in evidence today, but the statue’s disappearance is an ongoing mystery! A drawing by John Campbell (not John Dunmore Campbell), hangs in the hallway of Mooloomburram, and shows the bunya pine (iin miniature) and the elusive statue!

1894: The company of John Petrie and Son was declared insolvent. Andrew Lang Petrie was forced to move to Sandgate. Mooloomburram was then rented to John Dunmore Campbell, a friend and business rival.

1901: John D Campbell acquired the adjoining property, which he named Donatello (what we know today as Community House).  Mooloomburram was then rented to a succession of tenants.

1910: John Cameron, pastoralist, purchased Mooloomburram, which he renamed Avoca.

1919: The Sisters bought Mooloomburram (Avoca) which adjoined Donatello. The property included extensive outhouses and stables.

The coach house was used as a classroom for 40 to 50 girls. The horse stalls in the stables became classrooms for the first and second forms and there was a large kindergarten room. The loft above became a gymnasium and library. “The Hall” (Mooloomburram) was used for dormitories and the basement rooms used for music rooms and laundry.

Ms Mary Surtees
Archivist

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