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Boowaggan Cottage
20 Nov 2012

We begin our virtual tour at the Boowaggan Cottage.

Within our grounds stands a faithful reproduction of the pioneering Veivers’ family cottage. The reproduction was built in 1976 and is a replica of the original house built by Robert Veivers in 1861.

The original house stood on the western bank of Boowaggan Creek (now known as Boobegan Creek) where it met the Nerang River (formally River Barrow).  It was an ideal spot with fresh water and a position for a wharf, which was a very important feature as the river served as a highway for early pioneers.

Robert Veivers built the cottage for his new bride using hand adzed timber slabs for the walls, with a pitched corrugated iron roof and then covered it with wide slabs of bark to keep the hut cool. The house was expanded over the years to accommodate the growing family.

Robert Veivers’ bride was Eliza Bridget Toole, born in Wicklow (Ireland) in 1842. At the age of 17, she and her parents of English and Ireland heritage embarked on a four-month journey to Australia. The ship arrived at Brisbane just prior to Christmas in 1859.

On the 6September 1861 in the Presbyterian Manse at North Brisbane, Eliza Toole married Robert Veivers, Timber Cutter of Barrow River (now Nerang River). Robert took his young bride by a small sailing boat from Brisbane to her new home at Boowaggan Creek.

At Burleigh on 23 August 1862, the birth took place of a daughter Grace for Robert and Eliza Veivers. She was the first white child to be born between Nerang and Murwillumbah.

Boowaggan Cottage was the family home for about 8 years for Grace, her sister and two brothers, while their father was engaged in timber getting. Unfortunately, grief struck the family in April 1871 when Robert Veivers died at the early age of 39 years.

Our replica of the Veivers’ cottage was built in 1976, and was to be an authentic replica of the original building. Tim Harris built our cottage from pit-sawn timbers that had been used in other pioneer buildings. The cottage was then fitted with authentic furniture and memorabilia from the late 1800’s.

At the building’s dedication Evelyn Andrews (daughter of Grace Veivers), 76 years old at the time, planted an Arum lily from her mother’s garden. The pioneer garden adjoining the cottage was designed and planted by Australian Plants – Gold Coast. An Arum lily grows in the garden reminiscent of the original planted by Evelyn.

Photo Credit: Veivers family at their property Boobigan, ca. 1870, image, viewed: 13 November 2012, http://bishop.slq.qld.gov.au/webclient/StreamGate?folder_id=200&dvs=1353369320806~781

Article Credit: Grace Hemberg 

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Comments (1)

Lovely story of the earliest settler family with information connecting it to current day.