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Historic photos restored: see the treasures of Buderim’s past

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

Historic photos restored: see the treasures of Buderim’s past


Historic photos: see the treasures of Buderim's past from blacksmiths to a loco and sugar mill

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A selection of classic images have been brought back to life, preserving significant slices of Buderim’s history.

Local photographer Ross Eason worked with The Buderim Historical Society (BHS), assisted by a Sunshine Coast Council Grant, to restore the most important photographs in the collection.

Among the images is a picture of Buderim’s Blacksmith Shop in 1905 (the restored version is above). It includes blacksmith Billy Duncan, Edgar Burnett holding the horse ‘Lady Godiva’, Ernest J. Burnett on his horse ‘Aidecamp’, Stephen Fountain and behind him is builder Joe Box. Also in the wagon is South Sea Islander Benny Buka.

The Blacksmith Shop was where the Buderim Tavern now stands.

The image above shows the ‘Wattle Queen’ at the Buderim Red Cross Carnival on July 6, 1918. In the wagon is Miss Wright, C. Poole, Unknown , Daphne W, Unknown. On the ground is Queen V. Gibbins, May Stampe, Val ?, E. Gibbins, Unknown boy.

Scroll down for more images.

The restored pictures, including many that are more than a century old, had deteriorated due to printing imperfections and/or environmental degradation

BHS deputy president David Wood said it was crucial the images were restored, before it was too late.

“That was our motivation, to arrest this process (of degradation) in time.”

“To restore what we can and make digital copies.

“We’re not enhancing the photos because that would suggest we’re changing them. Our philosophy is to try and be faithful to the original photographers’ intent as possible.

“I think we’ve got an obligation to restore the photos. We’re the custodians of Buderim’s history.”

Mr Eason initially approached the BHS to use some of their images in a book he was compiling about Buderim, before he suggested he could restore a few of the photos.

The BHS was highly impressed by the outcome of the restored images, so formed a group to sort and select more photos for possible restoration.

“The results exceeded all expectations,” Mr Wood said.

“He improved the contrast. The whites were whiter, and the blacks were blacker and the photos came out a lot better than they were.”

The group chose photos from the BHS collection, the John Oxley Library in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast Council archive, along with contributions from established Buderim families.

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A $3500 grant from Council, with assistance from benefactors, paved the way for 25 photos to be restored.

And there are plans for more, as BHS hoped to secure more funding for the labour-intensive job. It could cost between $20,000 to $30,000 to restore the entire BHS photo collection.

The photos, saved digitally and also reproduced in print, are likely to be on public display via the Council and the BHS.

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Some of the pictures already restored are treasures of Buderim’s past.

“Because Pioneer Cottage was built by (settler) John Burnett in 1882, a lot of the old photos we focused on were connected with the cottage,” Mr Wood said.

“There’s one photo, taken in the 1880s, of the old sugar mill, where the Buderim Post Office is now, and on the ridge line behind the mill is Pioneer Cottage and outside the cottage you can actually see the oven that Ann Burnett used to bake bread in.”

All of the restored images are from pre-1950, before the region underwent vast change in the late 20th century.

“A lot of people come here (to Buderim) and they don’t realise that only 50 years ago, the place was quite a farming settlement,” Mr Wood said.

“Then it started turning, from agricultural to residential.”

The Krauss Loco

The Krauss Loco ran the line between Palmwoods and Buderim. Picture: Buderim Historical Society.

The Krauss Loco was one of two trains running the line between Palmwoods and Buderim, from 1914 to 1936. It pulled people and produce from the main line at Palmwoods, via Chevallum, Forest Glen and Mons, to the Buderim Terminus, close to where the Buderim Pool is now on Lindsay Road.  The tramway was crucial in the development of Buderim, for trade and tourism. The trains opened up the region for day-trippers, holiday-makers and ultimately urban development. More on the line here.

Buderim’s second sugar mill

A restored image of Buderim’s second sugar mill. Picture: Buderim Historical Society.

Above is a restored image of Buderim’s second sugar mill, taken in the 1880s. There is sugar cane paddock in the foreground, the sugar mill in the centre, a barracks and the peaked roof house built by John Kerle Burnett (Pioneer Cottage), beyond the mill. Buderim’s main street (Burnett street) now runs between Pioneer Cottage and the mill site.

Pioneer Cottage

The front garden of Pioneer Cottage. Picture: Buderim Historical Society.

This restored image above above was taken in 1912. It is of people playing croquet in the front garden of Pioneer Cottage, on the occasion of Emma Burnett’s wedding to Len Fielding. Emma was the daughter of settler John Burnett. More on the cottage here.

Early settlers

Members of the Burnett and Barrow families. Picture: Buderim Historical Society.

This image above is dated 1897. It includes Wallace Burnett (with axe), Dr and Mrs Barrow. Their son is on the far left. All of the restored images are now being kept in conditions that will ensure that they will be available to view in another 100 years.

Coffee trade

Transporting coffee around 1900. Picture: Buderim Historical Society.

The picture above includes locals hauling sacks of coffee from Buderim. They were being loaded on to a train at the Woombye Railway Station, possibly around 1900.

A selection of before and after photos are available to view here.

For more information on the Buderim Historical Society and Pioneer Cottage, including tours and talks, see the BHS website.


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