Buildings and Cottages

Updated: Jun 17, 2019

We have many buildings and cottages to visit on our Museum site, and here is just a quick glimpse into what your tour would look like!


The John Elliot Building and its Extension houses are our main displays, which includes rare Aboriginal artifacts, a superb collection of photographs depicting early days of the Gold Coast and developments of the 1970’s, as well as a diverse collection of memorabilia and iconic items reflecting some of our most esteemed entrepreneurs.


Wall in Dolan's Barn

Dolan’s Barn houses a large display of farming tools and other machinery- as we like to call it ‘the Bunnings of History’! Some are fully restored and operating, others are representative of the pioneering days on the Gold Coast. Grain grinders, dairy equipment, hand operated washing machines and two printing presses are among the many items.


The Sheldon Artist Studio is a quaint little studio which belonged to Vincent Sheldon (1895 to 1945) who was a prominent Queensland etcher and artist. He devoted his artistic skills to capturing the Australian rural life and Brisbane’s early streetscapes. The studio was relocated from the original site in Broadbeach (in 1979) to our museum site, and is now heritage listed.


The Steam Engine Building displays two magnificent steam engines from the original Johnston and Freeman Sawmill established by Johnston and Freeman in 1876. This building also houses various industrial items and rail memorabilia.


Veiver's Cottage

Boowaggan Cottage (Veiver’s Cottage) is a replica of an early settler’s cottage (rebuilt in 1976), and is a faithful reproduction of a typical family home from the first timber-cutter pioneer days of the Gold Coast. The cottage is surrounded by a period cottage garden and was based on the original house built by a Mr. Robert Veivers for his wife Eliza in 1861. It is named after where it had originally been situated, right where Boowaggan Creek meets the Nerang River.






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