Friday, June 22, 2012

Hester Villa, East Brisbane

Like the house Hanworth, seen previously in these pages, today's property in East Brisbane was originally owned by a seafaring type - in this case Captain Robert Pearn. At one stage of his career, Pearn plied the labour trade - he "recruited" labourers from the Pacific Islands and transported them via ship to work on Queensland sugar plantations. There were many other ships and sailors involved in this practice, and many of the labourers were kidnapped or taken by force. Even where this was not the case, it is more than probable that the Islanders did not really understand what was in store for them in Australia. In the vernacular of the time, these "recruiting" exercises were known as blackbirding, and it was thankfully outlawed at the beginning of the twentieth century. Two of the vessels that Pearn commanded in these voyages were Lochiel and Clansman - here is a picture of Lochiel.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #37343)

Pearn married in January 1884, and in 1889 built a house at this location. Unfortunately it burned down, and in 1901 a new residence was erected in its place. The house was named Hester Villa after the Pearns' first daughter. The following photo is from 1982.
(Photo: © 1982 National Trust of Queensland; R Sumner; F Bolt)

I understand that the house was restored in the 1980s. My current photograph can be seen below, although the very pleasant but leafy surrounds do not allow for much of the residence to be seen.
(Photo: © 2012 the foto fanatic)

Click here for a Google Map.


1 comment:

  1. Interesting to learn these little snippets of early Australiana ... unfortunately not all of it good. Lovely old home and looks like its well maintained.

    "Adelaide and Beyond"


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