Fred Hughes was a Brisbane livery-stables owner whose business premises were in Charlotte St. He also owned property at Mt Gravatt where he bred and kept horses including Arab stock. After his son Richard was married, Fred Hughes arranged for this large house to be built on Richard's land at Eight Mile Plains in 1892-3.
The designer was George T Campbell-Wilson, a Queen St architect whose father, George W Campbell-Wilson, was also an architect. Eight Mile Plains was originally a heavily timbered area that later became rich farmland. Hughesville would have been the finest house in the district.
The house remained in the Hughes family for over a hundred years. After that the house hit hard times and deteriorated markedly. I'm sure that everyone who passed it must have felt as I did - surely "they" (whoever "they" might be!) are not going to let this piece of history fall down in ruins. There were rumours of the structure being removed to enable the land to be developed, but there was wide community support for this wonderful example of our past not to perish.
Eventually Hughesville's luck took a turn for the better. The Queensland Heritage Council approved a development that provided for a subdivision of part of the still-extensive property for a townhouse development, if combined with the restoration of the house. Here is a before/after comparison from their newsletter.
There was further good fortune too. The Queensland brewer of XXXX beer shot a television ad there, featuring the house as a make-believe restoration project for some couples who relaxed with XXXX drinks on the refurbished verandahs after their pretend heavy painting activity. This ad obviously had a commercial purpose, but it also allowed Queenslanders to see that the old girl was being "done up".
Hughesville is now owned by a firm of solicitors and it is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.
Click here for a Google Map.