On the 11th of February Ms. Louise Denoon, Executive Manager of Heritage Collections at the State Library of Queensland, and Professor Anna Haebich, Historian in Residence at the library and Griffith University Research Professor, visited the Downs Club in Toowoomba to collect an exciting new donation, the Davenport Album.
Club President Mr. Peter Marks and Mr. Lex Bailey formally presented the Album, which contains rare early photographs of old Darling Downs homesteads and places of interest, attributed to photographer Heinrich Muller. Mr. Lex Bailey is a past president of the Downs Club who has a long standing interest in the history of the Darling Downs and who realised the importance of this album to the area’s history.
The album has its own interesting history. In 1877 it was given to Mr G. H Davenport prior to a return trip to England by his friends who included well known property owners in Toowoomba and the Darling Downs Mrs Jas Taylor, Mr W. Graham, Mr. F.H. Holberton and Mr. J. Grimes. At the time Mr. Davenport owned Heddington Hill Station, which was originally part of the much larger Clifton Station. Then in 1935 it was chosen by Mr. M. Y. C. Pascoe as recompense for his duties as executor of Mrs. Davenport’s estate. His widow later donated it to the Downs Club. In 2008 the club officials agreed to present the album to the John Oxley Library in recognition of its major significance for all Queenslanders.
The Album will undergo restoration and conservation work before being added to the state’s extensive Heritage Collections. The photographs will be digitised and made available on Picture Queensland. The Downs Club will be presented with a bound copy to put on display at their premises. The Toowoomba Regional Council Library will receive a disc copy of the Album.
Heritage Collections and the Downs Club are keen to hear of any other information about the album. Please contact via the blog.