Thursday, 29 June 2017

Squatters Homestead

Squatters Homestead Building
Bribie Island
circa 1970s - 1990s

A unique building existed from the 1970s to the 1990s, on the road that crosses Bribie Island from Bongaree to Woorim.  The road was then known as the Caboolture-Bribie Island Road and today known as First Avenue.  The building had been known as Squatters Craft Homestead, Squatters Homestead and Squatters Restaurant.

Photo from a tourist brochure entitled
  Cross the Bridge to BribieIsland: Queensland's island in the sun.
The brochure was produced by the Bribie Island Chamber
of Commerce in conjunction with Caboolture Shire
Council and Queensland Tourist and Travel Corporation
 around the year 1980.
Squatters Craft Homestead: Home of Creative Arts
Source: Postcard, Murray Views, Gympie, circa 1980.

These photos show the building when it was owned and operated by the Buckley family and one of the attractions were the goats that delighted children with little buggy rides!

By 1989 the building was home to the Squatters Homestead Restaurant and the following advertisement and article were published that year.

Restaurant now a Landmark!
The Bribie Islander March 1989 article

Caption: Squatters Homestead has been a landmark on
Bribie for 14 years [by 1989]

Source: The Bribie Islander v6(3) March 1989, p. 40, 44.

Squatters Homestead has been a landmark on Bribie for 14 years.  It was built by Don Buckley, a man trained in woodwork and coach building in the 1930s.

Don took up crown land in 1972 to build a centre that would inspire and accommodate craftsmen of different trades where they might work and sell their particular products.

The timbers used in construction for this centre were collected over a period of many years and consist of soft and hardwoods cut from the bush.  It took Don and his son-in-law, Russell Curtis, seven months of dawn till dusk work to build the slab homestead.  It was completed in 1975.

It remained as such until 1981 when its conversion to a restaurant was initiated.  Squatters Homestead Restaurant was a full restaurant until 18 months ago [1987] when a section was adapted to house arts and crafts once again.  Current owner [1989] of 3 ½ years, Dave Condie said “The public demand for locally made artifacts was so great, we had to bring them back”.

The extensive range of craftwork on display at the Homestead is definitely something worth seeing.

When you enter Squatters Restaurant, be prepared for a step back in time to the era of colonial Australia. The building itself was built using the same constructive methods as that of the pioneers of our country. The walls are adorned with blacksmiths tools, various saddlery, even a yoke.

In the corner is an organ, in working order, that dates back to the last century and punka fans, also in working order, hang from the ceiling.

The fireplace is actually a 44-gallon drum which was converted to a fireplace by John Gilpin of Montford.  Expect to see this conversation piece well ablaze all through winter.
Squatters Homestead Restaurant is famous for its Pepper Steak, Garlic Prawns and Pumpkin Soup, but has a comprehensive menu to suit all tastes as well as a special menu for children. From Thur – Mon, Squatters dial-a-dinner is the perfect alternative for the stay at home types.

Dave invites you to spend your leisure time browsing around and soak up the environment of yesteryear.
Source: The Bribie Islander v6(3) March 1989, p. 40, 44.

Source: The Bribie Islander July 1989

An 1989 advertisement for the Squatters Restaurant, First Avenue, Bribie Island 

Murray Views, postcards, Gympie.
Restaurant now a landmark. The Bribie Islander v6(3) March 1989, p. 40-44.
Advertisement for Squatters Restaurant. The Bribie Islander v6(7) July 1989, p. 36.

This compilation was prepared by Donna Holmes, Historical Database Project Coordinator, BIHS, June 2017.

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