The remnants of the Caboonbah Homestead after it was ravaged by fire.
The remnants of the Caboonbah Homestead after it was ravaged by fire. File photo

Hopes to rebuild Caboonbah

A RALLYING cry went up from defiant hearts yesterday to rebuild the fire-ravaged Caboonbah Homestead.

The 120-year-old homestead near Esk was destroyed by fire on Monday night after an electrical fault sparked a ruinous firestorm.

Caretaker Adam Pinner, who discovered the fire and tried to put it out, said yesterday he and other people involved with Caboonbah were trying to come to terms with it being lost.

Built in 1890, Caboonbah was home to pioneer Henry Plantagenet Somerset, who the nearby dam was named after.

Lately it operated as a museum run by the Brisbane Valley Historical Society.

Mr Pinner lived in the cottage next door with his partner Kerryn Tibbett.

“We're coming back to reality slowly,” Mr Pinner said yesterday.

“We've had people turning up all day to have a look. It's hard, Caboonbah was in the hearts of a lot of people and people expected it to be here forever.

“I would have thought it would be here after I was gone.

“Kerryn and I have been here 382 days - I love this place so much I count every day I'm here - and this month was definitely going to be the busiest in the time we've been here.”

Mr Pinner said people involved with Caboonbah had started speaking about rebuilding it.

“When you look at the history of Caboonbah you get this picture of Australian history,” he said.

“Billy Mateer riding 40 miles from Caboonbah across Mt Mee to Brisbane to warn of the impending floods in 1893, that's bigger than The Man From Snowy River.

“If enough people with enough passion get behind it, it can happen. It depends how much the people of Ipswich want their most important icon back. We hope the phoenix rises from the ashes.”

Esk auxiliary fire brigade captain Chris Mattock said on Tuesday the homestead was “beyond help” when crews arrived.

“We got there in about 10 minutes,” Mr Mattock said.



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