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Accommodations for workers on the plantation differed due to status and role performed. For the workers that came from overseas or elsewhere in the colony, lodgings were in distinct cottages and possibly in a barracks style arrangement. In October 1867 a Brisbane Courier article about the plantation noted that…

…houses for married workmen and their families…laborers’ cottages are really good and commodious structures…”

(Unknown Author 1867)

In 1868, the Reverend Dunmore Lang, a Scottish Presbyterian minister, visited the plantation at the invitation of George Raff. He described accommodation for European workers and their families as being a… 

…row of comfortable brick cottages…” and also others “…of sawn timber, at some distance from the others, and partitioned off into compartments for the accommodation of the families of hired European laborers, chiefly Germans, on the plantation…

(John Dunmore Lang 1868).

 It remains unclear where these buildings were on the site, though documentary evidence provides some clues. In August 1872, The Queenslander newspaper reported on an indecent assault case against a Matthew Battersby, a blacksmith employed at the plantation. A good deal of evidence was given by some of the witnesses named as to the position of certain buildings and premises, including that workman’s cottages, which were stated to be from 160 to 200 yards distant from the main plantation house and kitchen (Unknown Author 1872).

Cattle yards at Moray Fields c.1920, the Accomodation building os on the right hand side of the photograph.

References

John Dunmore Lang (1868) Cotton and Sugar, The Great Staples of Queensland, The Brisbane Courier, 6 October 1868, p.2.

Unknown Author (1867) Mr Raff’s,  The Brisbane Courier, 19 October 1867, p.2.

Unknown Author (1872) Judicial Affairs, Supreme Court, Mon 26 August, Criminal Sittings, Indecent Assault, 31 August 1872, The Queenslander, p.3.

 

 

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