ICONIC: A piece of Gympie's history is currently for sale.
ICONIC: A piece of Gympie's history is currently for sale.

Grand piece of Gympie’s history on the market

AN ICONIC piece of Gympie history with direct ties to The Gympie Times, is on the market – and it started life as a wedding present for a dentist’s daughter.

Number 18-20 Caledonian Hill is a sprawling, traditional Queenslander next door to Gympie Town Hall and has changed very little since its construction, which is thought to have been in 1923.

The land the house and supporting infrastructure was built on, and the carpark lot next to the Town Hall, were originally owned by another familiar Gympie name, Cullinane.

M.M.C and H.C. Cullinane sold lots 1, 2 and 3 to dentist James Chalk for his only child Gladys Fleming as a wedding present in February 1923.

Gladys’s husband, Bryan Fleming, who was also a dentist and worked with her father next door, died 19 months later of a “serious illness” without meeting his daughter Brianne.

Mrs Fleming remarried in 1929 and soon after moved to Victoria.

She then sold the house to another familiar Gympie name, Dr Leslie McDonald Outridge in 1932.

Dr Outridge was one of only two medical personnel to survive the torpedoing of the hospital ship AHS Centaur off Moreton Bay on May 14, 1943.

In addition to being involved in artistic, sporting and horticultural endeavours in Gympie, Dr Outridge was also an owner of The Gympie Times for a number of years.

Dr Outridge used the former dental surgery as a medical practice before his retirement in the 1960s when he, his wife Barbara and three sons, Peter, David and Jonathon moved to Brisbane.

The surgery building is now on the grounds of the Gympie Mining Museum.

The unique Caledonian Hill property is a sprawling complex with six dedicated bedrooms, a sleep-out, office and “other” room.

There are two bathrooms and a separate toilet, two kitchens, a formal dining room, sprawling lounge room, a servery and “cutlery storage” cupboard with original stained glass doors.

The house also features three bay windows – two with built-in seats – and has elegant wood panelling in the lounge, 3.7m ceilings throughout and wonderful traditional touches everywhere you look.

This grand old dame has not aged well and requires a lot of work to restore her to her former glory, but that hasn’t stopped the home from being one of the most inspected that selling agent Clancy Adams has ever listed.

“This is definitely the most popular. I had 120 groups through in the first two and a half weeks. They were the biggest open homes I’ve ever had in my eight-year career,” Mr Adams said.

It is listed at $369,000 and is open to view this morning from 9am.