PIECE OF HISTORY: Rockhampton man Jason Griffiths has bought the old Ribbonwood home at Emu Park. The home was built in 1896 and over the years it has been a boarding house, nunnery, hospital and bed and breakfast.
PIECE OF HISTORY: Rockhampton man Jason Griffiths has bought the old Ribbonwood home at Emu Park. The home was built in 1896 and over the years it has been a boarding house, nunnery, hospital and bed and breakfast. Vanessa Jarrett

Cabinetmaker has big plans to restore 123-year-old home

IT MAY be more than 120 years old but Rockhampton cabinetmaker Jason Griffiths has bought a house of his dreams.

The owner of Town and Country Cabinetmakers is keen to get his hands dirty on the old Ribbonwood home at Emu Park.

Built in 1896, the home at 8 Phillip St is quite historic.

It has had some work done in the last few years which have bought it up to a modern standard but Jason would like to see it go back to how it originally was.

First things first will be a paint job to transform it back to a white Queenslander.

"The screen doors don't do it justice, I want to put all the French doors back on... I would really like to see the fireplace back running,” he said.

He had his eye on the house for two years before it finally became his.

He first put in an offer when it came on the market but it was declined.

Following it along and keeping it in the back of his mind, he put another offer just before Christmas and had a win.

"It's a one of a kind, you can't replace it,” Jason said.

"A lot of people would walk in here and say $615,000 you're crazy.”

In the trade of cabinet making and carpentry, he has a hobby of "fixing things”.

He has a large farmhouse out at The Caves which is also half finished.

He prefers the older style homes than the brand-new brick homes.

"It's (Ribbonwood) a beautiful home, you just have to love it,” Jason said.

"There isn't too many old homes around....people don't appreciate them.

"They would sooner built a brand new brick home on the hill but you still have to get in your car and drive to the beach.

"Here you might not have the view but you can walk to the beach.

"I'm very proud to have it... what would been in these rooms and if these walls could talk.”

The home is set up to operate as a bed and breakfast with wheelchair access and private bathrooms.

Jason plans on opening it up as a holiday rental while he is restoring it.

"Emu Park is growing, I'm only 43 and another 10 to 15 years it would be a good investment,” he said.

HISTORY

Jason is looking for any history of Ribbonwood. If you know of any please phone him on 0437297556

Boarding house, nunnery, hospital and bed and breakfast

RIBBONWOOD at 8 Phillip St at Emu Park has a rich history.

The land for the site was purchased at an auction for sixty pounds in 1888.

Edward Seymour Lucas of the Rockhampton drapery business Stewart and Lucas (now called Stewarts Department Store) was the buyer.

However, the estate was seized by the Queensland National Bank in March 1894 and was later purchased by a Roseina Rebecca Palmer in 1895 with a mortgage repayment of six hundred pounds to the Bank of Australasia.

The colonial 19th century Queenslander was built in 1896 and was named Ribbonwood.

It is believed to have first served as a boarding house for staff from the MtMorgan mine on holidays.

In the 1930s, the home was purchased by the Rockhampton Hospital Board and it was used as a private hospital.

By the 1940s, it changed ownerships to the the Sisters of Mercy.

Hundreds of Central Queensland children visited and stayed as part of the Bush Children's scheme.

In the 1960s and 70s the Benedictine nuns used it as a rest and recreation centre until a monastery could be built in Yeppoon.

Andrew Brimson and Kaye Gardiner purchased it about 1983 and they spent three years renovating and restoring the home.

They ran it as a bed and breakfast stay for many years.

The suites were named the Capricorn, Cooroman and Keppel.

It sold in 2010 for about $720,000.

In January 2019, Rockhampton carpenter and cabinetmaker Jason Griffiths bought it for $615,000.