STORIES OF THE REDLANDS is  a permanent display in the Rotary Wing and was  opened by the newly appointed  Governor of Queensland, PENNY WENSLEY, on Wednesday, 13th May, 2009. Redland City Mayor, MELVA HOBSON, was also in attendance.  It tells the story of the Redlands from  180,000 years ago when the islands were first formed, to 2009. This is done  in many different ways:

  1. 27 placards around the eastern, southern and western walls;
  2. Two Aboriginal paintings by two grandsons of KATH WALKER;
  3. A 1900 door jamb;
  4. A piece of 1970 blue piping;
  5. A glass  map of the bay area and its 25  islands;
  6. Seven video screens;
  7. Six framed award certificates and one photo of  a presentation on 3rd October, 1991;
  8. Numerous freestanding items, all relating to the history of the Redlands.


On the right is the first  of the  27  placards, which tell the story of the Redlands from 180,000 years ago to 2009 . The remaining placards describe the settlement in 1770, the convict era of 1824 – 1839,  immigration to 1850,  early entrepreneurs, Whepstead Manor, Ostend, Fellmonger Park, Dunwich Benevolent Asylum, Peel Island Lazaret from 1907-1959, the Strawberry Festival  from 1958 to 2002, Spring Festival from 2003 to 2009, World War II from 1939 to 1945, urban development  to the present time (2009)   and much more…    These placards  contain maps, photos and information. They are accompanied by various freestanding items. Some of these are a watertank (shown on the left), a leadlight window dated 1900,  the 1875 Fresnel lens fitted into  the 1864 Cleveland Light House in 1879 farm stencils, the double bottom copper boiler  used in the production of Queensland’s first commercial sugar mill installed in 1864 at  Ormiston on Louis Hope’s property.

There is also the shovel used by Minister for Health, Brian Austin, on 12th August, 1986, to turn the first sod  of Redland Hospital in Weippin Street, Cleveland. Another very interesting item is a framed photo of the first Cleveland Show Society Committee. This features 18 men and one sole lady, Ethel Maud Dean. Also interesting is  a “scare all” carbide gun which was used on an orchard in Birkdale during the 1950s and 1960s. Its purpose was to scare crows and parrots from the crops. The constant boom from these guns could be heard all over the farming communities of the Redlands and from the Bay.

After the exhibition was opened on 13th May, 2009,  all seven  videos in it run all day. These show various scenes of life in the Redlands.In fact, the entire exhibition offers a wonderful opportunity to learn and appreciate the development of the Redlands over the past  180,000+ years!  For students researching and studying the history of the local area, it is an excellent resource.

To the left we see the leadlight window, installed by our Museum President, Ross Bower. At right we see Heather Smith with the 1875 Fresnel lens, which was fitted to the 1864 Light House in 1879.