Baddow House is the topic of the next history talk at Maryborough Library.
Baddow House is the topic of the next history talk at Maryborough Library. Contributed

Tale of Baddow House, to ruin and back again, to be told

HEAR how Maryborough's Baddow House was pulled back from the brink of near destruction when the owner gives the October history talk in Maryborough Library.

Author and current owner of Baddow House Anne Russell will take participants on a journey from the 19th century when Baddow House was one of Queensland's premier homes, through the desperate years of neglect, vandalism and near destruction, to its resurrection.  

Re-live the trials and tribulations of the restoration project which began in 2003 when Anne moved to Maryborough and hear how the house was pulled back from the brink, saving it for generations to come.

A council spokesman said Maryborough's Baddow House was built in the 1880's by Edgar Aldridge, a prominent settler in our district. 

Edgar arrived in the village of Wide Bay, as Maryborough was then known, in 1848, built himself a small bark hut and promptly made his fortune. 

By the early 1880's, he was affluent enough to build his "dream home" - a sprawling, two-storey, Georgian-style, English country house with grand rooms, soaring ceilings, an abundance of cedar joinery and six magnificent fireplaces. 

It must have been startling to his fellow residents of Maryborough - they christened the place variously "Aldridge's Folly" and "Aldridge's Castle".

After Edgar's death, the house began to slowly deteriorate. 

The verandas, both upstairs and down, were stripped from the house, plaster walls began to crack and crumble, and by the 1940s the house was abandoned by all but the ghosts. 

Windows were smashed, graffiti covered the walls, doors hung slack on their hinges and cattle were free to wander through the rooms.

Anne's talk will be the fourth in the local history series, councillor for heritage George Seymour said.

"The talks are held on the second Tuesday of the month at which a different historian highlights interesting aspects of local history," he said.

"The talks have been very popular.

"These library talks are a great venue for local historians to share their knowledge and for locals to learn more about our fascinating history."

Anne's talk will be at the Maryborough Library on Tuesday, October 8, from noon. 

The event is free, but bookings are essential and can be made by phoning the library on 4190 5788.

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