This simple timber cottage was built circa 1885 by businesswoman Julia Tempest, who had operated a women’s outfitting store in George St, Brisbane. Known as ‘Adelaide House’ it operated as a boarding house. It sold to widow Annie Smales in 1890 and passed to Clara Hunt, niece of Julia Tempest, in 1894. It remained a boarding house for many years, and was retained in the family until the 1970s.
Hiram Wakefield, a Brisbane plumber, gasfitter and iron merchant, acquired 12 acres of land including this property in 1870. Wakefield had been investing in land at Sandgate since the 1860s. By 1875 the town had a population of 200 people. Wakefield became a resident and a Sandgate alderman by 1881. Sandgate grew rapidly having a population of 1598 by the 1886 census. Being a seaside town however it regularly attracted up to 500 visitors in summer months.
From September 1882 Wakefield subdivided and sold much of 12 acre block. Thirty-seven perches of it, subs 5/6 of Sec 13, passed to his wife Margaret Wakefield in November of that year. Margaret sold the land to widow Julia Tempest in November 1884. Julia Tempest had established a ladies outfitting and baby linen warehouse in George St Brisbane around 1870 and was still operating it circa 1879.
Julia Tempest appears to have had this house, known as Adelaide House, built in Creek Street (now Palm Avenue) by December 1885, when it was first advertised for rent. Residing at Adelaide House in 1887 were also the newly married Captain and Mrs Smales. Former British Army Captain and Beenleigh plantation owner, Thomas Smales had married Anne Maclean in his 77th year. Sadly, Thomas Smales died in April 1888. His widow, Annie Smales acquired the Palm Avenue property from Mrs Tempest in 1890 with the aid of a mortgage provided by the vendor. It is possible Mrs Smales may have resided at the Palm Avenue address from that time.
In October 1894 Clara Lillian Hunt, niece of Julia Tempest, was nominated Trustee for the property. This usually meant she was a nominated individual trustee for another body, but there is no evidence of what that might be. She took a mortgage of £165 provided by Annie Smales. Upon the death of Clara Hunt in 1946 the property was transferred to another Trustee, then in the same month to Mabel Lilian Tempest Jessen, the married daughter of Clara Hunt. It remained in the family until 1973.
Statement of significance
Relevant assessment criteria
This is a place of local heritage significance and meets one or more of the local heritage criteria under the Heritage planning scheme policy of the Brisbane City Plan 2014. It is significant because:
The place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of the city's or local area’s history
as an early boarding house in Shorncliffe.
Brisbane Courier, 1864-1933
QSA: Intestacy of Thomas Smales, 1888; will of Annie Smales 1913
Queensland Post Office Directories
Queensland Title Deeds
'Proceedings of a General Court Martial held at Mhow, in the Bombay Presidency, for the trial of Paymaster Thomas Smales, 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, 1862’
The Edinburgh Gazette, 22 April 1864
Information prepared by — Brisbane City Council (page revised November 2019)