Type of place
House, Care facility
The house was constructed by owner James George Duthie, jam manufacturer, around 1894. Duthie and his brother ran the successful Duthie Bros jam factory, also on Maynard Rd, until Duthie’s death in 1899. His wife Mary then ran the company for several years. Mary Duthie continued to reside in the house until 1956. The house was purchased by the Queensland Sub-Normal Children’s Welfare Association in 1961 and used as a school from 1963. The Association became known as the Endeavour Foundation in 1982.
Also known as
Local Heritage Place Since —
Date of Information —
Roof: Corrugated iron; Walls: Timber
Criterion for listing
(A) Historical;(D) Representative;(H) Historical association
Woolloongabba formerly known as ‘One Mile Swamp’, near Norman Creek (formerly Kingfisher Creek). (Part of 22 acres purchased in 1856, gradually subdivided. Other estates springing up around it 1880s/1890s). From 1879 the property was owned by Thomas Scanlan, publican at the nearby Woolloongabba Hotel (and later an Alderman). Part of the site was resumed by the Commissioner for Railways in 1880 when the Cleveland rail line bisected Maynard St.
Radford House was built by James George Duthie around 1894, when the Duthie family purchased the site of nearly 100 perches. Although James died in 1899, his wife Mary Edith continued to live in the house until her death in 1956. (Continuously owned by Duthie family: Mary Edith 1894-1957; John 1957-1961)
Scottish immigrant James George Duthie, a former book-keeper, ran the Duthie Bros jam factory not far from his house on Maynard St. James received permission to build a factory from South Brisbane Municipal Council in 1891 ‘conditionally that no nuisance is caused’. Initially he commenced operations with Reis at Kangaroo Point but the factory was wiped out in the 1893 floods. Duthie then relocated home and factory to Maynard St, opening the factory with his brother William in 1896. The Maynard St factory was possibly designed by Charles McLay (advertisement The Brisbane Courier 12 September 1895 call for tenders for factory in Woolloongabba – this is approximately when Duthie’s factory was built. Would fit with grandson Duthie’s memory that the factory was architecturally designed.) The Duthie kin were a (presence) in the Maynard St area – the Duthies’ brother in law, Thomas Rayer ran another factory on the opposite side of Maynard St.
The Duthies are listed as residing in Maynard St by June 1895. (Age of site: Duthies acquired seafood from nearby Aboriginal camp at Kingfisher creek). The house featured verandahs all around, including one sleep-out verandah, an outdoor ablutions block, a tennis court (now a hall) and fowl run (to breed poultry, which won prizes at the Exhibition). Kitchen also outside (probably the protruding room on Digger St side). Interior: billiard-room with full-sized billiard table; four bedrooms; spare room (for maids); two fireplaces with marble mantelpieces, hand-painted ceiling; dining room with 18-seat dining table; main hall 66ft long (same length as cricket pitch) (but interview that it was a ‘nightmare to live in’ – westerlies down the hall if the back door left open). House still stands though elements of interior different (eg, fireplaces gone.) This ‘charming residence’ was used to host a family wedding in 1897.1
James Duthie stood for the Woolloongabba election 1899 but lost with a caustic attack from the Brisbane Courier: ‘… Mr Duthie, diverting his mind for the time being from the mysteries of jam manufacture, enters the mazes of politics in the character of an independent Opposition. To judge, however, from such evidence as Mr Duthie has given as to his qualifications for public life, it is highly probable that he will have a further opportunity of devoting his energies entirely to the development of that particular branch of industrial enterprise in which he has attained so much distinction’.2 A few months later he was struck by what was reported to be a severe nervous attack and died ‘after a short and painful illness’ in November. After James’ death, Mary took on the running of the factory until her sons were old enough to take over. Victoria Cross Manufacturers Ltd purchased the factory and assets in 1902, although members of the Duthie family continued to work for or manage the company until it closed in the 1970s.
Following Mary’s death, the house was purchased by the Queensland Sub-Normal Children’s Welfare Association in October 1961. The QSNCWA was formed in June 1951 after the Wood-Rodwell report into special education in Qld, which determined that children with an IQ under 60 would not be admitted to opportunity schools. In response, the QSNCWA provided education for children with an IQ under 55. (Broader history of special ed: 1888 home & training centre for blind established; 1893 subsidised by Government; 1923 special ed classes formed at South Brisbane Boys’ School; several more including one at Buranda). Radford House was opened as a school in 1963 with 33 students; extensions were undertaken in 1965. The QSNCWA was renamed the Endeavour Foundation 1982.
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 a fine nineteenth century residence built by successful jam manufacturer, James Duthie. The house demonstrates early development of this part of Woolloongabba as a result of the development of the transport network, with trams and trains providing access to the city centre.
The place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class or classes of cultural places
as a good example of a late 19th century 'middle-class' house in Brisbane.
The place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organization of importance in the city’s or local area’s history
as a house purchased and used by the Queensland Sub-Normal Children's Welfare Association (later named the Endeavour Foundation) from 1961.
The Brisbane Courier
The Brisbane Courier, 13 March 1899, p.4
Lesley Jenkins, Interview with James George Duthie, 13/6/1996, Cassette tape, Woolloongabba Cultural Mapping Oral History
Endeavour Foundation, ‘Our History’ http://www.endeavour.com.au/about_us/history.html, retrieved 26 March 2010
Queensland State Government Library Services, ‘Development of Special Education 1948-1957’ http://education.qld.gov.au/library/edhistory/state/brief/special-1948.html retrieved 26 March 2010
A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture (but only basic)
Information prepared by — Brisbane City Council (page revised September 2020)