The Reminisce in Rosalie Heritage Trail takes walkers on a whimsical trip down memory lane, with street plaques telling the intriguing story of the many historic buildings and sites dotted around the area.
In total there are 13 plaques on the walk which takes around 30-40 mins and begins and ends in Rosalie Village, which is perfect for a pre or post walk refreshment. Decent walking shoes, a medium level of fitness, a hat (in the middle of the day) and a good dose of curiosity are recommended.
1. Corner of Baroona Rd and Nash St Rosalie – The walk starts here with a commemorative plaque recalling the floods that Rosalie has been subjected to since early settlers made it their home in the 19th century. The worst flood was in 1893, followed by 1974 and, most recently, 2011, when Rosalie Village was inundated.
2. Rosalie School of Arts and Commemorative Hall – Head away from Baroona Rd along Nash St and above the optometrist (originally Mr Humber’s Store and Miss Thomason’s Dress-making Business) is the grand old timber hall that was established as a School of Arts in 1928 as a memorial to commemorate those killed in World War I. After that it spent the years from 1942-1957 as the Beverly Theatre* before being taken over by the RSL. Since the turn of the century it has been a gym and a shoe outlet. *Rosalie’s first theatre was an open-air affair called The Bungalow (1914-1921) in the vicinity of the current Bungalow restaurant on the corner of Nash St & Baroona Rd.
3.Tram Shelter no 6 - Cross the road to where still stands the only reminder that trams once travelled through Nash St on their way to Bardon - a quaint red peak roofed Tram Shelter no 6 that was a public works project of the Great Depression and is heritage listed. Before trams horse-drawn omnibuses trundled through the streets of Rosalie courtesy of 2 local omnibus businesses Chalk’s and Morton’s.
4. The Little Citizen’s Free Kindergarten - On the corner of Elizabeth St adjacent to the tram this kindergarten, built in 1928 in the decorative Arts and Crafts style of architecture that was all the rage at the time, remains a kindergarten today – Rosalie C&K Kindergarten. When constructed it was one of Brisbane’s earliest kindies, after the Paddington Kndergarten, which also still stands today at Neal Macrossan Park.
5. Marist Brothers Monastery – Continue along Nash St until the intersection of Fernberg Rd and turn right. Sticking to the right side head up the hill and just before the intersection with Given Tce is the monastery, one of few remaining intact monasteries of its time and built for the Marist Brothers by Archbishop Duhig.
6. Sacred Heart Church - Across the road from the monastery is the splendid Sacred Heart Church, designed by prolific church architect GHM Addison in his distinctive red brick with white stone trim style. Opened in 1918, it was the 3rd Catholic church built in the Rosalie parish.
7. Our Lady of Help Christian Convent – Continue past the Sacred Heart on Given Tce and around 100m away is what is considered to be one of Brisbane’s most beautiful convents, still with all of its features. It was built in 1919 for the Sisters of Mercy and opened by Archbishop Duhig.
8. Lucerne – Turn and retrace your steps back to the Sacred Heart and cross Given Tce at the lights and continue down the hill on Fernberg Rd. About halfway down is a high brick fence with some peak roofed cottages visible behind and the street plaque out front. Behind the fence the privately owned Lucerne (currently a B&B) is the oldest surviving private residence in the area, with the main house built by James young of pioneer John Petrie’s building firm as one of the area’s grand estates in 1862. During the 19th century it was a boarding and day school for young ladies and then the home of Queensland parliamentarian John Scott.
9. Milton Congregational Church – Continue to the five way intersection at the bottom of the hill. On the way there is an odd piece of street landscaping involving trees, garden beds and curved stone kerbs, which was part of a street beautification project undertaken for Queen Elizabeth’s visit in 1954 as her royal car took this road on the way to Fernberg, Government House. At the intersection take 3 crossings to get to the corner of Gregory Park (opposite the cycle shop). Here is the site of the long-ago (1960’s) demolished congregational church which was opened in 1887 to replace Rosalie’s original stone church that had been built on an increasingly busy Milton Rd and moved accordingly.
10. Gregory Park – Take Haig Rd towards the Milton State School tennis courts, alongside the fantastic green space that is named after explorer Sir Augustus Charles Gregory (whose house still stands in Bardon), who was not only Queensland’s first Surveyor General but famously led an expedition to find lost explorer Leichardt. Gregory Park, built on flood prone marshland, was originally named Red Jacket Swamp, for good reason.
11. Milton Tennis Centre – Continue past the tennis courts almost to the roundabout overshadowed by a giant ancient fig tree. Looking across the road to where construction is now happening on a new Frew Park - this is the site of the famous Milton Tennis Centre Bowl, where the tennis greats of the 20th century slogged it out to cheering crowds and The Rolling Stones played live in 1973. It was also the site of one of Brisbane’s favourite bowling alleys, Milton Bowl from 1962 to 2008.
12. Milton State School – Take a sharp right around Milton State School to Bayswater Rd and the main entrance of the school that was established in 1889 on Red Jacket Swamp and steadily grew in numbers. The stately main building, dating from 1938, is one of several fine similar school buildings that were built as employment stimulus projects during the Great Depression.
13. Milton Volunteer Fire Brigade & Albert Hall – On the corner of Bayswater and Baroona Rd is the site where from 1892 to somewhere in the 1920s stood a spiffy little timber fire station. complete with 40ft bell tower. It was in operation until the Ithaca Fire Station (which still stands next to the Paddington Substation on Enoggera Tce) was built in 1918. Meanwhile Albert Hall, a modest timber structure which was where the Blue Room Cinebar now stands, was the centre of social activities untiol the opening of the School of Arts around the corner.