Maryborough is an grand old Queensland town, not far from Hervey Bay or the Fraser Coast, full of history, Mary Poppins even visits there once a year for the festival in her honour. There I found, ‘the shop that time forgot’, quirky, dusty, ‘if the walls could talk’, type of place.
Irish immigrants, Patrick Brennan and Martin Geraghty were brother in laws and together they opened their grocery store in 1871, eventually Martin’s family took over the full ownership, and ran it till 1972 when Martin’s youngest son George, died. Georges’s sisters, as the story goes, actually did most of the work and day to day running of the business, go girls!
When George died there was no one left who wanted to take over, so as it stood, the doors were shut. In 1975, The National Trust took over the building, painstakingly cleaning the shop, restoring its structure and turning it into a museum. It was open to view by 1990, yes, it took a while to get things done by donations, raffles, etc, etc.
When I walked into the shop it was like stepping into a time warp, the shelves still stocked with its contents preserved in their original condition, curry from India dating back to 1890, old medicines, teas, washing powders, preserves and jams from the family owned orchard and big thick leather bound ledgers and old typewriter in its office space. Out the back were the stables, and a storage area of boxes, barrels, tea chests and a cart on rail tracks to carry produce to the front of the store.
Time stood still in the store, as the past and the present still meet. I think Martin, George and the sisters still hang around the shop still, if you know what I mean!
Resources and Photos – Queensland Tourism, The Sydney Morning Herald 19/6/2008