The History of Graham House
In 1912, the building located at 21 Taylor Street East, Murgon was originally built as a residence for a partner of Stock and Station Agents, Munro & Smith. This home was one of the earlier ones to be built in Murgon, the first home having been built in 1902.
In 1922, a local nursing sister, Miss Annie Meddleton bought the residence. Following some extensions and renovations to the building, she turned it into a private hospital. It was named ‘Graham Hospital’, Graham having been her mother’s maiden name. Many babies of the Murgon district were born in the Graham Hospital.
The Hospital closed in 1938 and was used as a boarding house for several years.
The Original Building
METHODIST CHILDREN’S HOME
For many years the Queensland Methodist Church ran two Children’s Homes in Brisbane, the Queen Alexandra Home at Coorparoo for girls and the Margaret Marr Home at Wynnum for boys. Both were ‘not-for-profit’ homes with very tight budgets. The children were unable to be cared for by their families, for various reasons, but small monetary support came from most families.
In December 1941, after the bombing of Pearl Harbour, there was chaos in Brisbane with the ‘invasion’ of American troops and Australia at war against Japan. Rationing was introduced and air raid shelters were dug in back yards because of threats of invasion. Queensland State Children’s Department recommended that the Children’s Homes be evacuated to a ‘Home’ somewhere in the country in case of emergency. The evacuation occurred within two months of Pearl Harbour!
Matron Meddleton, a Murgon Methodist Church member, made her former Graham Hospital building in Murgon, available by rental, to the Queensland Methodist Church to house the evacuated Queen Alexandra Home girls. At the same time, the Margaret Marr Home boys went to a former private hospital building in Proston near Murgon.
With no Secondary Education available in Murgon, the older ‘Home’ girls who passed Scholarship in Murgon had to return to Brisbane to continue their education. During 1944, the District Inspector of Schools in the Murgon area, suggested that the Methodist Church consider establishing a Student Hostel in Murgon at Graham House.
METHODIST STUDENT HOSTEL
In August 1945, after the end of World War II, the Queen Alexandra Home girls, who had been residing at Graham House, were returned to Brisbane. The Queensland Methodist Church, following suggestion of the School Inspector, purchased the Graham House building and grounds from Matron Meddleton in a “generous offer…amounting to £1100”. Plans and alterations went on in late 1946 making the building suitable for a hostel for students.
On 1st February 1947, twenty three (23) students signed in as the first boarders of ‘Murgon Methodist Hostel’ also known as ‘Graham House’.
The hostel closed at the end of 1971.
In 1981, after the closure of the Student Hostel, the building and grounds were sold to Hu-Metal who made the pipes for the Boondooma Dam to Tarong water pipeline. Their employees were accommodated at Graham House. Following the completion of this contract, the building was left empty.
In 1984, the building and grounds were bought by Mr Cherry who converted the building into flats.
In 1989, the building became Graham House Community Centre.