Fitting recognition for Bankfoot House
  • Friday 22 May 2015
The new Mary Grigor Centre

Council has unanimously endorsed a naming convention for the historic Bankfoot House property in the Glass House Mountains and the newly constructed archival and interpretive centre on the site.

Division 1 Councillor Rick Baberowski said the decision to name the new archival and interpretive centre, funded via Council’s Heritage Levy, the “Mary Grigor Centre” was fitting recognition of a renowned local woman who lived in Bankfoot House in the 1800s.

“Mary Grigor, who along with her husband William, established Bankfoot House in 1868 as a lunch stop for Cobb & Co. Coaches on the Brisbane to Gympie route,” Cr Baberowski said.

“But for local pregnant women it became known as the place to go for support with Mary Grigor a well-known mid-wife.

“So it is not surprising that the Friends of Bankfoot House, the Glass House Mountains Advancement Network Inc., and known living relatives of Mary Grigor were all very supportive of naming the new interpretive centre after this pioneering identity.

“In addition, Council has endorsed the naming of the whole property, on which the Mary Grigor Centre, the State Government heritage listed Bankfoot House and all other out buildings sit, the “Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct”.

“The 8,094 square metre property is zoned community land and is owned by Sunshine Coast Council.

“The proposal is not to replace the names of the individual buildings on the property, but to name as a collective, the new interpretive centre, and all other buildings and spaces within the boundaries of the Bankfoot property, the 'Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct'. The house will remain known as Bankfoot House,” Cr Baberowski said.

“It was determined that naming the property as a collective with the designation ‘precinct’, would help the community to understand that there are multiple elements to this public place. This includes the historical house, the newly constructed archive and interpretive centre, the grounds and with picturesque views.
 
“Community Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay and I are scheduled to officially open the Mary Grigor Centre on June 3.”

Mary Grigor background
Mary Grigor, who along with her husband William, established Bankfoot House in 1868 as a lunch stop for Cobb & Co. Coaches on the Brisbane to Gympie route. In time it became the post office servicing the Glass House region. 
 
Mary Grigor was a well-known mid-wife, and local women would often go to Bankfoot House to give birth with Mary in attendance. Men would also leave their wives with Mary Grigor when they went on to Gympie in the search for gold.

After the Cobb & Co. coaches stopped running, it became an accommodation house for visitors to the region. From 1868 until 1879, the Grigors were the only European settlers in the region. For part of this time their closest neighbour, Issac Burgess lived eight miles away. Later Clementina Grigor married William Smith Burgess and it is through this line that Bankfoot House was passed down.