For more than 140 years Gin Gin Station has proudly stood in the heart of the township and became heritage listed more than two decades ago.
Gin Gin and District Historical Society is now the custodian of the railway station, which features a museum with a mass of railway memorabilia.
Gin Gin Station was identified as a sustainably intact example of a country branch line station, and the complex was heritage listed on 28 July 2000.
In celebration of the two-month long Heritage Festival, the history of the unique building and complex is retold by Gin Gin and District Historical Society’s Gillian Lewis-Shell.
Gin Gin Station was an original section of the Mount Perry Railway, connecting Bundaberg North to Moolboolaman, which opened on 19 July 1881.
With its late Victoria-style architecture that features curved decorative brackets and distinct porch with fretted gable, the building was considered very grand for its time, and of great significance to the community.
Gillian said the opening of Gin Gin Station in 1881 prompted the city centre to relocate from the site known as Black Gully to its current location today.
Gin Gin Station was used not only as a hub for transport but provided the community with goods and services.
“As soon as the line was open, the shops and things were able to come through, and the hotels,” Gillian said.
Soon after the establishment of Gin Gin Station, additions continued and by 1928 features included a station building, a lamp room, cattle handling yards, a goods shed along with the Station Master’s residence.
Gillian said the first Station Master was James William Dear, who also had a number of other trades on his belt.
“He was originally the telegraph master – the telegraph station was where Gin Gin was originally settled,” she said.
“Then he became the postmaster, and finally (he) became the station master.
“There was a time when he was doing all three duties, which would have been tied in together.”
Although the use of the Gin Gin Station complex has changed, the significance to the local community remains as important as it did more than 140 years ago.
Gin Gin Station Heritage Festival feature
A virtual display of the Bundaberg Region's unique heritage buildings and historic places will be showcased during the Australian Heritage Festival, until 31 May.
Curiosity is the theme of the local, online event which explores the stories behind some of the region's most interesting buildings and spaces.
The Australian Heritage Festival is the country's largest community-driven heritage event, held from 1 April to 31 May.
Discover more and watch the Gin Gin station heritage festival video here.