Community & Business

6 August, 2023

Our people, our places

THE Tablelands is an area steeped in history and the towns within the region all boast their own unique story and footprint that has left a mark on the land.

A photo of the historic Malanda Hotel as it stands today.
A photo of the historic Malanda Hotel as it stands today.

From Mareeba being the biggest tobacco growing area in the country to the famous tin mines in Herberton, buildings in each town have a story to tell.

With the help of both the Mareeba Historical Society and the Eacham Historical Society, The Express wanted to learn about and share the history of some of the oldest buildings still standing today.

In part two of the series we look at the rich history of the town of Malanda...

THE oldest commercial building is the Malanda Hotel, which is supposedly the largest wooden building in Australia, it was constructed in three phases with the first stage being completed in 1911. 

The original owner was James English, and it is currently owned by a member of the English family.

An honourable mention to the Malanda Café, which survived the 1930 fire which destroyed five shops in English Street.

It was originally opened as the Eacham Café in 1923 by the Prince family, who later changed the name to the Blue Bell Café, it then became known as the Popular Café for some time.

The Pony Club building in the Malanda Showgrounds was originally the Eacham Shire Council Chambers constructed in 1903. 

The Eacham Historical Society suspects the oldest houses in Malanda are probably those few remaining on Anne and Mary Street.

29 Mary Street was originally owned by James Emerson (as portion 6) and leased in July 1915 as the Malanda Police Station until 1925. 

Malanda’s first policeman, serving for those 10 years, was Constable Seary who later moved to Mareeba, hence Seary Road.


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