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Yongala Lodge

11 Fryer Street, North Ward

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Yongala Lodge, 2016; Heritage Branch Staff

Yongala Lodge, 2016

Yongala Lodge (1993); Heritage Branch staff

Yongala Lodge (1993)

Townsville 1892, with Rooney's house in foreground, Townsville Library; Heritage Branch Staff

Townsville 1892, with Rooney's house in foreground, Townsville Library

This was originally the private home of Matthew Rooney, and is a fine example of the work of the Rooney Brothers. John and Jacob Rooney established their building business in Maryborough in the late 1860s; later joined by their brother Matthew. In the late 1870s, John and Matthew relocated to Townsville. Their private vessels brought timber from Maryborough to Townsville where they established a sawmill and building-supplies business. The Rooneys controlled every step of the construction process including logging, milling prefabrication, design, construction, hardware supply and later furniture manufacture. This house, opposite St Joseph’s Church, was built between 1883 and 1887. Matthew Rooney was a prominent Townsville citizen, being first chairman of the Harbour Board, and strong supporter of the Catholic Church. Sadly, he, his wife and youngest daughter perished in the sinking of the SS Yongala in March 1911. The Rooney family donated an altar to St Joseph’s Church, in memory Matthew and Catherine. The Rooneys’ business subsequently declined and the house was leased in 1916 for use as a private hospital. It was sold in 1926 and converted into flats. In the 1980s, it was the Yongala Lodge Motel. Today it operates as a hotel and function centre.

Coordinates: -19.2537584, 146.81770641

Full details of this heritage-registered place are in the Heritage register.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
28 February 2023