Lingering Look at Windows : Pioneer Times

This week I am not going to show you pretty windows adorned with flower boxes and frilly curtains, or even brightly coloured and ornate windows. No this time I am taking you back in time to when Europeans arrived here. It was a harsh and inhospitable country and they had to create dwellings with what was available. Trees had to be cut down by hand, mud bricks made laboriously one at a time. In the tropics and sub-tropics it was quickly found that termites would invade and destroy the wooden buildings.

The climate was so different from the countries they came from. Summer heat and humidity, torrential rains, floods, tornadoes, drought. Life offered very few home comforts. Out of necessity a style of house was designed to try to overcome as many of these difficulties as possible. So developed a style of house that became known as a “Queenslander”. The  primary reason for the development of the Queenslander was the climate. The  long hot summer days often ended with a torrential downpour. A house with wide  verandahs that provided shelter from these conditions was essential. The  importance of the verandahs as an architectural element in a tropical Australian house cannot be underestimated. The rooves were tin and steep pitched. When it rained the sound was deafening.

In the early colonial days glass was almost impossible to get. With the high temperatures year round it was not a necessity, but shutters were needed to keep out the rain and batten down when tornadoes struck.

Pine Creek rail museum pc a720 049_3264x2448

I found this Queenslander at Pine Creek in Queensland’s outback. It was built on railway land in the late 1800’s for the station masters family. Wood was hard to come by in the outback and corrugated iron was an easily transported material often used. Imagine how hot it would be. This one had the verandah built-in, but more often they were left open to catch the slightest breeze.

The built in verandah

The built-in verandah

The shutters were propped open with a stick

The shutters were propped open with a stick

They certainly were not pretty, but very practical

They certainly were not pretty, but very practical

When a tornado threatened they could quickly be secured

When a tornado threatened they could quickly be secured

As time went by the houses were improved, but the basic design of wide verandahs, steep rooves and built to catch any breeze remained. Until recently when with air-conditioning the verandah was no longer so necessary, families would put on the aircon and stay inside during the heat of the day.

Sitting outside on the back deck of a Queenslander designed home as the sun goes down, with a glass of wine and the mossie coils on, I consider to be one of life’s simple pleasures.


Dawn from ” The day after” has a challenge to find windows and post them each week. I love these Word Press challenges they open your eyes to the world around you. I also enjoy looking through all the other interesting and varied windows from around the world. Go to Dawns link, you may have some windows you can show us.


Categories: Australia, lingering look at windows, outback, photography | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

Post navigation

8 thoughts on “Lingering Look at Windows : Pioneer Times

  1. What a lovely old place. A most enjoyable post, thank you!

  2. Oh so fascinating. Always my friend. What an incredible history!

  3. Fascinating! I love when you post stuff like this!

  4. An interesting history lesson with equally fascinating pictures.

I would love to get to know you, please leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: