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Piece of Lowood heritage preserved

LOCAL LANDMARK: Craig Polkinghorne has spent a decade renovating the old Lowood creamery.
LOCAL LANDMARK: Craig Polkinghorne has spent a decade renovating the old Lowood creamery. Melanie Keyte

IT'S taken almost a decade, but an iconic piece of Lowood history is ready for market.

Renovation enthusiast Craig Polkinghorne took over the old town creamery, also known as the Cairn Hill Creamery, on Park St and has spent the best part of the last 10 years fixing it up into a liveable residential property.

Mr Polkinghorne said he fell in love with the small rural town in the early 2000s, when he was passing through from Cairns to Sydney, and found himself buying and renovating an old cafe.

Then, he was hooked.

"I initially got a kick out of it probably because I did make a few bob from buying the other (properties) and doing them up," he said.

"The old buildings interest me, and the cost to get into something like this in Brisbane or up near Mackay is pretty dear so (in Lowood) you've got an option to get in on this.

"I wanted to figure them out - how were they built, how do they work?"

Through his research, Mr Polkinghorne learned the Cairn Hill Creamery opened between 1897 and 1898 but only operated until 1903.

In that time, the creamery was reportedly bringing in 250 gallons, or about 1136 litres, of milk a day, and was the largest of three separate co-operative creameries churning dairy products out into Lowood.

It was then transformed into a general store, owned by Harry Kitzelmann and accordingly named Kitzelmann's Store, before being taken over in 1925 by Albert Profke who named the store Profke's Store - The House of the People.

"It's the grand lady of Lowood," Mr Polkinghorne said.

"That's what I call her, at least."

The renovator said he had the delight of meeting a woman who had grown up next to the creamery when it operated as Profke's Store. She talked to him about the old place's history.

"She showed me the building hasn't been changed very much at all," he said.

"See those horse hooks that are still on the posts at the front? I've got to paint them again because they've gone rusty but they've been there since the horse-and-dray days.

"This building is 120 years old, and it's still standing."

 

Nowadays, the property is divided to accommodate three cosy apartments and includes a furnished shed in the backyard.

But reminders of the property's old uses remain, such as elevated loft-like spaces and polished scars, where stairs once ran, line the walls and ceiling.

Tenant Desolie Hughes said she loved the place's antique feel.

"It suits me," she said.

The creamery's first showing is on December 16 from 10.30-11.30am.

Contact Jacqueline on 0411 430 578 for more information or with inquiries.

Topics:  cairn hill creamery history kitzelmanns store lowood lowood creamery


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