'One shot' to save 163-year-old slab house

THE vertical slab house at Rosedale would have weathered many storms in its 163-year life but after a minor kerfuffle last year, it was re-added to the local heritage list on Tuesday.

The council also voted to include the former Many Peaks State School, Nagoorin Cemetery and Gladstone South State School Block A on the heritage list.

The "custodian" of the slab house and current owner of Rosedale Station, Leigh Teasdale, has been pushing for its inclusion on the heritage list for more than two years.

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Rosedale Station slab hut.
Rosedale Station slab hut.

Although the slab house is in a surprisingly good condition, it needs plenty of work so Mr Teasdale can open it up to the public.

Having lived within spitting distance of the slab house for 19 years, Mr Teasdale said it would be criminal if he did not try and preserve it.

"It's the oldest surviving house in the area and I'm hoping that when I'm gone it will be in a better shape than when I got it," he said.

"Once it's gone it can't be replaced and you only really get one shot at it.

"But it is deteriorating faster than I thought it would."

Now that the house, which needs foundation, wooden-slab and veranda work, is back on the heritage list Mr Teasdale can apply for grants to help him pay for restorations.

"There has been so much history that has been demolished but the house is still here and once we can improve it I'd be happy to show people around," Mr Teasdale said.

Also on site are the graves of the original owners, John and Catherine Little, and an out building with a blacksmith's bellows.

The Littles sailed from Ireland and landed in Australia in 1842 and, after learning how to farm Australian country, Mr Little and his sons set off from Newcastle in 1851 with two bullock wagons and 2000 sheep to settle new land.

"They selected land in Monduran but because it took them two years to get up there someone had beaten them to the land," Mr Teasdale said.

"Whoever it was that had the land told them about Rosedale, even though it was not called that at the time.

"They ended up moving up and camping by the side of a large lagoon and then they built the house that was heritage listed (on Tuesday)."

Mr Teasdale said after the Littles sent a letter back to family in Ireland, they called the place Rosedale and, once the train station was built 25 years after they moved in, the name stuck.