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Construction

Local builder Joshua Jeays – who would go on to become the fourth mayor of Brisbane – won the construction bid and began work on Government House in October 1860. The locally sourced building materials included sandstone from Jeays’ Goodna Quarry, volcanic rock from Windsor known as porphyry, red cedar, hoop pine and cast iron.

Progress was quick and followed closely by the people of Queensland. The Queensland Daily Guardian reported each significant phase in the construction of the colony’s first public building – by April 1861 the main brick walls were up and by July the servants’ wing at the rear was underway. September saw the completion of the house’s two-story sandstone exterior. By October the slate roof was in place and the Director of the Botanic Gardens, Walter Hill, had begun laying out the garden. John Petrie’s work on the stables, guardhouse and entrance gates, funded by an additional parliamentary vote of £7000, was nearing completion by December.

The final fit-out of the house with local and imported furniture, and imported marble mantelpieces, chandeliers and carpets, took place in March 1862 with the House officially completed the following month.