The Commissariat Store

During the early years of the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement, the Commissariat Store acted as the receiving and distributing depot for the burgeoning colony’s food and equipment.  The officer in charge was paid the second highest wage in the colony, below the Commandant.

History and Use of the Building

WhenBuilding Use
1829Construction of the building, comprised of two storeys, was completed. The lower floor was used as a Colonial/Government Store from 1829-1961.
1848Land sales office
1850sInflux of free settlers to Moreton Bay. The second floor was used as temporary accommodation for immigrants unable to be housed elsewhere. A doorway was cut through the western wall to allow the immigrants access to the building from Miller Park and so avoid the ground floor which was being used as a store. As there were no cooking facilities in the building, the kitchen was in the yard.
1860sThe second floor was converted to married and single quarters for the constabulary, with partitions, 18 windows and 6 doors fitted.
1870sBuilding reverted to immigrant accommodation.
1880sAccommodation for Justices visiting St Helena Island and the Dunwich Benevolent Society. In 1886, an annex was built at a right angle to the main building, to house a stationery store. The annex was demolished in 1977.
1898With the advent of Federation, the building was renamed the Government Store – evidence of this is apparent above the William Street and Miller Park entrances.
1909Two lifts were installed. These were hand hoisted by ropes over pulleys.
1913The top floor was added to allow access to William Street and to provide extra office space.
1914First electric lift installed.
1923Building became the State Store.
1961State stores moved out of the building.
1962-1968Queensland State Archives operated on the ground floor. This space was then used by the State Library and the Law Reform Commission, as well as the State Irrigation Commission, the Justice Department, and as storage space for the Department of Stores.
1976The Law Reform Commission, the only remaining government organisation in residence, vacated the building.
1979-1982Building restored, however the major alterations were not aligned to current methods of conservation.
1981Building leased to the Royal Historical Society of Queensland.
1981-NowHome of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland.
1999-2001Major conservation and refurbishment of the building funded by a Centenary of Federation grant and the Queensland Government.