17. Koongalba heritage home, yandina (private house)
Bookings open on Thursday 5 October at 12pm
Koongalba was built in 1894 by William Andrew Grigor for John and Louisa Low. John was a timber-getter and sourced the timbers locally floating them down the Maroochy River to William Pettigrew's Maroochydore Sawmill. The sawn timber was then returned by pontoon and brought to the site by bullock wagon. Fittings such as doors and windows were purchased from Pettigrew's Brisbane catalogue. Detailed records exist of the building of the house including Grigor's total payment of £23.4.8.
Of late 19th century style, the house has single skin walls with cross bracing; the roof was originally wooden shingles; four verandahs surrounded four central rooms with an open walkway to a separate kitchen and store room. Early photos show acroteria giving a pagodalike effect.
Koongalba is built on part of Portion 4 selected by James Low in 1868. Large bunya pines, camphor laurels and mango trees, planted by the family, remain. John and Louisa Low had nine children, the youngest was David Low, MP for Cooroora and past chairman of Maroochy Shire Council. He was the third generation to serve in local government. In 1970 Jim and Audienne Blyth, a Low descendant, purchased the house and have endeavoured to preserve it