Signs and sites in Woombye

Woombye’s town centre offers a wealth of historic sites, buildings and art installations dedicated to the history of the Woombye region.

Step into Woombye’s town centre today and discover the rich past of the area. Places of historic significance are marked on the map below and the first eight sites on this page can be found in the street with a sign.

Visit the next page to get extra information on additional sites.

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  • 01 Criterion Hotel

    01 Criterion Hotel

    Friedrich Schubert came to Woombye from Brisbane and took over management of Cobb’s Camp Hotel in 1881. In 1900 he built his own hotel, the Criterion, on the corner just across the road from the railway station, where it still stands.

    It would have been a busy corner in the early days with guests staying overnight and social events, meetings, auctions, luncheons and banquets taking place at the Hotel.

    Criterion Hotel at Woombye, 1955. Picture Sunshine Coast. Sunshine Coast Council.

  • 02 Post Office

    02 Post Office

    Between 1878-1891, Woombye’s post office was at the police station before moving to the railway station. The first recorded mail service in the Woombye began in September 1885 covering five miles - two trips per week by horse.

    Around 1912 the post office operated from a shop in Blackall Street until a new one was built near the Criterion Hotel. In 1934 the Posts and Telegraph Department approved the construction of the post office and dwelling you see in front of you, decommissioned in 1971.

    Woombye Post Office, c. 1950. Picture Sunshine Coast. Sunshine Coast Council.

  • 03 School of Arts and Library

    03 School of Arts and Library

    The Woombye School of Arts and Library Committee was formed in 1898 when an area of two acres facing Blackall and Hill streets was set aside for sports and recreation purposes.

    The first hall built on the site was the centre of the district for 10 years. Magic lantern shows, concerts, children’s fancy-dress balls, meetings, travelling shows and lending library were held there.

    In 1909 the small hall, was demolished and a new, larger hall built to serve the growing needs of the district.

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    Woombye School of Arts, c. 1912. Picture Sunshine Coast. Sunshine Coast Council.

  • 04 Butcher

    04 Butcher

    Peter Kuskopf bought land near the School of Arts and built a house after his arrival in Woombye in 1892. He also built a small place in front to be used as a butcher’s shop. In 1897 J.T. Lowe took over and later moved to the butcher's present location.

    In the early days, a butcher’s shop would have a large wooden chopping block standing over a sawdust covered floor where some butchery was done in plain sight of customers. The blocks were rubbed down with salt and scrubbed clean. The sawdust floor caught any blood or scraps and was swept up at the end of each day; fresh sawdust was spread over the floor the following morning.

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    Kuskopf’s butcher shop, c. 1895. Picture Sunshine Coast. Sunshine Coast Council.

  • 05 McLoughlin's store

    05 McLoughlin's store

    Since its early days Woombye has been privileged to be served by several excellent general stores, with two in particular – Tytherleighs and McLoughlins – both family- owned and run, and both an integral part of Woombye for many years.

    The McLoughlin firm was founded in 1922 by Frank McLoughlin and his wife. Before World War II, Frank’s two sons, Jack and Frank Jnr. were also employed in the business. Jack continued in the store after his father’s death and in 1959 he introduced self-service.

    McLoughlin’s original building, located in the heart of Woombye, is now a modern supermarket.

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    Inside McLoughlin’s Store, c. 1964. Picture Sunshine Coast. Sunshine Coast Council.

  • 06 Saint Margaret's Church

    06 Saint Margaret's Church

    In October 1891, crown land was purchased by the Church of England Synod. Saint Margaret’s church was then built in 1898, largely by voluntary labour, with timber donated by pioneer families. The ‘pretty little bush church’ was dedicated to God and Patron Saint Margaret, known for her piety and goodness, by Bishop Webber. In 1998, the Centenary of Saint Margaret’s featured the old church bell being restored so it could ring 100 years on.

    In 2018, Bishop Jeremy Greaves led the 120th anniversary celebrations which included the blessing of three stained-glass windows.

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    St. Margaret’s Church of England, c. 1900. Picture Sunshine Coast. Sunshine Coast Council.

  • 07 Bakery

    07 Bakery

    Louis Willersdorf, the first and only baker in Woombye for many years, came from Willersdorf in Germany in 1879. He was only 13-years-old at the time, but already he had completed his bakers apprenticeship in Germany. Louis baked fine bread and was well known for his expertise in baking fancy loaves, buns and rolls.

    Louis soon met and married a local girl, Miss Brook. The Willersdorfs worked hard to build a home business in Woombye. Their bakery was soon to have a small cafe attached to the building.

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    Willersdorf family at their residence and bakery, Blackall Street, Woombye, c. 1906. Picture Sunshine Coast. Sunshine Coast Council.

  • 08 Fruitgrowers

    08 Fruitgrowers

    The Woombye Fruitgrowers’ building has been a feature of the main street for more than 100 years. The co-operative provided everything that was needed for local farmers to produce their crops and to transport and market their produce.

    In 1918, a meeting of fruit growers resolved to form an association to be called the Woombye District Fruitgrowers’ Association which was the origin for the Woombye Local Producers’ Association. The co-op serviced growers of citrus, cucumbers, beans, strawberries and other vegetables. The association had always been overwhelmingly a pineapple growers association.

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    (left) Woombye Fruitgrowers’ building, (right) Woombye Hardware & Rural Supplies, c. 1966. Picture Sunshine Coast. Sunshine Coast Council.