51 Waghorn Street, Ipswich

Set high in Waghorn Street on Denmark Hill is Brighton Cottage, a timber residence constructed early in 1886 by James Walton. Shortly after its construction, Walton auctioned the residence with ‘one of the finest views in Ipswich’ and moved to Laidley where he was a partner in a sawmilling operation.
This late Victorian-era home features single-skin walls and wrap-around verandahs and today is surrounded by a mature and shady garden behind a white picket fence. Inside, Brighton Cottage possessed distinct features of the late nineteenth century –timber flooring, fretwork fanlights, coloured glass windows in the dining room and a pressed metal ceiling in the living room.

Joseph Rose purchased 51 Waghorn Street at auction in April 1886, living there with his wife Martha until 1902. Most of Rose’s working life was spent in retail, firstly as an employee of Cribb & Foote and, from the early 1880s, as the principal in Rose’s Universal Emporium in Brisbane Street. On sale at the Emporium were domestic utensils, toys, tinware, china and glasses, indeed a universal choice of goods. Martha Rose (formerly Watson), whom Joseph had married c1869, was known as a capable woman who was ever ready to lend a helping hand to neighbours and friends. Both were active members of the Methodist Church in Ipswich.

In February 1893, water rose 3.3 metres in Rose’s Universal Emporium. Although the store relocated, there followed a gradual decline leading to its closure and the sale of the family home, by then heavily mortgaged, in 1902. The cottage’s owner for the next ten years was Frederick W Johnson, coachbuilder and councillor, who had bought it from Joseph Rose for £300.

In 1912, Arthur Albert and Eva May Siddins purchased 51 Waghorn Street from Johnson. Both were descendants of early Ipswich pioneering families with strong connections to the development of railways in Queensland. Eva May Siddins was the eldest daughter of David and Maria Dann of Mountview, Denmark Hill. Before her marriage in 1910 she had worked in the dressmaking department of Cribb & Foote. Arthur Siddins worked for 48 years, from 1898 until 1946, as a trimmer at the Ipswich Railway Workshops. He also was actively involved in a number of Ipswich community associations.

In 1951, Arthur and Eva May Siddins subdivided the land, selling the rear of the allotment. The following year, title for the land and cottage was registered to Iris Florence Sanger, their only child, and her husband Alexander Sanger. Eva May Siddins died in 1958; Arthur Siddins died in 1961. Title passed in 1979 to Leah Iris Bell. Five others have been owners and restorers of the home since that time. It is not known when 51 Waghorn Street acquired its present name of Brighton Cottage. The current owners purchased in 2015.