Das Neumann Haus is a house museum in the country town of Laidley. Built in 1893 by German immigrant Hermann Newmann, it has been refurnished in the style of the 1930s.
Hermann Newmann migrated with his parents and brother in 1884, meeting his wife Annie in Ipswich in 1885. Annie Schermuly, of English and German descent, migrated from England on a working holiday as the ship’s interpreter.
In 1893, Hermann and Annie moved to Laidley setting up a furniture business and started building their family home and was expanded over the years with two more children born while in Laidley.
Annie asked for additions to the house around 1905. Hermann added a music room, sunroom and balconies on top of the house. Annie would entertain her friends with music and tea on the “Tiffin” balcony, Tiffin being afternoon tea in aristocrat circles.
The furniture manufacturing business was at the rear of the house and a shop located out the front, however, both have long been removed and are now the gardens around the house.
Das Neumann Haus was a cultural hub, locals would drop in for a cuppa and sample Annie’s cooking. Today, it resembles the past with a cafe run from within the house where you can get a fresh coffee and try a cake or light meal. The volunteers are friendly and happy to talk about the history of the house, the Neumann family and the area.
The house was gifted to the Laidley Shire, eventually becoming a museum. The museum is also a visitor information centre with brochures and information from around the district and places you can stay.
While part of the house is used for the cafe, much of it is open for browsing the furnished museum within. The rooms are decorated for the purpose of the room, such as the kitchen area with an old stove and other things you would expect, all from times gone by.
The upstairs extension is accessible with a display of a bedroom and sitting room. The doors out to the roof space are closed but you can look through the windows to appreciate the space used by Annie to look after her plants.
Laidley is along the Cobb & Co Tourist Drive, which starts from Ipswich through to Toowoomba. Laidley was the first main town after Grandchester where the first part of Queensland’s first main line railway terminated, continued by Cobb & Co until the railway was finished.
To get there:
From Gatton, head east on Eastern Dr. After 2km or so, turn right into into Gatton-Laidley Rd West towards Forest Hill and Laidley. Follow for 7km and turn right onto Forest Hill Fernvale Rd. Follow Forest Hill Fernvale Rd for 800m to the railway line, where it curves to the right then continue following left over the railway, then right again. The road then bends sharply to the left away from the railway line. Continue straight which becomes Gatton Laidley Rd East for 7.1km into Laidley. Turn left into Patrick St then after 200m turn right into William St where Das Neumann Haus Museum is located.
From Grandchester, head west crossing the railway line. Continue for 8.2km and turn right into Vaux St following the Cobb & Co Tourist Route towards Laidley. Follow Vaux St which becomes Patrick St for 2.1km and turn right into William St where Das Neumann Haus Museum is located.