IN 1879, this two-storey brick warehouse was constructed for Maryborough wine and spirit merchant James Edwin Brown. It is now one of four buildings in a complex once owned by Gatakers Pty Ltd and is an important reminder of Maryborough’s days as a busy river port.
Brown arrived in Maryborough in 1857 and in 1872 he purchased the Wharf Street property, which was closer to the river than his previous premises at Richmond Street. An earlier timber building on the site was later replaced by the current brick warehouse, described at the time as the finest of its kind in the district and
modelled upon the ‘best business warehouses of the southern capitals’.
Supervised by Maryborough architect and surveyor James Buchanan, the building
contained a storeroom on each floor with an internal staircase and lift at the rear. The upper floor was supported by 10 iron columns cast at Walker and Co.’s local foundry. Brick and plaster work was undertaken by local builder Fritz Kinne (who was later the Mayor in 1895), and woodwork by D. Ross.
Brown’s business interests prospered until the financial crash of the 1890s, which caused him to cancel his retirement. In 1897, Brown was joined by his two sons who
continued to operate the firm as J.E. Brown and Sons Ltd after Brown’s death in 1899. The Brown family sold the warehouse in 1951.
Brown’s Warehouse has a rendered, symmetrical façade to Wharf Street which consists of a central arched recessed entry, a flight of steps with iron gates and an arched sash window to either side. The building contains cedar joinery including panelled doors, staircase and architraves.
Open 10am - 4pm