Teneriffe is an amazing place to live, work, or visit. It is rich in history and it is not a big place at all. In fact, just shy of 4,000 residents, Teneriffe is rich in tradition, pays homage to its past, and its residents are always thinking about how they can move the city forward without losing its sense of history.
To know how interesting the history of Teneriffe truly is, you first have to understand Teneriffe itself. The city is a hundred years old and it has always kept its namesake. It has never been known as anything else or another name on the map or throughout the pages of history. Teneriffe used to be an industrial area, which is kinda still the case today. The city of Teneriffe was once famous for all its wool stores. The wool stores play a huge role in the city’s history because they were built so that Australia’s most famous export (wool) could be transported overseas by ship. And by ship from where else? Of course, from the Teneriffe Wharves! If you walk around the city, you can still see the names of the old wool stores today, which is pretty cool. You can grab a photo of them or just ask any local for a more detailed history about each store name, they can easily recall the city’s rich history. The State Library of Queensland and the John Oxley library also keep a free collection of photos dedicated to the old wool stores of Teneriffe. You can access these photos in person by request or you can go online to either library’s website and access the pictures.
One of the favorite and historic artifacts for tourists to see in person, and to take photos with, is a idiosyncratic landmark sculpture known simply as ‘Gloria’. This sculpture of Gloria officiates over a prime area of river frontage, managing her position well and looking over the water with a watchfull eye. The sculpture is made of silver and it is named after the late Gloria Grant, who co-authored the book Reflections on New Farm. Her place in Teneriffe history remains forever.
The Brisbane suburb of Teneriffe also hosts a Teneriffe Festival each year, which is dedicated to the city’s history. Many people from far and near come to the festival to celebrate the city’s history and to talk about the past. This festival hasn’t been around long. In fact, 2015 is the festivals sixth year running, but it is an increasingly popular event among many residing in all parts of the globe.
According to the festival’s website, “The one-day festival incorporates a rich program of street markets, live music, fashion, dining and historical displays. Several of Teneriffe’s main streets will be closed, offering our visitors a magnificent opportunity to discover the best that our suburb has to offer. The Teneriffe Festival attracts an audience of approximately 50,000 people across all of its events, making it one of Brisbane’s most significant festivals.”
If you’re coming to the festival from America, think of it as a city hosting a large block party dedicated to its former residents and its history. And there is a lot to do during this one-day festival. The festival hosts a marketplace. The festival has a separate set of attractions to entertain kids. The festival has tons of local food, including many high-end tastings provided by the local restaurants (which also act as event sponsors). Most importantly, the festival has a historic components.
The New Farm & Districts Historical Society teaches attendees of the festival about the architecture, early industry and businesses that were here starting with a hundred years ago.
The transition of the history and fascinating facts about some of the local residences and wool stores are all covered in this part of the festival, which is free. Each year a tour around the city is a featured part of the historic portion of the festival. People love the tour, which in itself isn’t free. For a small charge, people can buy tickets (and you should get them early) to ride the very popular and always informative Magical Mystery History Tour bus. Yes, a big red bus ride around Teneriffe with the city’s leading experts that not only talks about its rich history, including the wool stores mentioned earlier, but takes you to the specific places. Now, that is an event within itself!
According to the festival’s website, “The Heritage Tour explains the transformation of Teneriffe from a river fronted elite suburb in the 1880’s to an industrial storage and shipping site from the 1920’s. Its decline and its recent resurrection, when the derelict Woolstores were transformed into homes for a new generation of Teneriffe residents. The Magical Mystery Heritage Bus Tour of Teneriffe departs from the Commercial Road entrance to the Teneriffe Festival, on the corner of Skyring Terrace.” Right now the early buyin for the tickets is only on the morning of the event, but the event’s coordinators are considering opening the option up to buy tickets as early as a month in advance and through the festival’s official website.
Teneriffe’s rich history isn’t limited to a festival, a silver statue, or a the wool stores of years’ past. There is much more too it, including a bit of a haunted history – which is subjective and controversial, yet very relevant among the locals. There isn’t a lot of documentation about the areas and stores that seem to be haunted, but if you ask a local, they are all willing to talk about ghosts they have seen or strange activity within the town and witnessed, occasionally, by several locals at once. Is this town legend? Perhaps, but it is interesting and it does pay tribute to the suburbs history!
So, when you decide to visit Teneriffe, spend some time outside its amazing restaurants and trendy businesses. Walk around and view the statue or the old wool stores. Talk with the locals and learn about their families, their viewpoint on the city’s history, and maybe even hear a ghost story or two!
At Maid2Match we are proud to be a Brisbane cleaning company which serve the historic Teneriffe area.