The Forbes Family
Cominos House today
Cominos House is a typical Queenslander and one of the most well-known and best-loved buildings in the Far North Queensland City of Cairns, Australia.
The high set timber home is a typical example of a middle-class residence from the end of the 19th century. Originally, it stood at the corner of Abbott and Florence Streets, on the then outskirts of Cairns, a site which today is occupied by the Holiday Inn.
Early council records indicate that the house was built in 1877. Architectural features, such as the 'Union Jack' verandah balustrading, are typical of the time. A copy of the property title dated 1899 can be viewed.
In 1921 the block was subdivided and the house was sold to William McDonald Forbes, who lived here with his family until 1927.
In 1927 Mr. George Cominos bought the Forbes’ house for £1,255 which was then a very significant amount of money. It served as a home to his family and relatives for almost 40 years, until its relocation to the present site in 1988, when the land was sold for development.
The timber home was offered to the Cairns City Council for relocation, and was moved to its present position on the corner of Greenslopes and Little Streets for use as a community centre. It is currently being conserved as authentically as possible and maintained by 'Friends of Cominos House'.
The House and its history has inspired renowned Cairns based artist Ludji Peden to produce a watercolor painting of the building which is available as framed prints or postcards. Ross Originals have also reproduced an image of the house for embroidery.