Das Neumann Haus Museum

Das Neumann Haus Museum

Hermann Neumann migrated from Germany with his parents and brothers in 1884. He met and married Annie Schermuly in Ipswich in 1885. Annie was of English and German descent and had left England to come to Australia on a working holiday (she was the ship's interpreter). Hermann and a brother had a furniture business in Ipswich, Queensland. In 1893 Hermann, Annie and their three sons, moved to Laidley and Hermann proceeded to set up his family furniture business. He started to build the family residence, showroom and two storey workshop in 1893. His main emphasis was on the business, so the house was added to many times over the years. The showroom was accessible through folding french doors - open during the day so Annie could keep an eye on the shop whilst tending to the needs of her five children (two daughters born after moving to Laidley) and closed at night for privacy. Hermann's hobbies were making church furniture (still in local churches), grandfather clocks and violins. All the family was involved in musical and other cultural pursuits and local children were taught violin and piano by family members. Violins made by Hermann are still owned by previous pupils. The house is situated in the heart of the township of Laidley and in the early part of the last century was considered the cultural hub of the community. Settlers, coming into Laidley to do their shopping of bringing in their produce or wares to market, often called into the Neumann's for a cuppa, a sample of Annie's cooking and a chat.

Address: 
Cnr Patrick and William Streets, Laidley, QLD
Tel: 
0754653241
Hours: 
9am-4pm Thursday, Fri, Sat and Sun
Admission: 
Free entry
Facilities: 
Wheelchair access, café, arts and crafts, brochure, family history
Collection: 
A house museum with a well documented family and social history written by Florence, daughter of Hermann and Annie Neumann. Family treasures donated by the grandchildren of Hermann and Annie have contributed greatly to the authenticity of the museum. Furniture, photos and other items donated by the community are all relevant to either the Neumann family or the lifestyle of the community at the chosen time frame. The museum portrays the lifestyle, hobbies and business interests of the family, circa 1930
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Items

Trompe L'oeil Mural

Neumann Furniture Showroom, Circa 1930.

Neumann Furniture Showroom, Circa 1930.
Creator:
Event Imagery
Description:
Depicts the streetscape and the furniture showroom attached to the livingroom of the residence of the Neumann family. Hermann, and to his right, aon Carl (Charlie). The grandfather clock was one crafted by them and was situated in the livingroom until 1979.
Date:
1999
Item Id Number:
2000-012

Trompe L'oeil mural created to interpret the business activities of the Neumann family. When the showroom was demolished, folding French doors removed and the wall of the livingroom boarded up, the whole concept of the showroom and how closely it would have impacted on the lives of the family was lost. Photographs, interviews with older residents of the shire, written history by Florence (elder Neumann daughter) and research through John Oxley Library and the State Library, has ensured historical accuracy to the best of our knowledge of the showroom, the people depicted and the streetscape beyond. The clock depicted in the mural has a secret compartment in which Hermann kept his 'beer' money. This was pin money he made on the side. When Annie was away, he would take the opportunity to visit the Britannia Hotel over the road from the Das Neumann Haus. The clock is a family heirloom.

Slicer

Pie Melon Slicer

Pie Melon Slicer
Creator:
Hermann Neumann
Description:
Hollowed out section of red cedar. Part of trunk or large branch. Set on base of sawn red cedar. Fitted with oval metal plate at one end, being the guide for the attached scythe-like device used to cut through the melon
Date:
1895-1925
Item Id Number:
2000-006

Made by Hermann for Annie. The most difficult task of preparing melon for jam or pies is in the cutting of the fruit. Similar to a watermelon, pie melon can grow to a sze of 10kg.

Marble Pastry Slab

Description:
Slab of grey marble measuring 45 x 35 x 2cm
Date:
possibly turn of 20th Century
Item Id Number:
2000-065

Owned by Annie Neumann and used in her kitchen at Das Neumann Haus. Annie was quite famous locally for her apple pies and would have rolled out her pastry on this marble slab

Violin templet

Creator:
Hermann Neumann
Description:
Made from a piece of rough sawn red cedar. Backing plate of galvanized iron shaped by hand. This is held in place by small wooden turn blocks for easy removal of the tin when the molding process has been completed.
Date:
1920
Item Id Number:
2000-002

Red Cedar was taken from Mt Mistake and brought into Laidley to be milled. The templet was discovered by Elizabeth Hermann, in the disused showroom, shortly before the building was demolished in 1983

Violin

Creator:
Hermann Neumann
Description:
Stradivaris style violin, highly polished veneer.
Date:
1920-25
Item Id Number:
2000-001

This violin was the first to be made by Hermann Neumann. It was taken to England in 1926 and put on display in Australia House, London. Hermann won a Certificate of Merit for his craftsmanship at the Brisbane Royal Show in 1928 for the same violin. Donated by granddaughter of Hermann.