The History Of Athlone Cottage
By Jim Hoskin
(March 2006)

Paddy White first owned the Athlone property and started a butchering business. He built the slaughter yards, which were built to Government regulations but later a few improvements were added. His slaughterman was John Mahon who lived opposite Athlone in what has become known as the Kitchen or Cottage. This building was situated where the over flow of the Jandowae Dam Water Supply is currently located.

John Mahon had three sons, Jack, Bill (Puddy) and Lawrence (who died as an infant). Bill, his wife and Jack are all deceased. Jack's wife (Gussy) lived in Jandowae with their daughter (Kathleen) until her recent passing. John Mahon became very ill and Mr White asked Steve Hoskin to do the slaughtering for him.

The Hoskin family at this time were living on their property called Greenvale on the north east side of the dam. The Bunya Pine' is still part of the landscape. Alec and Jim Hoskin often walked down to play with the Mahon boys, they were about six or seven years old at the time.

Jim recalls: He and Alex walked across the reserve to the Mahon cottage where Mrs Mahon would give the boys something to eat and strong black tea. As the Mahon and Hoskin boys were of similar age they played together and built a lifelong friendship.

Paddy White sold the Athlone property and the business to a man called Heap. A few years later he sold it to Steve Hoskin who took Angus Stewart in as a partner but dissolved the partnership after a few years.

Steve Hoskin bought the land opposite Athlone on which the Kitchen Cottage was built. At this time there was a small house on Athlone and he had this building shifted over and put behind the house they were living in. It was decided to put in an open fire place and to get the floor of the fire place level with the rest of the floor. Several loads of antbed had to be carted and when finished was set as hard as concrete. It was then painted white. It was a great success. A bathroom and verandah were added to one side.

Jack and Bill Mahon and Jim Hoskin all played in the Band and many a dance was held in the Kitchen to raise money for the Jandowae Brass Band. In the winter many a slice of bread was toasted in the fire place and had with a cup of tea for supper.

After several years a new house was built for the Hoskin family by Alva McBaron and his men in front of the house in which they were living. The Kitchen/Cottage was moved again minus the fireplace and used as a workmans cottage. A stove recess was built where the Fireplace had been and two verandahs were added. These renovations took place in the early 1930s while the Hoskin family had their new home built. This is the highset house still on Athlone.

Alex Hoskin sold the property to Mick and Kay Gleeson and they in turn sold it to Peter and Barbara Rathmell. The cottage remained on Athlone until the Jandowae & District Progress & Heritage Association relocated it to its present site in Jandowae. This took place in 2001 and restoration has been progressively been taking place since.

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