Toogoolawah Condensery Packing Shed

The Toogoolawah Condensed Milk Factory Packing Shed has been converted into an Art Gallery and Workshop for the Somerset Regional Council. More images and details of the finished project are located here: The Condensery – Somerset Regional Art Gallery

Brief History (research and text by Converge Heritage + Community)
The condensed milk factory, which gave Toogoolawah its reason for being, was built just south of the town on the bank of Cressbrook Creek in c.1898. The village of Cressbrook grew around the factory. With the arrival of the railway linking the town to Ipswich in 1904, the town expanded and was renamed Toogoolawah.

In 1907, the newly established condensed milk factory was purchased by the Nestlé and Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company of Australasia Limited. The 1920s saw a great deal of change at the factory, including the construction of the Packing Shed in about 1920. About 1927 a new engine room was built and the factory converted from steam to electric, with the power being generated on the premises. By 1928, Nestlé had entered into a ten year agreement to supply electricity to the Esk Shire Council for reticulation throughout the town of Toogoolawah.

By late 1929, the Great Depression had arrived and factories everywhere faced closure, Toogoolawah was no exception. Production of condensed milk ceased on the 22nd November 1929. However the earlier agreement to supply power to the town continued until about 1936 when the contract was taken from Nestlé and given to the Ipswich Electric Supply Company.

Another function of the factory in its final stages was for the production of unsweetened concentrated milk for Peters Ice Cream Company. The manufacture of unsweetened milk ceased at the factory from late 1930, the factory closed and the removal of equipment commenced. After electricity generation ceased, the building remained on caretaker basis until the 15th September 1951, when it was largely destroyed by fire. Today, the packing shed, along with railway siding infrastructure and other remnant building foundations and moveable elements scattered across the site are all that remains of the former Nestlé & Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Factory.

Project Details
Structural Investigation:
Opus International Consultants;
Quantity Surveyor: Colin Woodhouse
Location: Toogoolawah, QLD
Photos: Manson Images