FAMILY TIES: John Baly, the great-grandson of John Deuchar, is pleased to see the lavish Glengallan Homestead, started by his great-grandfather, renovated by a team of volunteers.
FAMILY TIES: John Baly, the great-grandson of John Deuchar, is pleased to see the lavish Glengallan Homestead, started by his great-grandfather, renovated by a team of volunteers. Elyse Wurm

Descendant praises work that brought family history to life

WHEN John Baly was growing up, he heard all about lavish parties and livestock at a grand homestead built by his great-grandfather outside Warwick.

Named after John Deuchar, the brains behind Glengallan Homestead, Mr Baly has praised the hard work of volunteers who restored a piece of his family's history.

Mr Deuchar started building the homestead in 1867, but it was never completed because he went bankrupt.

"The stories we've got is everything was boom and bust,” Mr Baly said.

"Drought, the wool market collapsing, things that happen regularly in Australia.”

He remembers clearly how devastated his mother Kate was when the homestead was reduced to ruin for 70 years.

"It was derelict, windows were broken and pick axe holes were in the walls,” Mr Baly said.

"It upset her greatly because she was history mad, she had heard all about it from her grandmother (Eliza).”

Kate was raised by Eliza, John Deuchar's wife, and a letter she wrote in 1963 about the shocking state of the homestead has been placed on an information board in front of the now-restored building.

John Baly next to a letter written by his mother Kate denouncing the state of disrepair of the homestead in 1963.
John Baly next to a letter written by his mother Kate denouncing the state of disrepair of the homestead in 1963. Elyse Wurm

The building was given a second chance when the Glengallan Homestead Trust acquired it in 1993 and completed an extensive restoration.

Mr Baly wishes his mother had lived long enough to see the incredible transformation.

"I'd like to say how much our families appreciate the work the trust has done over the years, they've done wonderful work and they're all volunteers,” he said.

Despite now living in Pottsville, Mr Baly often returns to the homestead for market days, which are held on the first Sunday of each new season.

"It (visiting) brings it all back, sometimes I still get a feeling of belonging here,” he said.



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