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langenbaker house

You'll love stepping back in time in this house!

Access to the house is by guided tours only. Contact the Ilfracombe Caravan Park for details on: 07 4658 1510

the langenbaker family

A memorial to the people of Australia's outback towns, and a graphic illustration of their ways of life and work.

The house was brought to Ilfracombe in the 1890's by Harry and Mary-Anne Langenbaker, who were among the towns first settlers. The couple, and their 11 children lived in the house until 1991, changing little over the years.

The house was acquired by the Ilfracombe Shire Council after the death of the last immediate family member, and is now open for public viewing by guided tour only.

harry and mary-anne

Harry and Mary-Ann Langenbaker came to Ilfracombe in 1899 from Barcaldine, after marrying in 1890. Harry was a forward thinker and brought his house from Barcy on a horse drawn wagon. They were believed to have already moved house several times to various locations, when moving with the temporary railheads along the railway line. 

harrys' trade

Harry plied his trade from Ilfracombe, specialising in long trips to stations along the lower Barcoo and was frequently away from home for many months at a time. His wagon finally came to rest in the 1920's, when modern transport put an end to teamsters. Harry spent his last years in town making butchers skewers and greenhide whips. 


His wife Mary-Ann was ladylike and dainty, and was an accomplished needlewoman. Many examples of her craft can be seen in the house. She was also a skilled pianist who taught piano to many Ilfracombe children, and whose services were much in demand at the town social gatherings.

large family

The couple raised eleven children in the house. Three daughters married into the Bailey family, prominent carriers and business people in the town. Other children intermarried with other local familiies, thus creating a network of relationships and friendships.

no changes to the house could be made

One child, Les, was blind as a result of an accident in 1921. After this, the house contents were untouched to enable Les to find his way about the house.

The last child of the family, Bernie, was born in the house in 1913, and died there in 1991. After that, the house was preserved as a monument to people like the Langenbakers - the special men and women of Australia who made our nation what it is today.

social life

The Langenbaker house was a focal point for this network, and afternoon tea under the Langenbakers pepperina tree was a regular weekday event for Ilfracombe.