The first of the Hubingers, Johann Christian, arrived in Cardwell in 1869 and set up a farm on the north bank of Meunga Creek, beginning a family presence that remained prominent in both the business and social life of the town for more than a century.
The permanent Hubinger Exhibition in the Museum, which is named in honour of Johann Hubinger, is a small representation of the family’s vast involvement and input throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
Johann was the first Cardwell Shire Chairman and retains the record in terms of total length of service in that position, but the family interests ranged from running a bakery, general store, butchery and an ice works to farming small crops and citrus, grazing cattle and retailing petrol.
Although Johann, who came from Germany was baptised and grew up a Lutheran, the Hubinger dynasty which he founded in Cardwell was energetically engaged in the establishment and nurturing of the Catholic faith.
For Cardwell’s 150th anniversary in 2014 we chose to research Johann Hubinger’s life before Cardwell, to gain an insight into how and why the pioneering people of his era came to Australia and ventured into remote bushland, and the influences they may have brought with them.
The energy of purpose and industry of Cardwell in the 19th century far outstrips what is apparent today.