The 2548m2 site (originally part of a 163-acre dairy farm) owned by members of the Schmidt Family since 1901 was acquired by the Albert Shire Council in 1987-88 for use by the Mudgeeraba Show Society. In 1997, in order to ensure conservation of the farmhouse, the Gold Coast City Council purchased the property, which now was leased (since 4 July 1998) to the Mudgeeraba Troop 14th Light Horse Regiment Inc. for use as their Headquarters, Heritage Museum and Educational Centre. In accordance with a conservation and management plan for the site, the Troop (actually the Museum Committee) carries out maintenance and restoration work and opens the site to the public on a regular basis, as well as by request of special interest groups. The farmhouse and slab barn house the Mudgeeraba Troop’s Light Horse Historical Collection. Other buildings on the site include a creamery, stables, sheds attached to the stables and a small building that houses the office of the National Servicemen’s Association of Australia, Gold Coast North Branch.
The Mudgeeraba Troop actually blends elements of two regiments – the 14th Light Horse Queensland Mounted Infantry (a militia regiment that developed from the Imperial Bushman Detachment 1899-1902 Boer War), and the 14th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Australian Imperial Forces (Australians from the disbanded Imperial Camel Corps who were given horses and were the first of the Australian Light Horse to be issued swords). The original 14th Australian Light Horse Regiment was disbanded in Seymour, Victoria in the latter part of 1919.
The Troop was formed on Australia Day 1980 through the efforts of Bill Laver, then Deputy Shire Chairman of Albert Shire, the late Arthur Earl, Rod Dux and the late John Franklin. Most members are descendants of World War 1 Light Horse personnel and some are ex-servicemen themselves. Their aim is to wear the revered historical Light Horse uniform to demonstrate their forefathers’ skills on horse and at arms at special ceremonies and in competitions. Their success is reflected in the Trophy Room established to display their accomplishments.
The farmhouse and museum were looked after for many years by Billie & Harold Johnston, however, illness forced their retirement several years ago. Since that time a Museum Sub-Committee, made up of two Light Horsemen, and two National Servicemen, was established to carry on the maintenance and development of the museum.
With help from the Gold Coast City Council the Committee has been successful in getting funding to make extensive roofing (and other) repairs to the farmhouse. An arrangement with the Department of Corrective Services provides essential help with landscaping and maintaining the grounds on a regular basis. Listing the museum with bus tour companies has brought the collection to the public’s attention. Active participation in the Department of Education’s development of their History Curriculum has made local history teachers aware of what our museum has to offer their students.