Ebenezer Chapman arrived in Moreton Bay with his parents in 1857. He was only a young man, but he was a true pioneer with a bright future ahead of him. Two years after arriving in Australia, he started his building apprenticeship in Brisbane with eminent carpenter and builder, Sydney Hutton.

Ebenezer’s hard work and dedicated was met with success in the industry. His descendants remember him as a determined and forthright person, and a humanitarian whose sense of moral responsibility and duty led his actions. It was this persevering nature that helped him not only to establish a business but to survive its near collapse during the depression in the early 1890’s.

Ebenezer’s connections as a self-employed contractor served him well. Even before he made a name for himself in business, he was working on high-profile projects such as the Brisbane Parliament House construction in 1869. One of his business’s largest contracts was to build Brisbane’s first Temperance Hall, designed by well-known Brisbane architect James Cowlishaw in 1869.

Ebenezer’s buildings were not just a fabrication, but part of the fabric of society. When first built, the Brisbane Exhibition Building was frequented not only during the annual show in August, but throughout the year as an entertainment and meeting venue.

By 1925, the business had become a family affair, in its second generation, and was trading as E Chapman and Son. During the years that followed, Ebenezer’s son Reuben took the company in new directions, making the most of the pre-war housing boom. Many Brisbane churches were also constructed during this time, including Wilston Uniting Church Memorial Hall, Windsor Methodist Church and Bulimba Uniting Church.

Much of the company’s post war business related to the housing market with plenty of commercial and heritage projects to meet the community’s needs.

In 2009, the company became Chapman Builders. By this time, the business has been handed from Chapman to Chapman, across the generations, along with strength in knowledge and experience.

Current Managing Director, Andrew Brierley, is not a Chapman by name, but he’s certainly a Chapman by nature. Andrew started as a carpenter with Chapman Builders over two decades ago. He understands the business and its history inside and out and works in close communication with previous owner, Greg Chapman, to ensure Chapman Builders keeps to its original intentions, while innovating and building a new and exciting future.