The Downies of Deeside Inverey and Tomintoul, Braemar date back to 1659. John Downie of Tomintoul, Braemar, born at Tomculum, Corriemulzie, Braemar in 1801 and died at Tomintoul in 1879, married Catherine Grant of Inverey in November 1837, and they established the house at Tomintoul and farmed the land.
Their first child, John Jr., was born in 1839 and they went on to have seven more children; the youngest three Downies were James (Jimmy), Catherine (Katie) and Janet (Jessie) and they all continued to stay at Downie's Cottage until old age. Jimmy worked the farm, Katie did the cooking, etc., and Jessie tended the cows.
With the popularity of Deeside as a consequence of Queen Victoria’s patronage, John Downie and his son James supplemented their income as mountain guides for Victorian gentry whilst the sisters would provide tea for passing visitors; seemingly a visit to Downie's for afternoon tea was a popular pastime.
The house continued to be occupied by the Downie siblings until they died when it was shut up, and whilst the ravages of time and souvenir hunters had an effect, the interior was remarkably preserved.