Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Warragul House

The first known building on the site was constructed in the 1850's by Joseph Miller. Miller was the owner of a large orchard on the site that was said to be stocked with over 850 of the best apple trees among over 900 fruit trees. Miller appears to have been quite the business man and he also generated income through his ownership of brickfields and by making bricks.

By the late 1870's Samuel Page had purchased Warragul House and its 5 acre estate. Page had gained his wealth by operating the horse drawn coach service that ran between Hobart & Launceston in the days before the construction of the railway. Warragul House ultimately became the home of Page's daughter, Emma, and her husband, James Laughton.

It appears that Warragul House may have remained a private residence into the middle of the twentieth century when in 1945 there was a proposal to build a first class hotel on the site which would feature accommodation for 54 guests and a large dining room to hold up to 100 guests. The proposal had the support of the incumbent Director of the Tasmanian Tourist Bureau who believed the proposal would help rectify a perceived shortage of accommodation at the time for mainland tourists wishing to visit.

However, local residents objected to the proposed development saying there were already more than enough pubs in the area to accommodate the tourists and as a consequence of the objections, the hotel development was never built.

By 1950, land from the Warragul House estate was subdivided to create more housing development and advertised for sale. Warragul House itself, still standing after all this time, was ultimately purchased by the Tasmanian Government in 1954 and is now used by the Department of Health & Human Services for its Oral Health Services headquarters.

Main Text & Information Source - 
"The Story Of New Town - Street By Street" - Donald Howatson 2011

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