Henrietta’s is grand Art Deco home, one of only two original substantial redbrick houses built in Chewton. Circa approximately 1915, it was trashed in the 90’s, then boarded up abandoned to ruin approximately 20 years ago. Recently she was rescued and restored as an original beauty, with a sandstone fireplace, grand front porch with serene views across the valley, polished floorboards, leadlight windows and beautiful indoor spa bath.
Named for the lady the house was built for early last century, Henrietta’s sits atop a site rich in Goldfields history. Over a hundred and fifty years ago the location was reputedly home to a surgeon, a pub, a Cobb & Co depot and a couple of other small titles. Numerous archeological curious have been unearthed in the gardens over the years, from fob watches to oriental currency, and can be found on display around the house.
During fencing years ago, an old, handmade brick garden path was discovered, out the very back of the property, pre-dating the house, facing what was reputed to be the original main road (dirt track) of Chewton. It is still there under the gum trees, though the shack it led to is long gone from living memory.
Scores of fragments of European dinnerware, mostly Blue Willow and Asiatic Pheasant, have been found all over the property and in the gully out back. When the property was trenched and connected to mains sewer, a submerged brick wall was discovered. We were very excited thinking it might be a cellar or somesuch…no…it was filled with dirt, probably a long abandoned septic tank!
Next door at Top Dog, a pair of colonial era handcuffs was found in the garden!!!
The house as it is, straddles 5 smaller titles, all relics of the gold rush. The house was originally owned by the Baglins. Arnold used to work at the Wattle Gully Gold Mine, and Henrietta is one of his wife’s middle names. They had one daughter. On the internet, I found a pic of Arnold and some colleagues at Wattle Gully! He is the one wearing glasses.