One of the oldest homes in Frankston, it was built in the 1850s using bricks manufactured onsite. The enchanting double-storey farmhouse has been maintained over the years by the Frankston Historical Society and furnished in the style of its heyday. Dedicated researchers have established a detailed history of the property, which was built at a time when others living nearby typically inhabited tents and wattle-and-daub huts.
The French style farmhouse does not feature the grand colonial architecture we're so accustomed to seeing in other Melburnian historic houses, such as Labassa, Como House and Rippon Lea, yet it is certainly unlike modern homes.
Downstairs is a dairy, where the cow would be milked. Today, the dairy room is filled with archaic kitchen appliances. The opulent music room is furnished with original pieces and features a two hundred year old piano. Upstairs, there are two bedrooms and a quaint nursery. The bedrooms have been set up so one is a man's bedroom and the other is a lady's, however, this is unlikely to have been the original configuration (which is unknown).
A collection of historical kitchen gadgets is displayed in the dairy room.
After you explore the house, pay a visit to the Old Oak Tea Rooms located onsite, where Devonshire tea is served. Also attached to the property is a museum featuring historical artefacts and photographs. Unfortunately, many irreplaceable items were lost in an arson attack fifteen years ago. If you are curious about local history, the Graham Resource Centre, an extension to the original property, contains an extensive collection of documents, newspapers and photographs. Open every second Sunday, visitors are welcome to photocopy items.
While the homestead is not huge, the park itself is spacious and perfect for a picnic, with electric barbecues and picnic tables. There are two playgrounds, one catering for adventurous older kids and the other safe for young children.
The homestead is open to the public on Sunday afternoons from 1:00pm to 5:00 pm. Entry onto the grounds is free, with visitors welcome to set up a picnic in the gardens. Tours of the house are available for $5 per adult and $2 per child. Entry into the museum, blacksmith's shop and buggy shed are included in the ticket price.
The farmhouse is surrounded by luscious garden, ideal for a picnic or a stroll.
Conveniently, the 789, 790 and 791 bus routes have stops on Cranbourne-Frankston road, right opposite Ballam Park. There is also parking available in several small lots around the park, or you can park at Karingal Hub Shopping Centre, which is just across the road.