This year's festival theme is 'Connecting People, Places, and the Past'. Melbourne's very own 19th century mansion, Labassa, will contribute to the festival with their feature 'Labassa Treasures' on Sunday the 19th of May.
Andrew Dixon, tour guide and volunteer at the house says, "This is a chance to see what is rarely seen." Items relating to the varied history of Labassa will be on display. Some of these belonged to the Watson family, who lived there during the first decade of the twentieth century and other items are from the more recent Bohemian history of the tenants who lived in the mansion once it was converted to flats.
The original house - then named Silliot Hill - was built by Judge Richard Billing in 1862, expanded in 1873 and then updated by owner Alexander Robertson in the 1890s to become - as he requested of his architect - "the most magnificent house in Melbourne". In 1904 the home was purchased by John Boyd Watson II.
Other items of interest include Bakelite door buzzers, a radio play written by one of the tenants, the original menu from an elegant Edwardian dinner party and many stories about various features of the house that will be shared with visitors on the day.