Piece of Grafton history up for sale
IF YOU are a fan of historic residences then perhaps one of the most heart-breaking things you will see is one that is stripped of most of its original features.
This has been a common occurrence in the Clarence over the decades as trends and people's tastes often saw the destruction or removal of features that were no longer considered to be in vogue at the time.
Other reasons were monetary-driven as precious timbers like Clarence cedar were jemmied off in the form of skirting boards, doors, window frames and architraves, even internal framework as its abundance allowed at the time, to be sold off and repurposed.
Other less significant but nonetheless just as important features like light switches and glass panes were also usually lost to age and modern advances.
But once in a while you find a residence that is so closely intact with its past you almost feel like you are entering a museum dedicated to the architectural features of its period.
Uloom on Bent Street, South Grafton, is such a residence, its character preserved mostly thanks to the fact the title has remained with one history-loving family since the 1960s, a period when new development was on a roll in the Clarence.
The Federation Bungalow constructed around the turn of the 20th century also has a world-renowned lineage in Ruth Payne Scott, a leader in radio physics and astronomy and one of Australia's scientific and women's rights pioneers, who grew up in Uloom for a time, living with then owners the Neale family.
Uloom is now up for sale and the future owner/s will relish the opportunity to bring this beautiful historic home back to its former glory.
Initially constructed as a grand residence with large expansive living spaces boasting two separate internal fireplaces, it spent some years converted to two flats before being returned to a family home where room repurposing over recent times now sees it boast a games room, lounge, library, huge family room with two grand original bedrooms with a sleep out serving as a third.
Owned by the late Peter (cousin of Frank the politician and park namesake) and Una McGuren and their family since 1967, youngest son John said Uloom was a wonderful place to grow up.
"Mum and dad raised 10 kids there. They really loved the character and historical aspect of the house and stayed in keeping of that style when they did their extensions at the back of the house to take advantage of those beautiful views of the Clarence River."
Other original internal features include timber wall panelling, French cedar doors, Art Nouveau period fire places, stained glass window panels and one of the house's most spectacular features, the ornate plaster ceilings that feature an abundance of native floral emblems, popular homage to a newly Federated nation.
Outside original timber features and wrought iron lacework project its historically rich face to the street, while concrete lions stand guard at its entrance of the wide wraparound bull nose verandah hugging the bay windows and French doors along the way.
Uloom comes as a 1958m2 double block with dual street access and subdivision potential for the investment savvy.
The generous parcel of land once doubled as what John says local school children of a certain age will remember as McGuren's farm.
"When it was in its natural state, Christopher Creek used to run through the back paddock to the river. We ran horses, milking cow, ducks and chicken there. Students of St Joseph's Primary School classes from that period will remember excursions to our country farm in town. It certainly was a fantastic place to grow up."