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Lota House
Lota House.jpg
Building in 2015
Location 162 Oceana Terrace, Lota, City of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Design period 1840s–1860s (mid-19th century)
Built 1865 – c. 1910
Official name: Lota House – Edwin Marsden Tooth Memorial Home, Lota House
Type state heritage (built, landscape)
Designated 21 October 1992
Reference no. 600247
Significant period 1860s-1910s (fabric, historical)
Significant components trees/plantings, dairy/creamery, extension/s or addition/s, billiards room, driveway, tank – water (underground), natural landscape, garden/grounds, residential accommodation – main house, cellar
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Lota House is a heritage-listed villa at 162 Oceana Terrace, Lota, City of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It was built from 1865 to c. 1910. It is also known as Edwin Marsden Tooth Memorial Home. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992.


The earliest section of Lota House, a substantial two-storeyed rendered brick residence, was constructed in 1865-66 for Irish born Queensland early settler, William Duckett White and his wife, Jane. Jane was the owner of Lota House until her death in 1887 when she bequeathed it to her son Albert and to William as his home for his lifetime. William Duckett White died at Lota House in 1893.

Lota was erected on approximately 240 acres (97 ha) of land. It was described by the White's son-in-law, Graham Douglas Mylne, as a grand, comfortable house with large rooms, fresh breezes, and views over Moreton Bay.

The entrance to Lota House faced south, but the principal rooms overlooked the bay to the east. A dairy was located on the southwest corner of the house, truncating the surrounding ground floor verandahs. The ground floor comprised a large entrance hall with drawing and dining rooms to the right, an office and staircase leading to the upper level on the right, a small sitting room at the end of the hall, next to which was a bootroom, and a pantry beneath the staircase, from which access to a cellar was gained. Upstairs comprised bedrooms and a dressing room. Servants' quarters and kitchen were located in a detached wing.

A pair of large white gates flanked by Moreton Bay figs (located on what is now White's Road with a gatekeeper's lodge nearby) gave access to a curved drive leading through open grass paddocks to the house, which was surrounded by extensive gardens designed by Jane White. At the rear of the house a grassed courtyard separated it from stables, coachhouses, and haylofts opposite, and a detached kitchen wing and servants' quarters at right angles to the main building was connected to the house by a covered walkway. In the courtyard were two deep underground tanks, each covered with a large, circular cut stone, and from these rain water was pumped to the house, kitchen, stables and garden. Further to the west, on the slope behind the stables, were yards, cow bales, fowl houses and pig styes, as well as a hut accommodating South Sea Islanders working on the property. Cows and horses grazed in the paddocks surrounding the house, and maize, sorghum and hay were grown on the flats of Lota Creek as supplementary fodder. Like most of the farmers in the district, White probably grew sugar cane on the property. The estate ran down to the bay, where by the 1910s there was a boat-shed and jetty.

In 1908, William and Jane's grandson, William Duckett White (Duckett), acquired the property which he renovated and extended. The extensions were of timber and comprised a substantial two-storied wing at the rear incorporating kitchen and laundry on the ground floor and service stairs leading to a school room, spare bedroom, two bathrooms and servants' quarters on the upper floor; a single-storied day nursery on the west corner of the downstairs verandah; a separate billiard room to the northwest of the house; and a covered way and bush house roofed with wooden slats between the billiard room and the main house. Brisbane architect Claude William Chambers called tenders for the work in September 1908. At this time, the 1865-66 dining and drawing rooms were redecorated by the Sydney firm Beard Watsons with ornate timber mantelpieces (replacing earlier white marble) and new wallpapers and carpets. Duckett White also subdivided the estate, with land sales starting from 1911, and the grounds surrounding Lota House were reduced to just under 10 acres (4.0 ha). The pine trees lining the driveway from Oceana Terrace to the front of the house were most likely planted at this time.

Graham Ernest Mylne, son of Captain Graham Douglas Mylne and Helena White, purchased Lota House from his cousin Duckett White in 1913. Graham was general manager of White Collins & Co. from 1913 to 1942, and his wife Kathleen was prominently involved with the Queensland Country Women's Association. Graham Mylne died in 1958.

In 1957, businessman and philanthropist Edwin Marsden Tooth died, bequeathing £500,000 to the Anglican Church to support their schools and other charitable work with a specific request that the church establish an aged care home. The church purchased Lota House from Kathleen, widow of Graham Mylne, to establish the Edwin Marsden Tooth Memorial Home for aged care.

The remnant eucalypt woodland on the southeast and southwest perimeters of the property has been associated with Lota House from the earliest establishment of the estate. The woodland, which extends over the cliff along The Esplanade, forms a landmark in the Lota area and has been entered in the Brisbane City Council's Brisbane Conservation Atlas (prepared in the 1980s and 1990s) for its high biological and scenic values. In 1992 this woodland was subject to a BCC Vegetation Protection Order for its high scenic and landscape value.

Heritage listing

Lota House (now Edwin Marsden Tooth Memorial Home) was listed on the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992 having satisfied the following criteria.

The place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland's history.

Lota House illustrates part of the pattern of Queensland history: the 1860s establishment of gentry estates in Brisbane's eastern bayside suburbs. In particular, the formation and later subdivision of the Lota Estate determined the manner in which the Lota area developed from the 1860s to the early years of the 20th century.

The place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of Queensland's cultural heritage.

The house is rare as the oldest surviving residence in the Manly-Lota area, remains one of few 1860s residences of its type to survive in Queensland, and offers an illustration of a past way of life which is no longer common. It is also a rare example of 1860s Georgian-influenced domestic architecture surviving in Queensland. The surviving eucalypt woodland, the Bunya pine and other early trees provide rare evidence of the nature of the early Lota estate garden and grounds.

The place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural places.

The earliest section of Lota House illustrates the principal characteristics of a substantial, two-storeyed, Georgian-influenced 1860s brick residence, in particular the external and internal symmetry and proportions, delicate detailing, and choice of materials: brick, render, slate and cedar. Its siting on a prominent location with panoramic views and extensive grounds exemplifies its class and era. The 1908 extensions and renovations illustrate the evolving nature of a large, bayside family home.

The place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

The earliest section of Lota House is important in exhibiting a number of aesthetic features: the simple rectilinear form punctuated by the colonnaded verandah retains the elegant symmetry and proportion of the Georgian influence; the retention of the internal proportions and planning; the substantial amount of original fabric remaining intact, particularly the cedar joinery which includes doors, skirtings, architraves and staircases; and the sliding louvred shutters to the upper windows and French doors which are also rare and innovative.

The woodland is a landmark in the Lota area.

The place has a strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

Lota House has an important association for the local community with the establishment and development of European settlement in the Manly-Lota district: the name of the suburb is derived from Lota House, a number of the nearby streets have been named after Lota House occupants, and the place features prominently in the published history of the area.

The place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organisation of importance in Queensland's history.

Lota House is significant also for its association from 1860 until 1960 with prominent Queensland pastoralist families, the William Duckett White family and the Graham Douglas Mylne family. Since 1960 it has had a strong association with the work of the Anglican Church in aged-care.

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