2021 Australian Heritage Festival Coragulac House Open Day Saturday 8th May 10am to 4pm Sunday 9th May 2021 10am to 4pm
A lot has happened since the last one, so mark the dates in your calendar!
The Homestead will be open throughout the day, visitors will have the opportunity to explore the Homestead, Gardens and Out Buildings on both days. There are also Market stalls offering refreshments, local produce, cold drinks and coffee cart, visitors are welcome to picnic on the lawn.
Entry is $20.00 per person, cash only as there are no EFTPOS available
As Sunday 9th May 2021 is Mothers Day
A Special Mothers Day High Tea will also be available on the Sunday to celebrate Mothers Day in the Coach House and Stables, call or email to enquire High Tea Catered by Yeowarra Hill
Bookings are essential
Coragulac House - Open Day Mother’s Day High Tea Coach House and Stables Sunday 9th May 2021 - Two Sittings Time 11am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm – 3pm
Make your Mother’s Day a day to remember
Whether it is fine wine and French cuisine or traditional afternoon fare Yeowarra Hill has you covered…
Yeowarra Hill is excited to partner with Coragulac House to make your “Mother’s Day” a day to remember with Special High Tea served in Coragulac House Historic Coach House and Stables
Assorted Finger Sandwiches, Savoury Treats & Petit Fours with Fluffy Country Scones All delightful options to enjoy whether your taste buds prefer sweet or savoury……
Mother’s Day High Tea - $50 per person Groups are welcome
Why not add a bottle of Yeowarra Hill Sparkling Cuvee to toast your wonderful Mum - $45 per bottle
Gluten Free High Tea can be accommodated with prior notice however due to the nature of High Tea unfortunately we are unable to cater to any other dietary requirements on this occasion.
Bookings essential CALL Garry 0448 365 007 to BOOK or email your booking form to firstname.lastname@example.org with your details by Wednesday 5th May to ensure you don’t miss out on this exclusive event
Booking forms can be emailed by return email
Contact us for more information or check out our Heritage Victoria website or we will be posting updates on our facebook page www.facebook.com.au/coragulachouse
Coragulac House - Book Launch Coragulac House book has been launched and is now available from Coragulac House and participating book stores in Colac for $35.00 per copy
The book is a detailed social history of the life and times of those who have lived in the homestead and the changes that have made the homestead what it is today written by historian Jennifer O'Donnell
Book Foreword - Coragulac House by Jennifer O'Donnell
Coragulac or Coragulac House as it later became was not built until the 1870s but its story begins in the 1840s and is inextricably entwined with the story of three other great houses in the area – Corangamoorah or The Hill, Cororooke and Glen Alvie. The founding father, William Robertson, one of the earliest settlers in the Colac district but a largely absentee landowner until 1865. In about 1870, he divided his vast estate among his four sons, three of whom proceeded to build their own mansions. George Pringle Robertson inherited what became Coragulac, built to plans by architects Davidson and Henderson. Trading as Robertson Brothers, the brothers built upon their father’s pioneering work as cattle breeders becoming famous for the quality of their stock throughout the east coast of Australia. The Robertson family, father and sons, also contributed to the development of the Colac community Closer settlement, the proximity to Melbourne markets and the advance of the railways, saw dairying and potato and onion growing take over from pastoralism. These latter pursuits were heavily promoted by the next two owners of Coragulac and resulted in the break-up of Robertson brothers’ landholdings.
Andrew Spence Chirnside became the second owner of Coragulac in 1903 made extensive structural alterations and additions to the mansion. Made in the Art nouveau style, only the north façade remained recognizable while the interior was radically changed. He also sold-off more land and was prominent in Colac affairs.
While Chirnside pursued dairying, Thomas Baker, the third owner, broke up the property further and promoted onion growing in the area. He too was very involved in local affairs including the advancement of the railways to service the needs of farmers.
The fourth owner, Len Ralton, rescued Coragulac from a period of neglect and undertook restoration work. World War Two intervened and shortly after it ended Coragulac was sold.
After a brief occupancy by Gordon Robinson, Coragulac passed into the hands of the Matthews family who remained in the house for over 60 years.
In 2013, Garry and Sharyn Gibson bought Coragulac and set about meticulously returning the mansion to its days of glory.
In the 1885 ‘The Vagabond’ toured the Western District, which of course included Colac, and has left behind delightful accounts of everything he saw. In 1889, Isaac Hebb wrote a detailed history of Colac, drawing amongst other sources, on the memories and accounts of often still living pioneers. These provide a wealth of information to re-construct the past.
Inextricably bound to Coragulac’s story are also those of the Gulidjan people, the disappearing lakes, as well as St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (now Colac Uniting Church) and the now defunct Colac Polo Club.
The author is much indebted to the Robertson family archive, Colac and District Historical Society and a number of private collections which have provided invaluable material enabling the reconstruction of Coragulac’s early decades.