Did You Know This Oceana Terrace Property is the Oldest Surviving House in the Manly-Lota Area?

The oldest surviving dwelling in the Manly-Lota area is a two-storey brick building with timber extensions built circa 1865-1867 and called the Lota House.

The 19th-century villa’s fascinating history is reflected in its Georgian style which influenced the early settlers of Australia. It originally had a moulded brick chimney at every end of the roof, a wide concrete verandah to three sides, and French doors and shutters connecting the stone verandahs.

Located at 162 Oceana Terrace, Lota house was erected on portion 79, comprising 153 acres purchased by Irish born Queensland early settler, William Duckett White in November 1860.

When it was built in the 1860s, the house served as a family home to White and his wife, Jane. WD White is a politician known for his appointment to the Queensland Legislative Council for almost two decades. He also served as warden of Tingalpa’s Anglican Church.

White’s son-in-law, Graham Mylne, described Lota House as a grand, comfortable new house with large rooms, fresh breezes, and views over Moreton Bay. Jane White designed the extensive gardens surrounding a curved drive leading through open grass paddocks.

One of the notable features of the house is the dairy located on the southwest corner,  curtailing the surrounding ground floor verandahs. Further to the west, there were yards, cow bales, fowl houses and pig styes, as well as a hut accommodating South Sea Islanders working on the property.

The Whites loved welcoming guests in their home and had prominent personalities like Governor Bowen and RGW Herbert as some of the frequent visitors.

WD White lived in the house until his death in 1893. Various tenants rented the house following his demise during which time it fell into disrepair and the garden deteriorated.

When it was acquired by White’s grandson William Duckett White (Duckett) in 1908, he renovated the house and extended it. It had a school room, a billiard room, servants’ quarters, and a single-storeyed day nursery.

In 1913, Duckett sold the house Graham Ernest Mylne, another grandson of WD White. The Mylnes resided at Lota House until Graham’s death in 1958, following which the family sold the property to the Anglican Church in late 1960.

On 21 October 1992, Lota House was listed on Queensland Heritage Register after meeting a number of criteria, including the fact it is one of few 1860s residences of its type to survive in Queensland.

Lota House At Present

At the outdoor seating of E.M. Tooth Residential Aged Care (Photo credit: Anglicare Southern Queensland)

Lota House is also known today as Edwin Marsden Tooth Memorial Home. The home has recently been extended and refurbished through a $15m capital development project intended to make the facility more family-orientated.

In 2018, The Village Retirement Group lodged a development application for a property in Oceana Terrace that includes the heritage-listed Lota House. Brisbane City Council rejected the proposal for 100 retirement units because the scale of the development was in conflict with the low-density residential suburb.

Now more than 150 years later, the house still stands and is still part of an aged care facility. Local groups successfully ensured the preservation the house and its remnant eucalyptus woodland has come under a council preservation order.