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Avalon House
196 Great Alpine Road
Harrietville, Victoria 3741

Phone:+61 3 57592503
Fax:+61 3 9445 9035
Email:avalon@avalonhouse.com.au
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History Of Avalon

 

Avalon House is beautiful historic weatherboard building dating back to the 1889. The main part of the building was the original mine manager's house built by Thomas Garby Davey, the Manager of the Harrietville Mining Company, who arrived from England in 1889.

The original building had nine rooms, servants quarters and stables, with grounds covering over two hectares (seven acres) and with river frontage on two sides.

By 1899 the returns from the mine were falling drastically and Davey returned to London and was replaced by Thomas Pascoe as manager. Davey died in London in 1923. Pascoe moved into Davey's home and attempted to revive the mine. The London directors refused the necessary investment and in 1904 all the assets were sold, with the house sold to Robert Beveridge for 230 pounds. It was run as The Mountain View Guest House by Beveridge until he died in 1921.

Harrietville looking south from School Bridge towards Avalon House and Hotham (date unknown)
Harrietville looking south from School Bridge towards Avalon House and Hotham (date unknown)

Beveridge's daughter Ada Banks then took over the house and, with husband Jack, successfully ran the guest house until the 1940s. Ada Banks then retired and leased the property to various managers including Don Ballard, Les and Lois Ryan and Dudley Dinsdale.

In the late 1940s Edith and Eric Hoy bought the property and ran it as Bon Accord until the 1990s. They massively expanded the business by adding a log cabin dining room, a hall and units that accommodated 200 people, mainly school and skiiing groups. Skiing groups were ferried up the mountain by their bus service.

After Eric Hoy died in 1978, the business was managed by their children Brian Hoy and Jenny Raymond until 1995 when the property was sub-divided in three. The northern part of the property was retained by the Hoys as the ski hire business (Hoys A Frame) while Jenny Raymond kept the old Mine Managers residence and an acre of land, living out the back of the property in one of the old bunkhouse units which was converted to a residence. The middle section of the original property was sold off to Michael and Hilary Cole and is now called Mountain View.

Avalon House, 1995, before renovations
Avalon House, 1995, before renovations

In 2000 the main building (the Mine Manager's residence) was leased from Jenny Raymond by Jenny O'Connor (Jenny Raymond's niece), Kaylee MacKenzie and Sally Rose. They renovated the building which had become very run down, restoring polished floors and repainting the entire building. It became the Avalon Cafe Galley, with the cafe being at the rear of the building and was run by them for four years.

In 2003 Jenny Raymond sold the entire property and it was bought by the Avalon Trust of which the principal unit holders were Jenny O'Connor, Sally Rose and Kaylee MacKenzie but shortly afterwards they decided to close the cafe and sell their shares in the building.

The cafe was moved to the front of the building and new accommodation facilities and office space was built. The gallery, bar and function rooms were completed in 2007. Avalon sits on an acre of gardens, featuring magnificent fifty year old trees and running down to the Ovens River. It has easy access to ski fields and the walking trails of the Victorian Alps.

The current owners of Avalon House are Brian and Susan Marshall, purchased in May 2011. After more renovations and in keeping with the period of Avalon, the main bar, function room bar, extended cafe and deck where reopened in July 2011. And so the love and care for Avalon House goes on...... 

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