Grand Cobar house preserves 110 years of local history

Geoff and Vivienne Davis in front of their 110 year old home in Brough Street which they have owned for 23 years; (top) The house as it looked in the 1930s.
Geoff and Vivienne Davis in front of their 110 year old home in Brough Street which they have owned for 23 years; (below) The house as it looked in the 1930s.

One of Cobar’s grandest homes is celebrating its 110th birthday this month.

The home, located in Brough Street, is currently owned by Geoff and Vivienne Davis who have owned the property for 23 years.

When asked what prompted them to buy such an old house, Mrs Davis replied that she absolutely loves antiques and old things.

“I loved it, I wanted it,” Mrs Davis told The Cobar Weekly.

Mr Davis however had a less passionate approach, replying with, “It’s just a house”.

old-house-old-picAccording to local research on the home, it was originally built by a wealthy, single, independent lady.

Her family owned the Cashstore’s grocery store until they sold it and the house.

Since then a number of Cobar families have owned the home, along with a mining company who leased the property to its managers.

Cobar Mines owned the Brough Street house for 47 years and it was from them that the Davis’ purchased the property from in 1993.

“Because the mines owned it and leased it to their employees lots of people have lived in it but it has actually only had five owners,” Mr Davis said.

“The mine maintained the house really well, however in the process they had not kept the house’s authenticity.

“They put in shag pile carpets and oil heaters,” Mrs Davis said.

Mr Davis worked on the house to restore it throughout 1998 and 1999.

“Geoff returned it back to how it would have looked,” Mrs Davis said.

The mine extended the house in the 1960s, adding two extra bedrooms on the back.

Since then the building has been heritage listed, meaning that any further renovations to the house need to be made under the existing roof. The Davis’, respecting this rule but needing a little more space, added an ensuite bathroom and walk-in-robe to the main bedroom, extending a section of the building to the edge of the existing verandah.

Mr Davis said he wished he’d known more about the property before he bought it.

He thought that being such an old home it would have had to have had a cellar.

When he eventually located it, he found that the mine had turned it into a septic tank.

“It also used to have water tanks on large stands out the back which would pump water into the house. The tanks are gone now but the stands are still there,” Mr Davis said.

Considering its age, Mrs Davis ensures that the house is very easily maintained.

“It has no more maintenance than any other house,” Mr Davis said.

“Except the 14 foot ceilings when you need to get onto the roof,” Mrs Davis laughed.

In addition to maintaining the beautiful old home, the couple also have a lovely garden.

“The house is on a double block and when we first moved in we put grass down, but we had to pull it up a while ago due to the drought,” Mrs Davis said.

Mrs Davis said she really loves living in her home but would prefer it if they could move closer to their daughter in Sydney—she just wishes they could take the house with them!