The imposing Victorian villa Boothville began life as a stroke of luck for a lucky office manager of the Queensland National Bank who had a loan to build a house given to him by his employers in lieu of the standard rental lease. When built in 1887 it was named Monte Video and is believed to have been designed by colonial architect FDG Stanley.
When Henry Glenny retired from the QNB it was purchased back by the bank and subsequently became the home of the next general manager Walter Ralston until after his death in 1920 and his wife’s in 1922. Walter is buried at Toowong Cemetery and the legend goes that his grave is haunted by a figure clad in black with a veil, believed to be the ghost of his mourning widow.
In 1923 William Booth, son of the English born founder of the Salvation Army bought the house and converted it to a Salvation Army Mothers Hostel and named it Boothville after him. From then on it remained under the umbrella of the Salvation Army Trust and a generation of single mothers had their babies there and gave them up for adoption. In the 1970s a brick maternity ward was added.
Despite its dark association with adoption, in the latter years of operation it had a reputation as a hospital with a holistic and mother-centric approach towards childbirth and was the first hospital to allow men to be present at caesarean births.
The hospital closed in 1990 and bought by an individual who subdivided and sold off the surrounding land to fund its conversion to a private home.