As a relic of an early 1860s gentry estate, Lota House is the oldest surviving residence in the Manly and Lota region. And not only is it a rare example of early domestic Georgian architecture, some of the original plantings from its estate have survived, including a Bunya pine and some remnant woodlands.
Its first resident, for whom it was constructed in 1865, was Irish born William Duckett White, MLC - a prominent squatter and politician on the Queensland Legislative Council. From 1879-80 he was also warden of Tingalpa’s Anglican Church (now Christ Church Tingalpa). During Hon Duckett’s residency here, prominent guests included Queensland’s first governor George Bowen and RGW Herbert, Queensland’s first premier.
After Duckett White’s death in 1893 the house fell into a state of neglect until his grandson purchased it in 1908 and undertook substantial extensions and renovations under the guidance of architect Claude Chambers. Then in 1913 another grandson Graham Mylne purchased the house from his cousin and resided there until his death in 1958. It was after that in 1960 that the house was sold to the Anglican church, funded by the estate of entrepreneur, motor company owner and philanthropist Sir Edwin Tooth and today it is part of an aged care facility.
It’s worth noting that thanks to the efforts of a local group who have taken it upon themselves to ensure the preservation of Lota House, the remnant woodland (a local cliffside landmark hemming the Esplanade), has also come under a council preservation order.