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Point Lonsdale – A Holiday Haven

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Point Lonsdale has been a popular place to build a holiday home due to its family-friendly front beach and the privacy ensured by its ti-tree vegetation.

Alfred Deakin (1856-1919) was Australia’s second Prime Minister, holding office three times between 1903 and 1910. From the early 1890s the Deakins visited Point Lonsdale for their summer holidays and, in 1909, built a beach house in Glaneuse Road to a design by Deakin’s wife, Pattie. Ballara, (meaning place of rest) was an early example of the Californian Bungalow/ timbered Queen Anne style with rough-cast stucco,dark-stained wood and gabled attics.

Deakin used Ballara to read, write speeches, and pursue his interests in spiritualism. The house is still owned by the family today. One granddaughter wrote: “When we were small children and the family and dogs, canaries and occasional tortoise couldn’t all fit in the car, some of us would go by sea with a nurse or the cook on the Weeroona or the Ozone.”

From the 1950s a new generation of holiday makers built more modern holiday homes. These incorporated the latest in contemporary design (influenced by architect Robin Boyd) and the availability of innovative house designs through the Small Homes Service. The launch of the two-storey modernist Dream Home on the corner on Fellows and Pentland roads in 1959 created a sensation.

Image: Point Lonsdale Beach, 1945, with Sidney Nolan, John and Sunday Reed, and baby Sweeney Reed.

Image: Point Lonsdale Pier and Lighthouse, 1920-45.

Image: Alfred Deakin, Australian Prime Minister

Image: Point Lonsdale, people bathing, 1890-1920

Image: Point Lonsdale Beach. Beach houses and people. 1920-45.