BUILT TO LAST
Rare 120-year-old piece of local history is on the market
IT’S IMPORTANT THAT THIS PLACE IS PRESERVED AND CHERISHED, THAT’S WHY WE ARE SELLING IT OURSELVES.
IN THE early 1900s, a railway worker used his retirement funds to build his dream. A billiard hall.
While that worker is long gone, for 112 years his solid, timber building has been part of the street-scape of the tiny township of Glenreagh.
It has undergone many reincarnations during the years, serving as a home, barber shop, butcher shop, coach stop and even a dance hall.
For the past eight years it has been both home and business and also a labour of love for Chris Gooley and Pete Kaukiainen.
“There is still a plaque on the wall naming it the ‘Billiard Hall’, but we have been happily living here and operating our little shop, Seek, Love Keep – pre-loved treasures,” Chris said.
With the arrival of twin grand-daughters, the couple is moving to Tasmania; excited to be moving closer to family but sad at the thought of leaving their home and community.
“We have put up the ‘for sale’ sign, and it’s proving to be bitter-sweet,” Chris said.
“We are wanting to find someone who will love this place as much as we do.
“It’s a piece of living history in a lovely community.”
Made from solid timbers, a mix of mahogany, red cedar and tallow-wood, the property has 13ft ceilings and is among the small number of local, still habitable timber buildings from that era.
There is also a negotiable optional extra if you’re interested in buying this property. Pete is a highly accomplished musician. He is proficient on more than 200 musical instruments, from the accordion to the zither, and owns a 111-yearold John Broadwood and Sons mahogany grand piano.
“We bought the house to go with the piano – it’s made from the same wood. It’s a beautiful instrument. It would be a shame to drag it away from the house,” Pete said.
“I bought it from an old English gentleman in Valla. He purchased the piano as a wedding present for his wife and then brought it out from England when they migrated here. He told me he thinks it has a ‘sister in Buckingham Palace’ because it was made by the same company who were makers to the royal family.”
Chris and Pete are both well known on the Coffs Coast. If you’ve ever been to a local theatre production you’re sure to have seen Chris treading the boards and Pete, who teaches at the Coffs Conservationism, has shared his talent and love of music with many students.
They have “lovingly restored rather than renovated” the property and have updated the bathroom and kitchen. The front of the property has two separate doors opening to the main street. Currently one entrance leads to the private residence and the other to an area being used as a shop.
The flexibility in the floor plan allows you to create something unique to your needs, either a mix of commercial and residential or perhaps 100 per cent residential.
“It’s not heritage listed so you have the freedom to put your own stamp on it,” Pete said.
“We have loved being a part of this warm community. There is a high owner-occupancy rate. Whoever comes here should have, or is willing to make, a strong connection to the Coffs/Clarence area.
“It’s important that this place is preserved and cherished, that’s why we are selling it ourselves.”
The property is open today from 10am to noon and is located at 51 Coramba Street, Glenreagh.
The price is $530,000 which includes a big workshop and a fruiting olive tree called Leo.
Inquiries to Pete 0403 352 737
“This home is 112 years old and will easily stand for another 112 years. It has been built to last, all it needs is a new owner to appreciate it,” Pete said.
HISTORIC: Chris Gooley and Pete Kaukiainen are seeking someone who will cherish this old home.
FAREWELL SONG: Chris Gooley and Pete Kaukiainen are leaving town, so their historic home is up for sale.