HOME: Good vibes in Eleebana

Tucked deep into Eleebana’s horsey haven is a delightful little slice of Australia, where a creek forms a natural boundary and a rooster crows out the back.
Nanjing Night Net

A huge old coral tree spreads its shady limbs around the eastern side of a verandah that stretches from the front to the back of Jeff and Jan Marshall’s house.

To step inside the front door instantly evokes feelings of warmth.

And the owners know it.

‘‘If people keep their houses nice generally, if they care about their yard, then they care about themselves and if they’ve got horses, well they are very special!’’ says Jeff.

A former milko and a compositor for the Newcastle Herald, Jeff dabbled in training and breeding racehorses for a while, among other equine pursuits.

Nowadays the septuagenarian is still very active – kicking up dust daily out the back astride a pure bred Connemara mare, who is ‘‘coming along nicely’’.

Another passion is his chooks.

‘‘We’ve had chooks and a dog ever since we’ve been married,’’ Jan Marshall says.

The beautiful gardens that surround the house are her domain.

The centrepiece is that coral tree with its huge girth and long green beans that prove irresistible to the lorikeets.

The verandah it protects is one of the few things the Marshalls have added to the Federation-era house in their 44 years of ownership.

Like many homes of its time, regrettably its original history has been lost.

What is known about the house is that it started life in New Lambton and that it may have been built for a cordial manufacturer.

The signature sunrise emblem on the front dates its construction at around or just after Federation.

Jeff and Jan are unsure why, but at some point in its past previous owners decided to saw the old house in half and move it to Eleebana.

Their home has seen children come, grow and go over the years it has been in their ownership.

As well as the verandah, a family room has been added onto the back, an old kitchen was replaced, but the majority of the house is essentially the same as it was.

It’s a lucky thing because the original features of the house are outstanding and of a type rarely seen in such good condition.

The rich hues of beautiful timbers adorn walls, doors and windows, and are preserved beneath Estapol, rather than painted over.

Stunning leadlight windows on the western side of the house capture gorgeous afternoon sunset rays through the trees and send them into the lounge and dining rooms.

Aesthetically, this is a very inviting house.

That was one of the reasons why the Marshalls bought it in the first place.

‘‘There are none of those fancy things you get like the modern new houses, but it feels warm and it is,’’ Jeff says.

They paid just $12,000 for the place all those years ago – which at the time Jeff felt was a bit too much.

But hindsight is a wonderful thing.

‘‘There are a lot of good memories here and there are not many people who have come here and not said ‘What a nice place’.

‘‘I just wish we knew more about it.’’

Do you know any history about this house?

Do you know a house we could feature?

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Picture: Peter Stoop

Picture: Peter Stoop

Picture: Peter Stoop

Picture: Peter Stoop

Picture: Peter Stoop

Picture: Peter Stoop

Picture: Peter Stoop

Picture: Peter Stoop

Picture: Peter Stoop

Picture: Peter Stoop