The Smiths

The site of Stanley Park was first owned by James Smith, an emanciated convict who was given the 880-acre land grant in 1837.

The following year he sold it to Gentleman John Smith (no relation), a wealthy land owner with business interests in Maitland and Newcastle.
John Smith had a contract to supply beef to the army and this was shipped from the Fullerton Cove property’s wharf.
In 1897, a descendant, Stanley Smith, built the 2 storey mansion estimated to cost around 1800 pounds, hence the property name “Stanley Park”, featuring 6 marble fire places with cedar joinery throughout.

The builder was Mr W. King of Largs, who constructed the walls 14 inches thick at the bottom and 11 inches at the top.
The house now stands on 28 acres and remained in the Smith family ownership for one hundred years – the final occupants were spinster sisters who moved from room to room if the roof leaked.

It was fortunate that they didnt take out repairs such as painting doors and skirting boards with full gloss lead paint as was the practice in those days, as the original part of the home was completely intact with marble fire places, iron ceilings, cedar skirting boards and doors left in their original painted shellac.

The property was sold in 1980 after not having been lived in for twelve years. It was in a derelict state, being completely run down with pigeons roosting in the formal dining room and flying through broken windows.

The new owners spent hours and hours removing skirting boards, cleaning them and re-applying them. Most of the pressed iron ceilings were in repairable condition, however some were replaced with replicas.

The rear of the grand residence was once a slab cottage and garden like courtyard which according to a descendant of the original Smiths, was used for musical evenings. This area now consists of a large informal entertaining and dining areas, two large bedrooms, spacious kitchen, large spa bathroom, double garage and conservatorium.

Other original features of the house – french doors and wide verandahs trimmed with white wrought iron lattice have been immaculately restored.

Theres a sense of history as you gaze up the long curved driveway from street level and marvel at its majestic street presence accentuated by the paintwork and ornate lacework on the wrought iron across the top storey.

These days its so rare to discover a heritage residence still surrounded by a good sized parcel of land. To date Stanley Park has escaped the encroaching suburbia and remains aloof, as it should, set amid immaculate acres of green lawn with an aged Moreton Bay fig to one side.

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