Brief History of 20 Main St, Birregurra

The building has been on a journey.

Always the house seemed destined to host visitors to this unique region—from Cobb & Co to Native Youth Hotel; from coffee palace to boarding house, flats and private residence; from near demolition to luxury B&B accommodation.

 

Cobb & Co

Built in 1865 as a Cobb &Co coaching station between Lorne and Inverleigh, the building features two tone Flemish bond brickwork, built by John 'Brickie' Pell. John Pell also built other landmarks including “Sunnybrae” (now named Brae), Elliminook, Ripple Vale, Happy Valley and Bushy Park in the same brickwork style during the 1860's and 1870's.

 

The Native Youth Hotel

The Cobb & Co building was renamed “The Native Youth Hotel” and continued to satisfy the needs of the weary traveller until 1921, when (like most other informal watering holes in Victoria) it was de-licensed.

 

A Coffee Palace

The Native Youth then became a coffee palace and continued on as a boarding house prior to world war II. At some stage it was divided into flats and operated as a rooming house until purchased by Lindsay McMahon in 1974.

 

A Private Residence

Lindsay saved the building from demolition, purchasing the building for the value of bricks alone, reported to be less than $500. Lindsay, without funds and with help from many local identities commenced the process of halting any more decay and slowly restoring the building as his private residence.

 

A beautifully restored luxury B&B

The building was again sold in 1998 and remained vacant until the summer of 2010 when your hosts, Deidre and Chris Barter became the new owners. Dee and Chris used the place as a holiday destination for twelve months, until 2011 when, like so many other Melbournians made the permanent move to Birregurra.

 

After 12 years of being vacant the building was badly in need of again being saved, so began the 2+ year process of restoration. One of the many challenges faced was to make the building structurally sound whilst preserving the integrity of the original build. Other objectives included achieving a 5+ energy star rating and to future proof the building for coming generations.

 

The restoration has been a labour of love, and is now a place to share with family, friends and of course our Bed & Breakfast guests. We look forward to welcoming you to this slice of Australian history.

20 Main Street, Birregurra, 3242 Victoria, Australia      Email: bartercd@bigpond.com     ​Tel: +61 3 5236 2071     

First Known Photo of 1865 B&B