Edrom Lodge

Edrom Lodge

This remarkable home was owner-designed by John Logan. It is situated near the chip mill and enjoys commanding views across Twofold Bay towards Eden.  In the 1840s the site of Edrom Lodge was the base for Benjamin Boyd's activities at East Boyd and situated in what is now the front garden at Edrom was the home of Oswald Brierly, the talented artist and manager of Boyd's whaling venture.

 

Building work on the Lodge commenced in 1910 and was completed in 1913 at a cost of £34,000.  The 28-room manor was named for and modeled on Logan's Scottish home. During it's construction a small temporary settlement was established to house some of the 300 workmen employed on th project. A small sawmill and carpenter and blacksmith shops were built. Bricks, made locally at Fisheries Flat, and locally quarried granite  were trasported to the site using bullock teams. 

      

Oswald Brierly's cottage circa 1900

 

Constructed of bricks with rock faced stone plinth and a terra cotta tiled multigabled roof - the roof tiles were bought out to Australia from France as ships ballast - it is a fine example of Federation Arts and Crafts style architecture. The entrance hall, which has maple panelling with oak battens, opens into a large lounge hall, also with maple panels and oak battens, and a steeply pitched timber ceiling surmounted by roof lantern.  Other features of Edrom include an impressive large timber inglenook in the lounge hall and the former dining room fully panelled in Tasmanian blackwood with timber ceiling and fireplace with marble surround.

 

The family resided at the lodge until after John Logan's death at Edrom in 1937. Edrom was purchased in 1947 by Roy Cross who hired Arthur and May Bate to act as caretakers and to run the business when Edrom opened as a Fishing Lodge in 1949. Many of Roy Cross's friends were guests at the Lodge and Edrom soon became known for its wild parties. The business was not going well, the Cross's were spending big but little income was coming in.

 

The Bates bought a quarter share in the property and eventually a half share was sold to Roley and Jean Skellern who moved into one of Logan's old workmen's cottages at Honeysuckle Beach. After four years the Skellerns apparently tired of losing money and wishing to return to their former lives as farmers put their share on the market, an ad reading "swap half share in fishing lodge for a farm".

 

Edrom was eventually sold to George and Daisy Rumpf who moved in 1958 and ran Edrom successfully for several years but eventually they subdivided the property. The twenty one acres on which Edrom stands was sold to Verne Horne who continued to run the Lodge as a guest house.

 

Meanwhile, around 1966/67, the Harris Daishowa Company bought 130 acres on the shores of Twofold Bay next to Edrom for a wood chip mill which began operations in late 1969.

 

In 1970 Edrom was resumed by the State Government. In 1972 it was taken over by the NSW Department of Corrective Services as a pre-work release centre as part of it's Work Release Programme* or as the Daily Telegraph of February 10 1972 reported "Government resumed the property - in other words snatched it and took it over - as a site for Forestry Commission work. There was a certain amount of grumbling about the price and there still is but the fact remains that the Lodge in now owned by the Forestry Commission and now incredibly the Commission or the Department of Justice wants to make the place a prison farm."

 

The Telegraph went on to deplore the prospect of "Twenty five convicts lolling about in Edrom Lodge enjoying the view that people used to pay for" and further despaired "Reason has flown. How sad, how bitter to despair finally of one's fellow man in a place called Eden"

 

In any event the facility was not open long closing it's doors in 1975. A Report for the Deptartment of Corrective Services for the year ended 30 June 1974 showed the lodge had dealt with only three prisoners for the 1972-73 period. In the 1973-74 period it dealt with 52 with a daily average population of nine.  On June 30 1974 the number of persons in detention at Edrom was reported as twenty.

 

In 1980 Edrom Lodge was classified by the National Trust for its Federation period architecture and gardens. Today it is run by the Forestry Commission and offers accommodation to educational and community groups.   Click here to view their website

  

* Besides re-entry into the workforce, the prisoners benefited from family contact and interaction with the community. The accommodation in small groups allowed close supervision and counseling of those chosen for this program. 

Sources:

Edrom Lodge 100 Years 1912-2012 by H. F.. Wembridge  available for viewing in the local history section of the Eden Library or for purchase from the Eden Killer Whale Museum

Report for the Dept. of Corrective Services for the year ended 30 June 1974

Australian Heritage Database

Edrom Lodge from sea