Fremantle trophy home with historic connections to go under the hammer

Fremantle trophy home with historic connections to go under the hammer
Fremantle trophy home with historic connections to go under the hammer

The premises at 247 High Street, Fremantle is set to go under the hammer this month.

The house lays claim to the legendary status of being “the real birthplace of the first automatic tote board”.

Fremantle trophy home with historic connections to go under the hammer

Lived in by English-born Australian inventor and entrepreneur, Sir George Julius, the four-bedroom home was originally built by businessman and shipping agent James Lilly in the 1890s.

"It has a great history,” according to Peter Vickridge, who was born in the home in 1948 and grew up there.

“My mother, Betty Miller, at one time met Lady Julius who fondly relayed how she had stood in the garage holding a hurricane lamp while her husband George tinkered with leather belts and wooden pulleys while he worked on a vote counting machine that was later (in New Zealand) to become the totalisator.

“I really appreciate what the current owners have done with the house. It’s fair to say my father didn’t have much sense of style, so there were a few styles throughout the property, according to the decade in which the decorating was done, but it now looks the best it has for many years.”

Fremantle trophy home with historic connections to go under the hammer

Shirley Hayes has owned the property since 2002.

“I love everything about the house, but glorious views over to the Fremantle Harbour are to die for, just this morning I was watching the sun glisten…You can see the ocean from the front and side of the house and the sunsets and city lights at night give the place a wonderful ambience.”

Fremantle trophy home with historic connections to go under the hammer

Noel Rogers, at Ray White Applecross, added the history doesn't stop with the tote board invention.

Sir George's granddaughter, Wendy Whitely, went on to marry famous Australian artist Brett Whitely. 

More information can be found on the strange history of the tote board invention here.

The auction will take place on-site on August 17.

Tags: 
Historic Listing Freemantle

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