A Ballarat house that last changed hands off the back of a horse race 120 years ago is poised to join the regional city’s $1 million club.
The home at 8 Cardigan St, Lake Wendouree, has been in the Taffe family since 1898, when it was bought with the winnings from a Caulfield Cup sweepstakes entry.
A horse named Hymettus won the race, and the same event again in 1901, with the home still named in its honour.
“The family today aren’t sure how much he won, but it would have been a large sum for those days,” said Ray White Ballarat’s Paul McGourlay.
And with a $1-$1.1 million price guide, prospective buyers might be hoping history repeats and they collect a trackside windfall ahead of the auction later this month.
Mr McGourlay said seven figure prices were common enough in Lake Wendouree, Ballarat Central, Newington and Soldiers Hill, but were “few and far between” for the rest of the city.
But with the extensive history and quality of the original build dating back to the 1860s, and an extension by the Taffes in 1898, he expected it would attract strong interest.
“And it has had some restoration work done over the years,” Mr McGourlay said.
“But it still has original wallpaper, and it would have to be up there in terms of the city’s most original homes.”
The three-bedroom Victorian cottage on a 1410sq m block is surrounded by European-style gardens that have seen it feature regularly in local open garden events.
Rare period features still intact include a frieze depicting Lake Wendouree that wraps around the walls of the dining room, decorative arches and even an original linoleum runner on the home’s floor near the rear.
Superficial cracks as well as water and heat damage to sections of the original wallpaper all require restoration.
Dr Michael Taffe is selling the house and hoping, after three generations of his family at the home, someone who appreciates the heritage will take it on and renew the home.
He might get his wish.
“There’s a local investor interested who owns a few other heritage homes and who likes to keep them original,” Mr McGourlay said.
Further interest has come from Bendigo and Melbourne.
The house goes under the hammer at 7pm, November 25.