A historic dairy with ties to a renowned Australian philosopher is on the market with a relocated house saved from a developer’s wrecking ball in one of Victoria’s most historic towns.
The Maldon Dairy and a family home are for sale at 36 Parkins Reef Rd with a $640,000 asking price.
The milking shed was home to farming equipment built by Romulus Gaita, father of renowned philosopher Raimond Gaita and titular character in his esteemed 1998 book, Romulus, My Father.
The vendors recently donated the galvanised steel stalls and cow bails made by the builder to the Maldon Museum.
They sit alongside the motorbike used by actor Eric Bana when he played the title role in the 2007 film version of Romulus, My Father.
The movie was based on Mr Gaita’s 1998 memoir of his childhood at a dilapidated farm in the Maldon region.
Bana travelled to Maldon, dubbed by the National Trust as “Australia’s first notable town”, to shoot the film.
The weatherboard house was moved to the block by vendors Kieran and Karen Moy, who saved it from destruction in McKinnon a few years ago and finalised the move last year.
Controversial plans to build a three-storey apartment block at 2-4 Penang St, McKinnon had locals seeing red and two weatherboard homes in jeopardy of being demolished.
Luckily for residents — who were unhappy to see dramatic changes to the quiet street’s character — Kieran and Karen Moy, both 58, purchased the dwelling and relocated it.
Mr Moy said getting approval to move the house to the town was straightforward because it was in keeping with the style of historic homes in Maldon.
“We couldn’t just build a new house in that area — the old California bungalow fit into the council criteria,” Mr Moy said.
“My wife and I wanted to put a house on a block and we decided we’d look at our options with a house for sale for removal — that’s how we came across the house in McKinnon.”
“When we went down to look at the house to inspect it, we saw all the signs around McKinnon in people’s yards saying, ‘Save Our Neighbourhood’ — we thought it was a bit odd to start with.
“We realised it was developers who had bought the houses to be demolished — we were getting looks from some of the neighbours, so we wandered over and, after talking with them, they were so relieved and happy that we were saving the house.”
Mr Moy said the couple were thrilled with the way the house fit into Maldon’s landscape.
“I wish we knew the people that owned it — they obviously loved it because it was a beautiful house that was maintained wonderfully,” he said.
“Now that we’ve finished it’s sitting there in Maldon, proud as punch.”
Jellis Craig Castlemaine agent Kate Graham said the dairy, the facade of which could not be altered, had potential to become short-stay accommodation or studio.
“Much of the town has been assiduously preserved, including the old 1954 dairy,” Ms Graham said.
She said the property would suit downsizers and tree-changers alike.
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