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Ocean Grove: Chalet

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Known by various names: The Coffee Palace, Ocean Grove House, Green Gables, The Chalet, Arkana Lodge 

The Coffee Palace was built in 1887 and opened in January 1888. It was located on the north west corner of Presidents Avenue and The Terrace and had various names including The Chalet and Green Gables. It was demolished in the late 1960s.

Ocean Grove: Coffee Palace, Chalet, Green Gables, Arkana Lodge

This building was once the headquarters of the Methodists who set up in Ocean Grove in 1888. It was also a guest house. Over the years, it had many names, starting with the "Ocean Grove Coffee Palace" and ending with "The Chalet". This picture was taken in the late 1920s or early 1930s when the building was known as "Green Gables" and was under the management of "Green Gables" of Warburton. The building was demolished in the late 1960s, and the land was taken over for housing. The dining room was once used as a church, and, to the end of its existence, it retained its church-like exposed ceiling beams.

[Photograph from the Ocean Grove Album compiled by Bob Irving, courtesy of John Irving, Ocean Grove]

The following is an extract from the Geelong Advertiser, 16th November 1891.

"The extent of public patronage accorded to the Ocean Grove coffee palace, and the great demand for accommodation has rendered it necessary to increase the size of the building, which contains 60 first-class well lighted, ventilated, and furnished rooms giving boarding and lodging accommodation for 120 person, the dining room affording sitting space for 120 people, although on the occasion of a Rechabite picnic recently 180 persons were dined at one sitting by the introduction of extra side tables in the spacious and handsome dining hall.

There are six commodious bath rooms in the palace, and the apartments provided for visitors seeking indoor recreation, which are in addition to the sitting rooms and parlors, comprise bagatelle, billiard, smoking and reading rooms, whilst the kitchen, servants' hall and rooms are commodious, comfortable and well appointed.

The coffee palace company are satisfied with the support given, and with the view of studying the convenience of visitors they have provided an excellent building, well supplied with fresh water for domestic use, and established a lawn tennis court and bowling green, the whole expenditure connected with the buildings and appointments being considerably over £7000.

The management of the coffee palace has just been transferred to Mr and Mrs Garside, who bid fair to increase the popularity of the extensive establishment, besides making it remunerative."

Last Updated on Monday, 11 May 2009 03:18  

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