Glen Brae Guest House

Glen Brae Guest House
Advertisement in "Where to go in Victoria" 1947

The land, Crown allotment 10 of Section E, in the Parish of Gembrook where this guesthouse stood was selected by Charles Abraham D'Ebro. He obtained his lease on 1 July 1889. He had a non-residence license, so he was not required to build a house on the land. He did, however, erect a fence and clear some trees.

In 1895 he proposed a subdivision, creating 8 blocks of about 12 acres. It appears that he did not find buyers for these blocks and he sold his lease in two parts, creating allotment 10a and 10b. The buyers were Alfred Johnson and Edwin Rawlins.

Neither of these two buyers owned the land for very long, both had obtained mortgages to finance it, and being unable to repay the loans the land was sold off. Johnson's land was transferred to Egbert Charles Tyler and his father John Tyler in 1897, Rawlins' land to John Tyler in 1899. John Tyler's other son, Roy John Tyler was killed in WWI, and his name is on the Upper Beaconsfield War Memorial.

In 1913 the property was sold to Thomas Lombard Cotter, but shortly after transferred to his wife Victoria Cotter nee Robertson, who owned it until her death in 1923 (see inventory in her probate). It is believed that Glenbrae was built during their ownership, she was the step-daughter of Agar Wynne, a member of the Legislative Council.

In 1923 the Closer Settlement Board acquired part of the selection for a returned soldier, Albert John Brain, who had been manager at the Cotters. Later occupants were K L Morgan and Percy Renfree.

In 1942 the remainder of the property was in the ownership of the sisters Valerie Frankel Cohen and Yvonne Frankel Cohen. They were both renowned artists. A small part on the southern end was bought by Annie Webster. A newspaper article reported in 1923 that Glenbrae had been sold for £2000, the transfer of ownership to the Cohen sisters and Miss Webster was only registered in 1942. It is possible that this sale referred to the purchase by the closer settlement board.

In 1949 Miss Helen Maxwell Wilson owned the property, and it is believed that she ran it as a guest house. The rate books show Frank Ralph Cooke as the owner only a few months later. In 1951 Dr Leighton Weber resided at Glen Brae with his family, his three children were enrolled at the Dewhurst Primary School.

Between 1959 and 1966 the owners were a group of people who had purchased Glenbrae to use as a holiday camp for Jewish children. In 1966 Frank Knapton bought the property, and by 1969 it was taken over by the Metropolitan Board of Works. It is now inside the perimeter of the Cardinia Reservoir.