Heritage close to home

The heritage grant to restore the Isolation Ward at Tenterfield Hosptial realises a 15-year dream for Dr Ian Unsworth (on right), being congratulated by MP Thomas George.
The heritage grant to restore the Isolation Ward at Tenterfield Hosptial realises a 15-year dream for Dr Ian Unsworth (on right), being congratulated by MP Thomas George.

Custodians of two historic Tenterfield buildings will receive a total of $190,220 in highly-contested NSW Government heritage grants, out of only 40 grants awarded state-wide.

The allocations come from the latest round of the government’s Heritage Near Me Activation Grants Program, Lismore MP Thomas George said.

“This funding doesn’t only mean we can invest in protecting and preserving our local heritage but it means we’re giving more people the opportunity to appreciate their local history,” Mr George said.

“These grants acknowledge and support the vital role owners and managers of locally listed heritage items play in protecting our local heritage.”

Keba House, pictured here behind MP Thomas George and Tenterfield mayor Peter Petty, was once the home of Roger and Pat Braham and their family.

Keba House, pictured here behind MP Thomas George and Tenterfield mayor Peter Petty, was once the home of Roger and Pat Braham and their family.

One grant will go towards the transformation of Keba House into the Rosenhof Heritage Café, Gallery, Museum, Store and Heritage Garden showcasing the experiences and cuisine of German settlers in the region.

Keba House is best-known to locals as the iconic home of the high-profile Braham family, where the late Roger and Pat Braham oversaw their large brood. It is now owned by Kirsten and Christian Uhrig.

Keba House will be converted by current owners Kirsten and Christian Uhrig, pictured here with MP Thomas George (on left), into a venue showcasing the experiences and cuisine of German settlers in the region.

Keba House will be converted by current owners Kirsten and Christian Uhrig, pictured here with MP Thomas George (on left), into a venue showcasing the experiences and cuisine of German settlers in the region.

The other grant will restore the Tenterfield Hospital Isolation Ward to become a museum and education centre, realising a 15-year dream of Dr Ian Unsworth.

Dr Unsworth said the application process was very, very competitive and he sweated over the details for a month, before being on tenterhooks awaiting the outcome since applications closed in mid-April.

Work to renovate the Isolation Ward – a standalone building within the hospital grounds – is expected to start mid-January by builder Tom Murphy. Dr Unsworth would love to officially open the ward as a museum ideally by mid-February 2019. This would  coincide with the centenary of when the state border closed to stop the spread of Spanish Flu, impacting 700 people who were homed in a quarantine camp on the showground.

The next milestone would be June, 2019, the centenary of when the flu hit Tenterfield infecting 80 residents. Forty-five were treated at the hospital, with 11 dying before the outbreak quickly moved on.