Old Wonthella Houses

The Wonthella Progress Association is wanting to preserve the history of “Houses in Wonthella” .   Can you help us with information and photos of the house you grew up in, your parents or grandparents house/s. You can browse through the photo’s and stories below to get some ideas. Click Here to find out how to submit your information.

George Allen Photos - Tomato Growing (9)

George Allen Photos - Tomato Growing (10)

Photos courtesy of the Allen Family


Place Road

House owned by George Allen

262 Second Street - Nellie Weston's House

Photo courtesy of Sally (Elphick) Edwards

262 Second Street

House owned by Nellie Weston



Photo courtesy of John Luk

249 Third Street

House owned and built by John Luk

I purchased a quarter acre (1000s/m) block of land in Third Street, Wonthella from Alf Fripp for $80 on which we decided to build our house; it was at number 247.  We built one room at the time, beginning with the laundry which also became the lounge, kitchen, bathroom, and our bedroom.  We never paid any rent!  As I knew nothing about building homes, I used to crawl under the house where I lived in Second Street, measuring the sizes of stumps, bearers and floor joists etc. Many mistakes were made before “Witte Hoeve”, was finally completed.  “Witte Hoeve” is Dutch for White Farm, in our case – house.  We placed the first stump on 21 March 1954, Anne’s nineteenth birthday.       John Luk

You will find more information on how much it cost John to build his house in his family story.

 Elphick Family Home – c.1964 – Jan 1977

258 Third Street - Len Elphick House

Photo courtesy of Len & Josie Elphick

258 Third Street - Len Elphick - mid 1970's

Photo courtesy of Josie Elphick

Sally & Mandy Elphick standing in the front of their family home – mid 1970’s


258 Third Street

House owned and built by Len Elphick.

We lived at Drummonds when we got married and quite enjoyed it till our first daughter, Sally turned up.  She was a delightful child but needed a bath every day and the lack of electricity was quite a blow although Josie had grown up on a farm and was used to rain-water and kero lamps and small power plants for lights.

About this time (c.1963) the DCA decided to sell a couple of surplus houses at the airport so they called tenders and my ears pricked up.  I went out to have a look and decided to have a go for a long war-time built house which had bits added on here there and everywhere but was quite solid and had plenty of spare timber, iron etc. I put in a tender for £110 ($220) and thought that would be the end of it but no-one else could have been interested and I got it.  I borrowed Harold’s (brother) truck and left him my ute and pulled the place down and stacked it on the vacant block I already had.  It had a timber floor, fibro and weatherboard walls and mostly a corrugated asbestos roof.  Actually it was very cheap, but took a lot of hard work and extra gear to make a house out of it.

I went and saw the bank to see if they would give me some money to rebuild it but they just laughed at me.  It was out in the weather for one winter and I could see it was going to be ruined if I didn’t do something so I told the bank I would shift camp and they finally decided to lend me £1000 ($2000), a personal loan.  I worked weekends and any spare time to get it up and weatherproofed and finally got it liveable, the plumbing done and the room liveable but nothing finished.  Mum vows and declares she will never again live in a ½ finished house and I don’t blame her.  Half the rooms were unlined and unsealed and consequently were always dusty and filthy and made the rest of the house uncleanable.  There was never any money to spare till the loan was paid back but at least the gear didn’t get ruined.  I was working for myself by this time but even tho’ I worked pretty hard we didn’t make much money and it always seemed to go as fast as I could make it.  

Len Elphick (b.1921-d.1995)

 256 Fourth Street - Len Elphick House (1)

256 Fourth Street - Len Elphick House (2)

256 Fourth Street - Len Elphick House (3)

 Photo’s courtesy of Len Elphick

256 Fourth Street

House built by Len Elphick

“We (brother Harold and myself) decided to give the State Housing away and had an offer to pull down houses up the Murchison and bring them down to the lead mines.  Gold must have got uneconomical then as a lot of the big Gold Mines closed down and sold up.  We pulled down quite a few houses at Big Bell (out of Cue) and Horseshoe (out of Peak Hill) and brought them down to Protheroe.  These were all run by the same company, Anglo West.  At the same time we bought a couple of houses for ourselves and we had a block each in Wonthella, we gradually pulled them down, had them trucked to Geraldton and there we rebuilt them.

A while before we had paid £180 ($360) for two blocks in Fourth Street; Harold had the corner block (254 Fourth Street) and I took the one next to it (256 Fourth Street).  It took a long time to get the houses up again in spare time but we eventually did and they have changed hands several times since…  We decided to dissolve our partnership about now and I got various jobs in town with other builders or helped Harold out with jobs at Yuna or elsewhere.”

Len Elphick (b.1921-d.1995)

 259 Fourth Street - Len Elphick House (1)259 Fourth Street - Len Elphick House (2)

Photo’s courtesy of Len Elphick

 256 Fourth Street

House built by Len Elphick

Protheroe eventually closed down and sold up so I decided to sell the house I had built (at 256 Fourth Street) and brought another one at the Protheroe sale.  I sold the original one with no trouble, and brought two more blocks over the road (259 Fourth Street & 258 Third Street) and brought the old recreation room at Protheroe which we had done a lot of work on to make a nice little flat for the woman who was typist clerk at Protheroe.  I went on working for a builder and gradually pulled down and transported it to Geraldton and rebuilt it.

I bought the two blocks for £300 ($600), the house at Protheroe for £300 ($600) and finally got it up and liveable for £1300 ($2600).  I lived in this place for a while but as I had a lot of bits and pieces over, I bought a house at Horseshoe, an old place at Big Bell and recently an old house in Sanford Street for £45 ($96).  I decided to lease a block at Drummond Cove and built a beach cottage.  This I did and rented the one at Fourth Street.  Len Elphick (b.1921-d.1995)

2-- Fourth Street - Joylene & Vaughan Starling's House

2-- Fourth Street - Joylene & Vaughan Starling's House (2)

 Photo’s courtesy of Vaughan & Joylene Starling

266 Fourth Street

House owned and built by Vaughan Starling

Hadley's Photos (1) Hadley's Photos (3)

Photo’s courtesy of Beth Hadley

268 Fourth Street

House owned by John & Beth Hadley and built by Bill Coles

The land from 260 to 268 Fourth Street was originally owned by Ron & Mary Starling (who lived at 260 Fourth Street).  Purchasing their land at 268 off the Starling’s; John & Beth moved in to their new house which was built by Bill Coles in September 1961.

To the left is a photo of John Hadley on his motorbike in the driveway at 268 Fourth Street.  In the background is Fourth Street and from left to right are the houses of Len Elphick (259), Reg & Molly Gibson’s (261) and  Gordon & Melva Filgate’s (263).    

Beth Hadley

My old home at 214 Fifth Street. Photo from Glenys Angleton via Lost Geraldton

 Photo courtesy of Glenys Angleton via Lost Geraldton

214 Fifth Street

My old home at 214 Fifth Street Wonthella, two lovely units in its place these days, but still love to drive by when I’m home visiting the sisters.       

Glenys Angleton 


214 6th street

Joy Gratte on the front verandah in 1954, photo courtesy of Stan Gratte

214 Sixth Street

We bought our first house in 1953 from Les Howell for 1300 pounds which included five blocks.  We sold 212 and 214 Sixth Street for 2500 pounds in 1963.  The other blocks in Eighth Street were sold for 200 pounds each to Doug Healy.  The house originally came from Big Bell.

Stan Gratte


252 Seventh Street - c.1934-35

c. 1934/5, photo courtesy of Jenny Hayley via Taryn Schneider

252 Seventh Street, House almost settled. Fence line Howard St 1934 35

House almost settled on the corner of Seventh & Howard Streets. c. 1934/5, photo courtesy of Jenny Hayley via Taryn Schneider

252 Seventh Street, House now fenced dad in tea tree fence 1935 (003)

House with tea tree fence. c.1935, photo courtesy of Jenny Hayley via Taryn Schneider

 252 Seventh Street






252 Seventh Street - After the house cleaned up 1996

Above – Front of the house in 1996 and the back of the house below,, photo courtesy of Jenny Hayley via Taryn Schneider

252 Seventh Street - Back house after clean up 1996