This is the story of a house and home – today there are still busy things happening in and around the buildings, There is still much laughter and many voices to be heard in and around the place.
George Evans would surely be surprised to see The Epicurean Emu Bottom today – the heritage buildings and their uses which make up the complex at Emu Bottom may have changed in a way that could not have even imagined, but after purchasing the property in 1968, Hedley and Janet Elliott lovingly restored The Homestead to faithfully reflect the period that George Evans and his family lived.
Emu Bottom Homestead operated as a tourist attraction from 1970 – 1975 and during this time approximately 90,000 visitors each year enjoyed stepping back in time to experience a small piece of Australia’s pioneering past.
Today, Emu Bottom Homestead is an important landmark and a treasured part of Australian heritage. It is as vibrant and important as ever. Emu Bottom is now the backdrop to all manner of functions and events and boasts two dining facilities – the Woolshed and the Homestead Dining Room.
When Hedley and Janet first came to Emu Bottom, there was no trace left of the original Woolshed and possibly this was because being built of wooden slabs, it is thought that the structure would have rotted away with the passage of time and been replaced by a much more modern structure.
The Woolshed, now standing at Emu Bottom, was moved from a property called `Runnymede’ owned by the Laidlaws at Sandford near Casterton in the Western District, it was built there in 1854.
Through the years many facilities have been added to provide for the requirements of modern day dining for the Woolshed is now a unique venue for a wide range of functions and events.
The Homestead Dining Room was built as an addition to The Homestead from the sandstone collected from the property as George Evans had done in the building of the original homestead all those years ago.
The Dining Room has provided an elegant dining space, which captures the ambience of the original homestead and is used for weddings, meetings and special celebrations.
The Slab Hut
The Slab Hut sits on a small hill adjacent to the Woolshed and as the name suggests is built of timber slabs.
It was moved to Emu Bottom by Hedley and Janet after a visit to Whroo, a historic gold mining area. At Whroo, they met Mr Chong, a descendant of a Chinese family who had supplied the nearby gold fields with vegetables and who still lived in the same house. The Slab Hut had stood on Mr Chong's land since the gold mining days.