The first Tinglewood

One fateful day in October 1978, the community of Walpole & Districts woke to the news that Tinglewood Homestead, the renowned guest house, had been destroyed by fire.

Feelings of shock and disbelief spread throughout the region at this news. The beautiful, historic property on the Deep River was an icon of Walpole; destined, it seemed to everyone at the time, to be there forever.

Tinglewood Homestead with guests. Frank Skinner Thompson 4th from left, Frank Thompson 5th from left (c1930)

Tinglewood Homestead with guests. Frank Skinner Thompson 4th from left, Frank Thompson 5th from left (c1930)

There was anger too at the cause of the fire. A special dinner was underway at the Homestead when unexpected travellers arrived looking for accommodation. They were invited to take part in the dinner but declined. However, later in their room they set up a portable stove on the bed …

Messages of sympathy from far and wide flowed in to the Harbin family. The family had purchased the Homestead in 1956 from Frank Thompson, a pioneer of the region.

Frank Thompson with a guest at Peppermints c. 1940s (WNDHS)

Frank Thompson with a guest at Peppermints c. 1940s (WNDHS)

Frank had constructed Tinglewood from 1923 to 1926. He was handy with the axe, and his hand-hewn timbers were a feature of the building.

Tinglewood Homestead became renowned as a guest house.

Another Tinglewood rose from the ashes. New building was under way by early 1979.

Peter Harbin and his father decided not to replicate the former building because they felt the old world atmosphere that was so much a part of the original structure could never be replaced.

In 1994 the Harbin family sold Tinglewood Homestead and, after more than 80 years catering for tourists, the property became a private residence.

This post has been adapted from an article that first appeared in the May 7, 2014 edition of the Walpole Weekly. Molly Smith is a regular contributor to the Weekly with her “Looking Back with Molly” column. Pictures sourced from the Walpole, Nornalup & Districts Historical Society.

Tinglewood Homestead on fire in 1978. (WNDHS)

Tinglewood Homestead on fire in 1978. (WNDHS)

 

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2 Comments

  1. My mother worked as a cook/kitchen hand at around 1957 – I was eight years old and walked to the bus stop. – about 3kms – it was actually a truck from an adjoining property. I would accompany Mr Thompson as he conducted fishing trips for the guests – I remember Skippy Rock, a place to catch Skipjack – occasionally A storm would blow up in the bay – it was terrifying. It all came to an end when Mrs Thompson wanted to adopt me – I believe the Thompsons were unable to have children – my mother (Gertrude Rogotzki a German immigrant) took flight and hitched a ride to Albany with a guest. Am heading west next year and would love to visit the property. Some of the most exciting times off my life.

  2. I have a photo of Frank Thompson on a dinghy with two women sitting on a dinghy

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