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A history of Uniting Wontama Village

Uniting Wontama Village has a rich history, dating back to one of the oldest pioneer families in Orange – the Frost family.

About the Frost family

Robert Frost arrived in Orange in 1861 and established a butchery that he ran for 25 years. Robert was also involved in gold mining and purchased the Lucknow mines which he kept for 5 years before selling to the Ballarat Company in 1868.

In 1857, Robert married Bridget Carroll from Summerhill. After living for a while at Bridget’s father’s property, they purchased 290 acres in Blackmans swamp. Little did they know, this land would one day become central Orange. Together, Bridget and Robert built Campdale, a grand two storey residence which they lived in with their 13 children. Campdale is now part of the Kinross Wolaroi School.

Robert Frost died in 1888 at the age of 65 after a horse riding accident. Bridget Frost continued to live in their home until 1902 at which time she decided to have a smaller residence built for her at Summer Street, opposite Cook Park. The residence was called Berrilea. Bridget lived here, until her death in 1906.

A timeline of history

1846The village of Orange is proclaimed
1857Robert Frost married Bridget Carroll
1888Robert Frost dies from a horse riding accident
1902The Frost family acquires some land and commissions John Job Copeman to design a house for Bridget Frost, known as Berrilea
1906Bridget Frost dies at Berrilea
1966Aged care Hostel opens
1972Self-contained retirement units open
1981Miss Fleurette Weston passes away and leaves Berrilea to Wontama Homes
1982Wontama, 27 Summer Street was acquired and a new nursing home was built on the site
1983Berrilea is listed in the National Trust of Australia (NSW)
1985Berrilea is listed on the Orange City Council Local Environment Plan
1987Berrilea opened as a Day Care Centre
1991Weston Lodge Dining Room and Carinya, self-contained retirement units opened
1999Berrilea is listed on the State Heritage Register under the NSW Heritage Act, 1977
2006Major refurbishment works were approved to return Berrilea back into a “home-like” environment to provide short term respite services
2012Approval of construction of new dwelling

For more information about the historic Uniting Wontama Village, please view the historical summary prepared by City Plan Services