COLLECTING antiques is Jennifer Lahodink's passion, but until she bought the oldest house in Illawong, she really didn't have the right place to display them.
Mrs Lahodink fell in love with the heritage-listed cottage and now has a house to go with her furnishings.
The sandstone cottage overlooking the Georges River was built between 1888 and 1890 by former MP John Nobbs. It was one of four homes that originally occupied the Nobbs Hill area of Illawong, which overlooks the Georges River and Como railway bridge.
Sutherland Historical Society research found the cottages were built as holiday homes for wealthy Sydney businessmen from sandstone quarried on-site.
The Fowler Road house last changed hands in 1973, when it fetched $48,250 — significantly less than the $1.25 million Mrs Lahodink paid for her personal piece of history.
Daystar Padstow agent Michael Sleiman, who handled the sale, said the house retained many original fittings, including a magnificent marble fireplace.
"There was solid interest in the property and a lot of people attending the inspections, but it was always going to be an emotional purchase by someone like Mrs Lahodink, who appreciated its history," he said.
■ A piece of Sutherland Shire history, the former Eleanor MacKinnon Red Cross Children's home in Lucas Street, Cronulla, will be auctioned on March 29 by McGrath Cronulla.
The property was built in the early 1920s as a private home, but from 1945 to 1980 was run by the Red Cross as a home for boys whose families were suffering a crisis.
It was named after Eleanor MacKinnon, the founder of Junior Red Cross and its honorary director from 1914 to 1936.
In those days, the house was set among large gardens, with a swimming pool, but a villa complex now occupies that space.
Agent Michael Gleeson said the extensively renovated house was expected to fetch about $1 million.
Do you know any more about the history of the Red Cross home?
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