The Wedding Cake House — “Bollen’s Folly”
The “Wedding Cake House” (formerly known as “Bollen’s Folly” and “The Sanitarium”) is an important part of the history of Mount Barker, although it isn’t heritage listed. It was built in the late 1800’s by George Bollen, (Pt. Adelaide 1877), who worked in Mount Barker as a cooper whilst studying to become a doctor. His hobby was architecture. George designed and built Bollen’s Bridge on the Springs Road. He planned the two-storey building now “Claremont Tea Rooms” on the corner near the present day Police Station for Mrs Starling, who kept a store in Resurrection Row. When the first storey was completed they found he had made no provision for a staircase, which was added later. After Doctor Bollen completed his degree in America, he returned to the town of Mount Barker, where he began to build a large square house that overlooked the town. Designing it to be centrally heated, it had no fireplaces nor chimneys. This astounded the good country folk who called it his “folly”, for soon after it was finished, his wife died and he left the town. Future owners later added fireplaces and remodelled it. Now known as the “Wedding Cake House”, it has become famous as a showplace of the district.
Heritage Reconstruction Work
Lancaster Painters Australia heritage reconstruction work in “The Wedding Cake House” began with thorough preparation and repaint work. Interior beautification work included the hand painting of decorative ceiling roses and the painting of 17th Century Korean artwork on the atrium window leading into the main hallway. We meticulously hand painted marble coffers on the bottom section of the walls, and topped them off with pin-striping and stencils to form a dado effect. The one hundred year old staircase was reconstructed by applying fresh paintwork to the turn posts and stringers. The final touch involved the french polishing of the Western Red Cedar handrails and posts of the staircase.