This imposing turn of the century homestead is significant for its strong association with the Stephens family, one of Brisbane’s most prominent families. ‘Waldheim’ was originally the home of William Stephens, first Mayor of South Brisbane, member of Queensland Parliament, and company director and farmer. He was the eldest son of T.B. Stephens, a newspaper proprietor, businessman and politician who also played an influential role in the development of early Brisbane. The Stephens family remained influential through William who managed the Stephens family estate following the death of his father, TB Stephens, in 1877.
The former dwelling was originally the home of William Stephens, eldest son of Thomas Blacket Stephens. Division of Stephens was named after TB Stephens, who was alderman of South Brisbane, Brisbane’s second mayor in 1862, tannery owner and one-time proprietor of the Brisbane Courier. The second Stephens family home, ‘Cumbooquepa’ in South Brisbane (now Somerville House). It was occupied by Anne, TB Stephens widow and family, and for a short period William Stephens.
The Waldheim property was part of a 33-acre estate acquired by TB Stephens by Deed of Grant in 1859. The property was subsequently passed to Stephen’s wife Anne following his death in 1877. In 1886 over 20 acres was transferred to William. He built the house ‘Waldheim’ (a German name meaning ‘home in the forest’) around the time of his marriage to Pauline Anna Caroline Effey on 14 March 1900. The house was built at a cost of £300.
William Stephens was a company director and farmer who managed the Stephens family estate after the death of his father in 1877. He had many business pursuits. These included directorships of the Imperial Deposit Bank, Brisbane Milling Company, Kingston Butter Company and South Qld Co-operative Dairy Company and proprietor Merrimac dairy farms near Nerang.
William also played a significant role in public life. He was the first Mayor of South Brisbane Municipal Council from 1888-89. He was also Member of the Legislative Assembly between 1888-1896, 1896-1904, 1907-1908 and Member of the Legislative Council from 1912-1922.
In those days Blacket Street did not exist. Waldheim Street was a very short street of about 50-75 yards in length. Here it was fenced off and two double gates led the one on the left to Junction Park State School and the one on the right to the drive to ‘Waldheim’, the family home. In 1900 William Stephens was listed as living at ‘Camboquepa’, Vulture Street, South Brisbane and in 1901 at Ipswich Road, Annerley which suggests there was probably another entrance to the property at that time. There was no listing in the Post Office Directories for Waldheim Street until 1910.
‘Waldheim’ remained the residence of William Stephens and his family until his death in 1925. His widow, Pauline, remained at ‘Waldheim’ until about 1938 when it passed to GH Hardy.
In 1949 the China Inland Mission, now the Overseas Missionary Fellowship purchased ‘Waldheim’ for the headquarters of the Queensland branch and residence of the State Secretary.
In 1976 the property was sold to Len Campbell, Gwenda Madeleine Campbell and Malcolm William Alexander Kerr and Shirley Elizabeth Kerr as joint tenants in common. In 1999 the property was transferred to the current owners, Caroline Kaylene Jamieson and James Douglas McGregor as tenants in common.
‘Waldheim’ now operates as the Clansmen Restaurant, a long-time dining institution in Brisbane.
This c1901 former residence is set in large grounds fronting Waldheim Street.
The building is a timber structure with single-skin tongue and groove vertical boarding. The corrugated iron roof steps down at verandah level and is supported by a pair of slim posts.
The elegant original entry gable features a decorative fretwork pediment and a small transverse ventilation gable is located on the ridge of the roof.
Now the Clansmen Restaurant, the new east wing (late 1970s) was designed and fabricated to match the original building. The interior has been extensively modified.
The house makes a substantial contribution to the streetscape and its presence in the streetscape should be retained.
Statement of significance
Relevant assessment criteria
This is a place of local heritage significance and meets one or more of the local heritage criteria under the Heritage planning scheme policy of the Brisbane City Plan 2014. It is significant because:
The place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of the city's or local area’s history
as a turn of the century homestead in the Annerley area located in extensive grounds in a rural setting prior to later subdivisions.
The place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organization of importance in the city’s or local area’s history
as the former home of William Stephens, prominent businessman and politician who became the first mayor of South Brisbane, and was a Queensland Member of Parliament.
Department of Natural Resources, Queensland Certificates of title and other records.
Brisbane City Council, Properties on the Web, website
BCC Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Detail Plan 439, 1935
Post Office Directories 1900-1910
Mackenzie, Annie, Memories along the Boggo Track, Boolarong Publications, 1992
Hogan, Janet, Historic Homes of Brisbane, National Trust of Queensland, 1979