Visit us on Saturdays between 10am and 2pm for tours and open house

Green Gables

Green Gables was built in 1896

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Green Gables was built in a beautiful Queen Anne style architecture and is located along the scenic Indian River.  It was built by William and Nora Wells and served as their winter home until they chose to permanently retire here. Green Gables had two bathrooms and was the first house in Melbourne to have electricity. The original site consisted of 150 acres of land that extended all the way to Wells Park and the Fee Avenue Library.

The Carleton Hotel

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The nearby Carleton Hotel, built in 1887 on a bluff, was a favorite site for social gatherings and entertaining the guests of the Wells Family. It was owned by the Strawbridge family and was open from November to April.  Sadly it was destroyed by fire in 1903, and although quickly rebuilt and expanded, was permanently destroyed by fire in 1925.

Trysting Steps

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The trysting steps, which led to the bluff walk, connected the Carleton Hotel directly to Green Gables.  The path extended all the way to Front Street. This bluff walk became Melbourne's  promenade of prominence along the riverside. Rescued from near total disrepair in 1918, the stairs were poured in concrete sometime later, but unfortunately were removed in 2004.

The House Design was modified over several years.

The original house was built in 1897.

1897

A picture of the original house as it appeared in October of 1897. Staff are getting the house ready for the arrival of the family for the winter.

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1898

This image shows the addition on the right.

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1901

This image shows the house with the additions including the round turret and the circular veranda. Later another bay window would be added to the upstairs bedroom on the left.

The front porch

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the Front Porch

The front porch wrapped around three sides of Green Gables.  It was a popular place to gather on warm sunny days.

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Nora

Nora is pictured here enjoying a beautiful day with her guest.

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William

William also enjoyed rocking on the veranda. It is believed that many social gatherings and city planning committee meetings took place in this very spot.

Inside the 12 room house

Ladies Parlor

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The Ladies sitting room was a formal parlor for ladies to meet, visit, and serve tea. Nora Wells, the first president of the Melbourne Ladies Club, most likely met in this room.

Main Parlor

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The main parlor was a large room that could hold a large family gathering including guests. A fireplace heated the room when needed. 

Writing Desk

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A Writing desk and chair sits in the corner of the Living Room.  It once touted one of the earliest typewriters.

Kitchen

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The kitchen was used to prepare the food and where the servants would eat their meals. Not shown is the wood stove that was located between the two windows. The door to the original ice box is still there.

Reception Area

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This room is the first room that you enter from the front door.  It is a private cozy area where guests would be greeted.

Dining Room

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This room is where the family would dine together. A door on the right connected to the kitchen and allowed the staff to serve the meals. When serving a larger group, they would set up a larger table in the main parlor.

Upstairs Bedroom

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This bedroom was one of the master bedrooms and was used by Nora. It had a door that led out to the upper balcony.  Later a sewing room was added on the left side.

Child's Bedroom

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This bedroom is also upstairs. It has a built in closet. The window faces the west side of the house and does not have a river view. Two of the bedrooms have river views, the other two do not.

Trunk Room

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This room is upstairs and was used to store the trunks that the Wells family would bring with them from their home in New Jersey.  A pulley system allowed the trunks to be hoisted up through the windows.

Stairway

The main

The main stairway is located in the Reception Room.  It is adorned by an intricate grill that was hand-carved in India.  This grill is also decorates the wall separating the reception room and the main parlor. There is a second staircase in the back of the house.

Original Fuse Box

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Green Gables was the first house in Melbourne to be built with electrical wiring. This is the original fuse box which continued to work until quite recently.