MAGNIFICENT art deco homestead Mooramong will relive its 1930s heyday with a pool party scheduled for next month.
The Skipton manor is the former home of glamorous Hollywood silent movie actress Claire Adams and her Australian high society husband Scobie Mackinnon.
Built in 1873, the home was given to Mackinnon for his 21st birthday along with a Rolls Royce by his father, a senior law firm senior partner and noted racehorse owner.
At the time, Mackinnon was studying at Cambridge University in England and known as one of Victoria’s most eligible bachelors.
At an event in Mayfair in 1937, he locked eyes with a famous movie star across the room. They were married three weeks later.
In just a few months, the glamorous couple returned to Skipton, where it was said they introduced the concept of cocktails to the western district, which “the locals took up very well”.
They redecorated the house to salubrious Hollywood standard, with it quickly becoming a celebrated social venue among locals.
Left to the National Trust of Australia in the 1970s when the couple passed away, March’s pool party will be the first of its kind held at Mooramong since the couple blessed the homestead with their flair.
“It’s to showcase the property but also reflect what did happen there for a few decades,” property manager Meredith Robinson said.
“It’s trying to bring back the atmosphere that was there while the Mackinnons were in residence.
“It is a beautiful estate with many buildings, not necessarily classified buildings, but buildings that are of great value to the heritage of Victoria.”
Rarely opened to the public, Mooramong is now a living museum with the Mackinnons’ “furniture and personal effects left in place”.
The March 6 event will feature house tours, live music with Amie Brûlée and her swinging band, a 1930s bar, tennis, Pétanque (a form of boules), and swimming in the saltwater pool.
There will also be best dressed and best hat competitions. A bus will leave from the Art Gallery of Ballarat at 11.45am.
Tickets are available from www.nationaltrust.org.au/event/mooramong-pool-party
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