The Ormiston House book

The Ormiston House Book was first published by Mike Fry in early 1999 with most of the research being done in 1998.

Preface to the book

A house can be many things to many people. As well as the bricks and mortar, which are the material fabric of the structure, the house inherits the experiences from within and absorbs them. These experiences can be felt as you enter a house. It can be the difference between a cold unfriendly feeling and a warm welcome. And so it is with Ormiston House. Even though the house was in a bad state of repair in 1995, when Mike and Carolyn first saw her, (for this house is a she), there was a calmness about her. Albeit a little in distress and desperate for a little tender and loving care.


This was, and is again, a grand stately mansion. Built in a time when monuments such as this were built as a testament to achievements of the day. These homes were a measure of the status of the occupier and in this wilderness area such a grand mansion was not only unique but a wonderful undertaking by F O Henry, his family and of the pioneers and tradesmen who could utilize the meagre resources around them and create masterpieces that would not only outlive them but many generations to come.

A small number of trees produce both male and female cones, though this is quite rare. Reproduction occurs in 'mast years'. Every 5 – 7 years a mass seeding occurs. Seeds are dispersed a short distance around the tree except where they land in water and are transported downstream. Huon pines also reproduce vegetatively. They do this by layering. Tree branches reaching the ground start to root and establish themselves as a new tree, which eventually breaks away from the parent. Branches breaking off trees can also take root. In this way populations such as a forest stand at Mt Read, which have no female trees, continue to survive. It is believed that the Mt Read stand has been regenerating in the absence of female trees for more than 10,000 years, although no individual trees are more than 1,500 years old.


This story will never be finished as long as Ormiston House remains standing. There will always be more stories to tell and more history to unfold. In that respect this book is but the first chapter with many to follow. " If walls could talk "…perhaps they can.

If you wish to purchase a copy of the Ormiston House Book, please contact us - the cost is $7.50 (Aud) plus postage, within Australia that is $1.20 currently. You may wish to combine it with engraved Ormiston House tea pot stand, coasters or cheese board.