AT LEFT: Paul and Faye Fowler, with their historic house Karuah that they have on the market.
AT LEFT: Paul and Faye Fowler, with their historic house Karuah that they have on the market. Adam Hourigan

FOR SALE: Your chance to become a part of Grafton history

SITUATED on Bowtell Ave, 'Karuah' has housed mayors, doctors, dentists and other well-known Grafton identities for more than 100 years.

The current owners Faye and Paul Fowler want another family to love it as much as they have.

The couple bought the house from the Cayzer family in 1998, after moving to the area the previous year for work.

Taking more than a year to decide on a house, Ms Fowler instantly knew the historic Bowtell St property was right.


Photos of 39-41 Bowtell Ave
MODERN HISTORY: A view across the pool looking towards one of the extensions of "Karuah”. (inset) A photo of the house in 1960. Adam Hourigan

"We just fell in love with the house the first time we saw it," she said. "It's got a very charming exterior and a lovely feeling.

"My girls, who were teenagers at the time, they just fell in love with it."

Early history is scarce, though information from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage states with the Federation style characterised by long blocks with vast expanses of lawn.

It continues to say that the residence may be historically significant for its association with Mayor See.

Since its simple beginnings, it has had a tennis court added to it in 1937, as well as a pool in the 70's.


A historic photo of the property taken in 1960, when the street was called Little Mary Street.
A historic photo of the property taken in 1960, when the street was called Little Mary Street.

While the current family has made extensive renovations to keep the house modern, one addition has proved to be more popular than others.

Built on the bed of a dismantled shed, a one-bedroom granny flat with bathroom and kitchenette remains a popular addition, with family and friends taking advantage of the extra lodging.

"My sister named it the Bowtell Marriott", Ms Fowler laughed. "She and her family liked to come there to get away from it all."

Privacy is a significant feature of the property for the Fowlers, which despite having seven neighbouring properties, still allowed a place to be alone.

"It feels a bit like your little sanctuary," she said. "It's so close to town, and we used to be able to come home from work for lunch ... sit in the house or out the back and enjoy the time."

The list of modern additions to the house extends for more than a page, with air-conditioning, redesigned bathrooms, kitchen and the granny flat just the beginning.

With this, Ms Fowler said it had always been important to the family to maintain the historic feel of the house that had first attracted them to it.

"We tried to retain that original charm and features while we improved the amenity of the house," she said.

"We're still good friends with the Cayzers and have often invited them, and even former resident Victoria Moorhead over to cast their eye over the additions."

Selling agent for Elders Real Estate Grafton Jake Kroehnert said that many homes of this era had often been let go.

"This home has been restored periodically through the years to the highest standard without taking away the charm and character," he said.

"Whoever the lucky new owners will be I'm sure they will appreciate the love the property has had from all of its owners."

Despite their grandchildren also having the same love for the house their children did - "they're telling us, please don't sell the place," - Ms Fowler said it was time to downsize.

"We're both approaching our seventies, and I feel like it's a house for a family," she said.

"We have mixed feelings about it, but we'd love to see a family come in as new owners to carry on the tradition.

"We hope they love it as much as we did."

The property will go on the market next week through Elders Real Estate Grafton.