free Audio Guide app
plus there is more history below if you wish:
Gus Nicholas’ Pill Factory
12 Anzac Parade
The construction of this imposing stone property, known locally as “The Pill Factory”, commenced in December 1896 and was completed by July 1898. It was built for William Augustus (Gus) Nicholas who operated it as “Nicholas Golden Cross Ointment and Pill Factory”. It also housed a photographic studio, darkroom and a printing works. It was a well-known landmark and the factory produced “Cure all” powders and ointments.
The original building had a flat roof with a cross on the top. The large clock at the front of the building was added later. In October 1901 it was reported that:
Mr Nicholas has had a clock with a dial three feet six inches in diameter erected in the front of his Golden Cross Lab. It is a great boon to the residents.
Later, in the 1930’s, when the building was extended and converted to a guesthouse, an extra storey was added.
Gus Nicholas – a man of many talents
The first medical help in the village appears to have been given by William Augustus (Gus) Nicholas, a homeopathist and also wrote on veterinary matters. The alternatives to his medical knowledge and advice were a horse or buggy trip to Moss Vale, or a train ride to Goulburn.
Mr Nicholas arrived in Bundanoon in the early 1870s and was the closest to a “doctor” available in the area for over 40 years. One newspaper referred to Mr Nicholas as “our local medico” whilst others referred to him as “our local homeopathist”.
In 1893 an article in The Scrutineer, the local paper, reported on the impending end of Mr Nicholas’ practice as follows:
We hear with regret that Mr W.A. Nicholas has relinquished practice as a homeopathist. If true, this must prove a calamity to Bundanoon. Can nothing be done to prevent it. Mr Nicholas has given medical advice to the inhabitants of the district for over 20 years, and has been consistently successful in his treatment, effecting in many cases some really remarkable cures.
However, it appears that he did continue to be called upon to assist people when there was an emergency until his death in 1921, aged 76 years.
Gus was also well-known as a talented photographer and was responsible for taking many of the fine photographs of Bundanoon life at that time. Mr Nicholas’ first wife, Sarah, was also a photographer but she died in 1894 and he remarried in 1896.
Homeopathic cures for people and animals
Gus published four books about his homeopathic remedies. The Golden Cross powders and ointments were listed in the “Helping Hand Book to Health”, price sixpence, and claimed to cure many ailments ranging from a simple headache to the more complicated problems like St Vitas Dance, deafness, carbuncles, dreams and even cancer. The remedies were extensively advertised, sold everywhere and cost 1s 3d a box. They could also be purchased by mail order, if customers sent a stamped addressed envelope along with details of the symptoms of their ailments. It’s not known what was in the remedies.
Gus also had remedies for sick animals. His book “Veterinary Helping Hand Book to Health” claimed to be a “Safe and Sure Treatment of Horses, Cattle, Sheep and Dogs and all domestic animals in Sickness or Accident”.
From factory to guest house and restaurant
In 1930, the factory was bought by Mrs Elsie Morris, named “D’Estreville” and converted to a guesthouse. There were extensive renovations, with a third storey added and a changed roofline.
Mr Henry and Mrs Johanna Lyons ran the guesthouse from 1935 and renamed the property “Bundanoon House”. It was painted off-white with a galvanised roof. The main entry had a flat roof. Mr and Mrs Lyons did not purchase the property until 1945.
In 1962 the guesthouse was sold to two couples, Sandor and Margaret Kalman and George and Clare Conway. The Kalmans ran the business, purchasing the Conway’s share in 1963. They sold it to Mrs Gloria Pearce, a widow, in 1973, who in 1976 sold it to Heinz and Gerda Loock. Originally from Germany, the Loock’s renamed it “The Old Heidelberg Gast Hof and Restaurant”. They painted the outside and added German themed elements such as scalloped fascia boards, planter boxes and shutters and a steeply pitched entry porch.
In 1983 it was sold to Elvira and Trevor Riley, who sold it in 1993 to Grahame and Anne Bishop. The Bishops remodelled the interior and renamed the restaurant ‘The Highlander’.
In 2014, the property was sold to Brent and Claudia Marvin who restored the building to the “Bundanoon House” period.