MR. E. BOWMAN'S MANSION AT MARTINDALE.
The wealthy squatters of the present live under conditions very different from those which ruled in the earlier days of colonial enterprise, when hard fare, hard work, and primitive
appliances for household comfort were the characteristics of the times. Now splendid mansions take the place of the humble struc- tures of former days, and all the luxuries of life are to be found even in the outlying stations. Among the fortunate young men whose lines have been cast in pleasant places is Mr. E. Bowman, a young South Australian sheepfarmer, who has succeeded to a princely inheritance, and seems to possess the power of administering it judiciously. Most young men of twenty-three having command of even less than £140,000 in hard cash and real estate to a higher tune would be tempted to lead a life of luxury and ease in other climes ; but Mr. Bowman is of a different stamp, and to his credit he has decided to settle in South Australia, where his wealth was made, and continue the pursuit of sheep-farming with vigour and energy, proving that he is of sterling stuff. He has had built upon his estate of Martindale— about two miles south of Mintaro, eighty-two miles north of Adelaide — a magnificent mansion, which has cost little short of £25,000. The mansion, which is situated upon a slight eminence facing the east, is surrounded by a park-like expanse of undula- ting country, and as far as the eye can reach the land belongs to Mr. Bowman, so that it is a grand estate fitly completed by a grand mansion. The plans of the building were obtained from England, and were drawn by Mr. E. Gregg, of London. To some tastes the house is almost severely simple in its exterior, but it is a most substantial and admirably built place. The style is pure Italian, and regard has been given more to thorough solidity than to elaborate ornamentation. The mansion, which is nearly square, being 90 feet long by 75 feet wide, and of proportionate height, contains over forty rooms, and is built of a fine light buff coloured stone, a sort of bastard granite, ob- tained from the hills close by. The dressings are of freestone from the Manoora quarries. The sharp cutting ef the stone, and the accurate way in which each block is fitted show the perfection of workmanship. The front of the house is rather imposing with its massive en- trance, tall, deep windows, admirably designed architraves, latel heads, and stone carving ; while this effect is increased by the wide terrace and massive stone steps, flanked by large and gracefully formed vases of carved stone. The sides of the building have the same solid appearance as the front, but with less carved stonework. The top is surmounted by a beautiful balustrade in keeping with the other ornamentation, and giving a finish to the whole structure which makes it remarkably handsome as a piece of architecture. The in terior of the building is replete with almost every modern convenience, luxury, and artistic decoration that refined taste could suggest and unlimited command of capital purchase for a gentleman's residence. All the windows are fitted with Venetian shutters, and also inside shutters of wire gauze or landscape wire, sliding smoothly into the wall instead of opening out wards. The basement measures 75 feet by 40 feet and 12 feet high, arched upon iron girders. In the basement are separate cellars for ale and wine ; the larders, storerooms, milk-pantry, and rooms for other purposes all fitted with every needful appliance that modern experience suggests, and built in the most finished fashion. On the south side of the front entrance on the ground floor is a drawing-room measuring 25 ft. x 18 ft. 8 in. and 16 ft. high, with very hand- some cornices of a thoroughly unique design. This room is furnished with exquisite taste, and the ornaments are such that only wealth can
command. Most of them are magnificent Japanese bronzes and beautiful specimens of china-wire. The mantlepiece is a most elaborate piece of workmanship in statuary marble, and cost over 130 guineas. It is the one that took the prize at the Paris Exhibition. The shelf is supported by two exquisitely executed classical figures, and the fender is marble, with encaustic tile hearth. The whole is surmounted by a mag- nificent mirror and clock to match of surpass- ing excellence in workmanship, and very costly. The doors of this room are of handsome woods enriched with mouldings, carvings, and other adornments, and finished in blackwood. Fold- ing-doors give communication with the dining room, 28 ft. by 18 ft. 8 in., in which is a mantelpiece of black marble, which is a marvel of artistic carving. It is surmounted by a pierglass 14 ft. high, framed in black marble to match. The mantelpiece is in the Grecian style, and in a wide recess in the western end of the room is fitted a carved oak sideboard with a back of plated silver, and 14 ft. in height This piece of furniture is in itself a soure of admiration. The other furniture of the dining room is in keeping, being polished oak. On the north side is the library, also furnished in most luxurious style, in polished oak and Morocco leather. The chimneypiece in the library is a splendid specimen of sculpture. It is composed of black marble, inlaid with Sicilian marble, and has a duplicated raised shelf. There are upon it two bronze statues, one of Cortez and the other of Columbus, each stand ing about three feet, and most artistically executed — in fact they are perfect gems of art. The clock on the mantelpiece is also a most beautiful piece of artistic workmanship. At the rear of the library is a spacious billiard-room, richly adorned in perfect taste. This has a chimneypiece of Bredella marble, and is fur- nished in the best style. The main entrance to the mansion leads to a vestibule with folding doors of polished blackwood, and beyond this is a hall with handsome curtains, which screen it from the saloon. The floor of the saloon is inlaid with parquettaire, and the walls are panelled. Round the top of the saloon runs a picture gallery supported upon handsome girders. A broad staircase of polished black wood inlaid, with carved enrichments, leads up to this picture gallery, the walls of which are finished with Corinthian columns and pillasters. This gallery gives access to the various bedrooms, which are spacious, hand somely furnished, and attached to each is a bath and dressing room, with every luxury which taste can suggest. The principal front bedrooms measure 15 x 23, and all have handsome marble chimney pieces fitted for an ordinary drawing-room. There is also a lady's boudoir, magnificently furnished and elaborately adorned. Upon the roof of the building is a lookout commanding a splendid view. The ventilation, drainage. &c, are simply perfection. Hot and cold water supplies the baths. The kitchen is a model one, and is supplied with one of the best ranges that could be procured in England. The pan- tries, china closet, laundry, and servants' offices are admirably designed. The mansion is supplied with water from a reservoir at an altitude of 132 feet, containing 90,000 gallons of water, pumped up from the river a quarter of a mile distant by a steam-pump. There is also a freshwater tank. The water from this is lifted by a double-action pump to the roof of the house, and goes through a filter into the build- ing. The sewage is conveyed through pipes to a distance of a mile from the House. The stables are a quarter of a mile away, and are fitted with accommodation for six carriages and quite a number of horses. The contractor who has carried out the construction of this magnifi- cent mansion is Mr. R. Huckson, who has done his work in a style that reflects the highest credit upon him. It has taken close upon two years to complete the edifice, and it now stands a credit to the colony and a source of pride to its wealthy owner. Mr. Huckson entertained a number of leading gentlemen at luncheon in Mr. Bayfield's Hotel, Mintaro, on Wednesday, December 15, on the occasion of his leaving the district after finishing his contract, and various toasts were honoured.