What is the Diamond House?
One of the oldest houses in Stawell – and certainly one of the most distinctive and unusual – sits on the corner of Prince and Seaby streets: the Diamond House.
Mr John Hearne first began construction on the Diamond House back in 1866, when he was at age 55, and finished it in 1868.
At the time, Mr Hearne, who was said to have interests in some of the mining claims at the foot of Big Hill, lived with his wife in a small skillion on this block.
The diamond effect you see on the side of this flat-roofed house took considerable skill, planning and patience to create, and shows just how talented Mr Hearne was. Two-inch wooden slats surround the main diamonds, which are made from brown stones and white quartz gathered from Church Hill across the road. Smaller diamonds decorate the corners of each main diamond. The stones had to be carefully cut and fitted to maintain the uniformity.
The building has been standing for more than 140 years, a great achievement considering that it is said no nails were used in its construction.
After the deaths of Mr and Mrs Hearne in 1889 and 1896 respectively, the Diamond House was sold as a private residence and has seen its fair share of owners and tenants in its time.