IF you've been fortunate to have visited The Prev at Kellerberrin, it's likely that you will have been fascinated by its history and impressed by its beautiful presentation.
But for the locals, this 90-year-old building is an iconic element of the town's identity and history.
One of the most beautiful buildings along Great Eastern Highway, this enormous Federation-era building with wrap-around verandahs and locally quarried granite foundations is currently a grand function venue.
James and Pauline Scott have owned and managed the property for the past 16 years, during which time they have gone to great lengths to restore and renovate the building.
Former farmers of Kellerberrin, the couple was looking for a different business venture to farming and knowing of the building's significance to the town and local community, they purchased the property in 2003.
"We were in a situation where we needed to either increase our land holding and upgrade machinery to keep farming or lease the farm," Mrs Scott said.
"Not having anyone who wanted to come back to the farm, it was a logical decision for us to lease the farm.
"At that time there was nowhere on Great Eastern Highway between El Caballo Resort, Wooroloo and Kalgoorlie for groups of up to 20 participants to meet for a conference, be accommodated and catered for with meals at the one venue, so we thought it could be a great business."
The Kellerberrin Preventorium's colloquial name was The Prev, so the Scotts decided to register their function venue by this name.
Set on two hectares, The Prev is an impressive building with 18 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, eight toilets and numerous living areas and sitting rooms, with extensive verandahs and 3.8 metre high ceilings throughout.
The Prev is now used mostly to host conferences, retreats, reunions, weddings or birthdays and is licensed to accommodate up to 51 guests.
Nestled at the base of the atmospheric Kellerberrin Hill, The Prev has a picturesque country outlook with granite outcrops and views of the Milkyway in the night sky.
The building has been an integral part of the community from the beginning, but in a much different way that likely had a lasting impact on many locals.
Sydney-born Thomas Stuart and Albany-born Bridget Eileen Patterson arrived to the Kellerberrin district in 1904 and soon became known as the town's most generous benefactors and were the local publicans of the time.
In 1929 the couple's most generous act of charity came to life when they built the Kellerberrin Preventorium, a purpose-built facility to care for disadvantaged and destitute children, costing 6300 pounds.
The Pattersons had a passion for health and welfare, particularly children, which was likely strengthened when their daughter died at a young age.
The pair donated the building to the sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart in 1929 and also the Kellerberrin Hotel, which was to add financial stability and security for the operations of the Preventorium, ensuring it would not be dependent on government funding.
Over the next 40 or so years, the building remained a place of care for children, particularly those with asthma.
Owning and managing The Prev for 16 years has been a labour of love for the Scotts who made a conscious decision to retain the building's integrity and not to make changes that would detract from the original building, maintaining its history and returning it to its former glory.
"Watching the property develop has just been wonderful," Ms Scott said.
The extensive list of renovations and restorations include opening up some of the verandahs and the two-bedroom Federation cottage was given a make over and now has a traditional pressed metal and jarrah interior.
There is a real sense of local charm throughout the property, which starts with its history and was emphasised by the Scotts using local and recycled materials, such as locally grown salmon gum wood for the reception office and alfresco kitchen and benches.
Jarrah floorboards and windows from local houses that were being demolished have been repurposed in the cottage and massive granite rocks, which were sourced from the Scott's farm, are a feature in the garden.
"We have just renovated piece by piece - once we understood what was going to work best, then we would set about making that right," she said.
"One of the things I love most is when people admire the building for its architectural elements and marvel at its history.
"It's wonderful to share something like this with so many people.
"It's more than just the building itself, it has a wonderful aura about it, there is a strong sense of peacefulness and tranquility.
"The more people that we can and have been able to share The Prev with, the more fortunate we feel."
Despite the couple having no experience in the hospitality industry prior to purchasing The Prev, it has become renowned for its delicious garden fresh meals and cheerful hospitalitiy.
"Food is now one of the major draw cards and that was never anticipated," Ms Scott said.
The couple's passion for being resourceful and sourcing local is also evident within the grounds of the property, as the stone fruit and citrus orchard and raised garden beds enabled them to use home-grown produce in their meals, preserves and even ice-cream.
While The Prev has become a much loved building of the community, which provides in-direct support to other local businesses, the local community is also integral to The Prev.
The Prev has been a major part of James and Pauline's lives but it's now time to close their chapter of being the custodians of The Prev as they have decided to list the property on the market through expressions of interest.
For more information about the sale of the property, contact Pauline Scott on 0439 268 850.
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