A brief history of 'Ballara' & the Baker family at Warooka
Ballara is the 100-year-old family home built for William and Emilia (Millie) Baker & their five children.
Built in 1910 and named for Millie's hometown of Ballarat in Victoria, it is understood Millie would not come to Warooka until the house was finished and completely furnished!
William Baker came to Warooka with his mother, sister and two brothers as a young boy in 1884, after the sudden death of his father.
In the early 1900s, Will and his brother Alf became storekeepers, trading as
Baker Bros., running two stores in Warooka. Will, Alf and younger brother, Tom, also went on to become farmers.
William met Millie when she came from Ballarat to visit her sister who lived at Warooka.
Millie named her new home 'Ballara' in memory of her hometown.
A feature of the house is its ornate ceilings, and story has it that visitors came from afar especially to view them.
William ran a wheat agency from an office on the front verandah and was also a contact for World War 1 recruitment.
In 1927, William sadly died at only 50 years of age, leaving Millie on her own with
their five children: Doreen, Dulcie, William jr. (Bill), Ron, and Betsy.
Millie died in 1965 and Ron continued living at Ballara until his death in 1988.
Having never married and with no children of his own, Ron left the house and contents
to his 10 nieces and nephews.
After the family furniture was divided, Bill bought the house and placed it in
the names of his three daughters.
Carli and Penny were both able to enjoy some time living in the family home.
Ballara still remains in the Baker family and is currently being cared for by
Bill’s youngest daughter, Steph.