Then and Now: Waldheim, the Stephen Family’s Homestead in Annerley

Photo Credit: Heritage Listing/BCC

Did you know that the heritage-listed Stephen’s Farm homestead on Waldheim St in Annerley was once the home of William Stephens, who helped shape what was then the borough of South Brisbane? 

William acquired the property in the late 1880s through his father, Thomas Blacket Stephens, a wealthy businessman who was the sixth Treasurer of Queensland. The older Stephens owned heaps of properties and businesses in Brisbane and the Shire of Stephens was actually named for him.

When he passed away, his son managed his estate and continued the family’s legacy and influence. 

Following his marriage to Pauline Anna Caroline Effey in 1900, William built a family house for £300 not far from his father’s old house on Ipswich Road, Annerley. He named the house “Waldheim,” which means “home in the forest” in German.

South Brisbane William Stephens Waldheim
William Stephens was the first mayor of the South Brisbane borough. Photo Credit: National Library of Australia

Waldheim Through the Years

Waldheim was originally believed to share a double gate to the left of the Junction Park State School and a laneway. Built as a timber structure with a corrugated iron roof, the house had distinct slim posts on the verandah and an elegant, decorative entryway. 

The house remained in the Stephens family even after William’s death in 1925 due to a stroke. A few years before William died, however, the Stephen’s Farm homestead was subdivided and put up for sale via public auction. 

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Stephens Park Annerley
Photo Credit: Annerley-Stephens History Group/Facebook

In 1938, Pauline then sold Waldheim to George Hudleston Hurlstone Hardy, an entomologist and the founder of the Entomological Society of Queensland. After Hardy, Waldheim’s ownership was transferred to the Overseas Missionary Fellowship as the private residence of the State Secretary. 

Between the 1950s to the 1970s, the property’s owners changed hands many times until it was turned into The Clansmen Restaurant, a sophisticated venue for many parties and celebrations in Annerley. 

Old-time residents in the area, remember The Clansmen Restaurant all too well.

“The Clansmen used to make an amazing dessert called Edinburgh Fog. Whipped cream with Drambuie through it. Yum.” 

“The Clansmen was 5 stars! I remember at the Clansmen all the females got a red rose in their menu and no prices, the males got no roses but got prices.”

“What a great night out at the Clansmen, known for its extensive wine cellar under the dining rooms.”

Waldheim in the Present

Today, the restaurant is gone and Waldheim is now a childcare centre called Little Ducks. 

Little Ducks Annerley
Photo Credit: Little Ducks Childcare Annerley
Little Ducks Annerley
Photo Credit: Little Ducks Childcare Annerley

According to, Waldheim last went up the market for $1,200,000 in 2004. It was previously valued at just $200,000 in 2001. 

Published 10 January 2023