This land had been purchased by Henry Rawes Whittell in 1887. He was the son of Dr Henry Rawes Whittell of College Street Sydney and he was a surveyor working for the railways and the Registrar-General. In 1884 he had married Amelia Amy Menzies the sister of Mrs John Vernon (Mary) of ‘Cranebrook’ Mallton Road.
Whittell had an extensive interest in botany and horticulture being a member of both the Linnean Society and the Horticulture Society, He grew an experimental plantation of tung oil trees (aleurites fordii) on his property.
The house was originally called “Glen-Ha-fren” and had a frontage to what is now Wongala Crescent – with the house being oriented to obtain city views.