Braemar House has had an interesting history. It was constructed in 1880 by John Frame McBeth, the postmaster of Wanganui till 1895. In that year is was passed on to Mr "Hope" Gibbons. Hopeful Gibbons was named after the character in John Bunyan's "Pilgrims Progress". He went on to become the mayor of Whanganui in 1924 till 1927 and was the founder of one of New Zealand's largest family businesses.He sold the building in 1911 to Misses Alice and Kit Gordon, who converted it into Braemar Hospital for private, surgical, and maternity care.
In 1927 the property passed to a Mrs Christie who firstly continued the private hospital and then converted it to an older persons home.
By 1976 the home closed as a private institution. It stood emty for about a year till the owner of the Riverside Tavern, Bryce Jones saw its potential as a Bed and Breakfast and hostel for his guests at the Tavern and named it the "Riverside Inn". Bryce's son Dean mangaed it and Gary and Marilyn Ruby. Gary started some of the renovations. It was then sold together with the Tavern to Clayton Crowe, and had a chequered history with several owners until 1987 when Don and Marree Adams bought the lease form a Wellington owner. They were energetic enthusiasts for the potential of the fine house. They started the YHA hostel, ran 4 and 5 day canoe trips on the river and then coach tours in the area. They also did the rural mail run up the Whanganui River Road to Pipiriki and took passengers. To this day guests can still book to go on the mail run and get an insight to the unique communites it serves. After a few more owners it fell intodisrepair. In 1991 the "Riverside Inn" passed to the Gedye family, who continued the renovations of the old lady. In 2001, the property was renamed "Braemar House" but by that time had absentee owners until new owners, Clive Rivers and Rob Gooch, took over the YHA hostel and BnB in 2002.
Clive and Rob restyled and continued the renovation of the house over the next 14 years and saw thousands of visitors from every corner of the world through the doors. They have now retired to the good life in the country nearby.
The current owners, (the 12th owners) Calvyn and Alice, and their daughter Claire, took over the Bed and Breakfast and YHA Hostel in January 2017. You will find that they are delightful hosts who will do their utmost to make you welcome. We do hope that you will enjoy Braemar House and Whanganui. Both are rich in history, culture and the arts.