This two-storey home was built in 1893, the year Stella was born. Her father, Thomas Hopkins Bowen, was a surveyor. Stella writes that he "must have been a rather charming, cheerful little man, addicted to water-colour sketching and the making of wonderful maps." Her father died when Stella was only three, leaving her mother to care for her and her brother.
Describing her family home, Stella was less complimentary: "I was born in the sort of house that must inevitably end its days as a boarding house. It was sizeable, rather gloomy, at a sufficiently good but not fashionable address, detached, with two little lawns and a summerhouse in the front and a backyard behind containing clothes lines, a stable and a coach house, a see-saw and a swing. Being in Australia, it had a front verandah with balcony above, and its roof was largely smothered in Banksia roses, bougainvillea and other greenery. There was a trellis of vines covering the path from the front to the back and figs, apricots, lemons and oranges grew around the backyard."
She did note that despite lacking "modern conveniences", the home had one advantage: the views from North Adelaide: "The nicest thing about it was the view. Being placed high on the edge of the town’s oldest suburb, it looked down over low-lying park lands where cattle grazed, over the distant slums surrounding Port Adelaide, where factory chimneys trailed smoke wreaths, and delicately drawn ship-masts reared themselves against the most spectacular sunsets I have ever seen."