Isobel’s Bedroom

Isobel's Bedroom

After RLS decided to make Samoa his permanent home, he started to gather other family members from around the world. Isobel, Fanny’s daughter, her son Austin and husband Joe Strong were living in Sydney, but were persuaded to come to Samoa to stay with the family. The Strong family originally occupied “Pineapple Cottage”, the first house the Stevensons had while the main house was under construction. After a swift and bitter divorce, Joe Strong moved to town and Isobel and Austin were invited to occupy upstairs rooms in the new addition.

Isobel loved her room in the upstairs wing. She had a great amount of privacy in which to write, plan, read and make assignments to keep the Vailima estate running efficiently. She also used her sewing machine to make her own clothes, as well as sew for her son Austin. The colours of the room were confirmed through microscope analysis of paint layers.

Isobel managed the household staff and later became Louis’ secretary. Her association with him brought her fame and fortune for the balance of her life.