Flo Ellson, founder of Seaview

Flo Ellson, founder of Seaview

Florence (Flo) Edith Osterstock, was born in Semaphore, South Australia, in 1882. Educated at Miss Wright’s Private School for Girls, her studies included oil painting and music. She became an accomplished artist, pianist and violinist. She left school at age 12 and worked in her father’s boot shop.

Flo moved to the West Australian goldfields in 1906 where she worked in, then managed hotels. Married in 1917 to William Ellson, the couple moved to Kangaroo Island in 1919. In 1921, William died. Six weeks later Flo sat for the London College of Music violin examinations, achieving a perfect score and Gold Medal.

Unable to manage the farm, Flo moved to Kingscote in 1924 and opened Seaview Guesthouse, as well as teaching music. Flo supervised the construction of the present Seaview in 1927, which she ran singlehandedly until joined by son Ivan and family in 1947. She remained active in the business and continued her music until her death in 1968.