The house was complete by 1861, when it is listed on the census return as ‘newly built’ and ‘unoccupied’. Haworth next door was built at the same time. Homelands was designed by James Campbell Walker – an architect selected by Standard Life to design many of the buildings in the village which they commissioned soon after the arrival of the railway in 1857. The style of Homelands was strikingly similar to houses he had designed in Edinburgh around the same time.
An early resident of Homelands was John Snodgrass Chalmers. He was the only surviving son of General Sir William Chalmers, a distinguished Fife soldier (who had nine horses killed under him in his military career - including four at Waterloo), who died in June 1860. John Snodgrass Chalmers (who had also been a military man himself but had retired from service in 1850) occupied Homelands for a period before his death in August 1872.
Following this, a Mr John Walker – a retired farmer from Ceres – bought Homelands to be close by to his sister who lived at Hatton (he had no family of his own). He lived at Homelands for about 10 years until his death in 1884 age 90. Walker was a great philanthropist and left various trusts in place after his death in addition to the many donations he had made to charitable causes during his lifetime.
In 1895 an advert appeared in the Glasgow Herald for Homelands to be let "for the summer or longer". The image shown above may date from around this period, when the house probably hosted various families for short spells. Then in 1903 a Mr James Curr purchased Homelands. Mr Curr died in 1908, the same year that Robert Paxton purchased Homelands.