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Sunday, 16 December 2018

"Johnsville", 74 McCracken St, Kensington

"A house named "Johnsville", location unknown".     Source: Leigh McKinnon posted this to "Australia - Vintage Photos of Cities and Towns in Australia Facebook Group", 10 April 2018.

The photo was later identified as being at 74 McCracken St, Kensington, and the woman and boy to be Jessie Douglas and her son John. 

The woman's dress dates to about 1880, and the boy appears to be around 12-14, so I am a little doubtful about the identification of the Douglas mother and son.  By 1880 John would have been 24, and Jessie 66, neither age applying to the two in the photo.

The house, on the other hand, does conform with the shape of the front of the house shown in the MMBW plan from 1901, detail below, though of course many others did.  I have not yet seen any other image of the house, so that is also open to question.  

The Douglases weren't in the house as early as 1880.  The 1884 Sands & McDougall Directory shows two houses between the school and the Wesleyan church, occupied by Charles Dalton and J Rossthorn.

See the Time Travellers website for further details about "Johnsville".  Please get in touch if you can shed any light on the house or the people in the photo.

Alex Bragiola advises that the house was built circa 1882 by James Rawsthorne a local builder, according to the rate books, before the Methodist church on the left was built.   Presumably the J Rossthorn mentioned in the Sands & McDougall directories was actually James Rawsthorne.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Ascot Vale State School 1928 Grade Prep

This photo of the Prep grade at Ascot Vale State School No 2608 has been added to the Time Travellers website.

Finsbury St, Newmarket and the Arnott family

45 Finsbury St, Newmarket, circa 1897.  Courtesy of the Sam Merrifield Library.
Two photos of 45 Finsbury St were recently acquired by the Sam Merrifield Library for their local heritage collection, and you will find them with the exploration of the probable identity of the woman and children in the two photos can be found on the Time Travellers website.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Mrs Windsor and the Essendon Public Library

This detail from a Charles Nettleton photo of the south end of the Essendon Town Hall, dated circa 1885-1887, shows “Public Library” and “Reading Room” painted on the glass of the upper storey windows.  Courtesy of the State
Library of Victoria Collection, H4521; LTAF 858.
Mrs Sarah Windsor was the first public librarian in Essendon.  She worked for the Council for a remarkable 56 years until her retirement in 1938, only a couple of years before the Council closed the library entirely.

The Time Travellers website carries the remarkable story of Sarah Windsor,  the daughter of a Van Diemen's Land convict, who became a well-known community figure in Essendon, retiring from her duties at the advanced age of 88.

Story featured in The Herald 30 March 1938 on Sarah's retirement.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Dr Thomson - A Name on a Certificate

Melbourne Medical School University of Melbourne. Archives Accession no: MHM00460
Taken in the courtyard of the Old Medical Building, c1880 with the students wearing academic
robes and mortar boards, and some are supporting human skeletons and skulls;
J R M Thompson is identified as seated in the middle of the front row.
John Rae Menzies Thomson was one of the first medical students at the University of Melbourne who did not go on to do further study overseas, being wholly trained in Australia.  He had many and varied professional and recreational interests, which Marilyn Kenny outlines in her article about Thomson.   

By 1889 "an advertisement in the Essendon Gazette announced that Dr J R Menzies Thomson, formerly Resident Medical Officer at the Melbourne Hospital had commenced practice at the Presbyterian Manse in Mt Alexander Road.  By 1890 the practice had moved to Rose St, Essendon, second in from the corner with Buckley.  In 1891 after Martha Thomson came to reside with the couple they moved to 2 Napier St, west side.  By 1900 they were living in St Ronan’s, Mount Alexander Road, next to St John’s".

 Read Marilyn Kenny's short biography of  Dr Thomson on the Time Travellers' website here

Monday, 6 August 2018

Mrs. Windsor’s life among books

Sarah as a young woman.  Courtesy of Jane Duckworth.

In 1892, in the days when library committees were determined to stamp out creative writing, Mrs Sarah Windsor became the first professional librarian in Essendon.

Local historian, Lenore Frost, will talk about Sarah's remarkable career. Free, bookings necessary.

Sam Merrifield Library, Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds
Wednesday 15 August, 7pm-8pm
Book online or call 8325 1950

Friday, 13 July 2018

Old shop sign, Moonee Ponds

Old shop sign corner Bent and Fanny Sts, Moonee Ponds.  Photographer: Christine Laskowski
Bushells Blue Label was the tea of flavour.

Old shop sign corner Bent and Fanny Sts, Moonee Ponds.  Photographer: Christine Laskowski
Wedgwood meat pies and Cornish pasties