The Carlton Community History Group (CCHG) was established by a committed group of people interested in the history of Carlton, an inner suburb of Melbourne, Australia. CCHG was incorporated in 2007 and launched at the Carlton Library in 2008.
We invite you to explore this website, find out more about us, read our newsletter, share your recollections and participate in our meetings and activities.
Have you seen our latest publication? Carlton Voices is an edited and illustrated collection of stories which reflect the immense diversity of our local history. It consists of researched articles as well as reports of interviews with people with a wide range of ages and ethnic backgrounds. Each "voice" describes its own Carlton in colourful detail. A Chinese family whose patriarch arrived here in 1855 experienced decades of discrimination which continued into World War 2. A woman who lives next door to the house where she was born almost 95 years ago remembers tearing up newspaper to use in the lavatory in the days when toilet paper was a luxury. The heyday of Italian Carlton is recalled by the children of the charismatic founder of the Australian Festival of Italian song.
Available for $15, plus postage, from CCHG. Visit the publications page for more information.
Come and join the Carlton Community History Group for drinks and an informal meeting at the Great Northern Hotel (in the private dining room), to celebrate the end of another successful year of "Preserving Carlton's past and present for the future".
Special Event for December 2018
End of Year Celebration
Date: Tuesday 11 December Time: From 6.00 pm Location: Great Northern Hotel
644 Rathdowne Street
North Carlton Vic 3054
Cost: Food and drinks at pub prices Bookings: Via Eventbrite
The War is Over
The armistice of 11 November 1918 brought to an end the bloody war that saw over 60,000 Australians killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner. When the news reached Melbourne, crowds of people flooded into the city to celebrate. Some wild scenes were reported by The Age, and a Carlton tram became a casualty of the celebrations.1
"As the evening wore on and the crowds increased some remarkable pranks were played by the more boisterous elements. In their first flush of enthusiasm groups of youths and men were content to sit on the top of the tram cars as they crawled through the city. But later, after the traffic had been stopped and the cars were lying stationary on the various route bases, crowds of men and women seized the cars and lifted them bodily off the tracks. At the intersection of Collins and Lonsdale streets [a geographical impossibility, as the streets run parallel to each other] the crowd, after marching up the street gathering a volume of recruits on the way, attacked a Carlton tram. [They] dragged the dummy into Lonsdale-street along the slight decline that leads to Elizabeth-street. Then cheering and shouting they started the journey. Inside and on top of the car were excited men and hysterical women. The tram gained momentum, and after travelling some distance attained a speed which was nearly dangerous for the adventurous passengers. They, apparently, did not care. The solitary constable on the scene set after the flying tram. It was too much for the crowd. They seized the policeman and hoisting him shoulder high ran after the car, which was stopped before any damage was done."2
The mood was jubilant, but more sedate, when the first contingent of returning Anzacs marched through the city streets on Saturday 23 November. Locally, as reported by The Argus, "Carlton wore a subdued aspect, as all who could possibly do so found their way to the city and joined in the general jubilations there. In the streets of Carlton and on many of the houses flags were flown in profusion."3
Notes and References:
1 The war statistics are quoted on the Australian War Memorial website
2 The Age, 12 November 1918, p. 5
3 The Argus, 25 November 1918, p. 8
Farewell to Mangala
The atmosphere at the recent annual production by the Mangala Studios of Yoga and Creative Dance was reassuringly familiar. The theatre was packed with family supporters looking forward to another evening of quirky entertainment. Paper lanterns were laid out in the foyer for the usual just-after-dark walk through adjacent parkland. Peter Hockey was at the microphone, ready to narrate the storyline which would draw together the dances of a wide range of age groups. The youngest dancers were still at that age where they couldn't resist the temptation to rush to the edge of the stage and peer into the audience, looking for their parents so that they could wave to them. The oldest performers, some of them 19 or 20, took an altogether cooler approach, as one would expect of veterans of, in some cases, ten such productions. But the familiarity fell away when the performance finished and Peter announced that it had been the 37th - and the last. After almost 50 years at the corner of Grattan and Lygon Streets, Mangala is leaving Carlton and restructuring. Parking and traffic problems are part of the reason. Sadly, this move comes at the same time as the loss of another local institution, the Lygon Food Store, just a few minutes away.
The success of this dance studio over so many years with students of all ages can be ascribed to its very relaxed approach. Yoga forms an integral part of the program for older students and the emphasis is on individual responses to music, not on the learning of rigid routines. No pointe shoes here! Everyone dances bare-footed. Today the studio is run by Peter and Sue Hockey and Claudia Mangiamele. Peter also offers tuition in Tai Chi. The women, now in their sixties, are daughters of Dorotea Mangiamele, who founded the school in 1970, and have been involved with it since they were teenagers. They have another important link to Carlton. Their father was Giorgio Mangiamele, a popular family photographer for Italian families in the 1960s and 1970s, but more importantly director of a number of ground-breaking films dealing with the experience of Italian migrants. The best known of these, Clay, was chosen to compete at the Cannes film festival in 1965.
Related Item: The Side Window
Vale Frank Del Monaco
20 June 1943 – 2 September 2018
Image: Courtesy of Del Monaco Family
The Del Monaco name is one long associated with the family clothing business begun in 1938, on the corner of Faraday and Lygon Streets, Carlton. The family name features, for instance, in the book Carlton: A History (ed. P. Yule), where the family also played a role in the establishment of the iconic La Mama Theatre, set up in the building behind the Del Monaco shop.
Frank worked for many years in the family business, and was heavily involved in local business and Italian community activities, remaining passionate about the history of Lygon Street, even after the end of the family business. He was a regular at CCHG meetings from its beginnings in 2006-07, until distance and poor health restricted him to occasional telephone contact with various members on topics that still engaged him.
He was devoted to his family, with his four brothers, and five chidren surviving him, having lost one son earlier.
Snakes are known to be active in the warmer months of the year, when they come out of hibernation. In November 1900 the Carney family of Faraday Street, Carlton, fell victim to a snake attack of a very different kind.
FIREWORKS MISTAKEN FOR SWEETS.
Last Saturday Mr. C. Carney, of 244 Faraday-street, Carlton, gave his son George, aged about 5 years, a penny with which to purchase lollies. The boy went out, and on returning handed his mother a box like a pill box, containing a number of small white articles, nearly oval in shape, and about a quarter the size of a pea. He stated that he had tasted "one of the lollies," but had not liked it, and had thrown it away. Mrs. Carney and her husband each ate one of the articles, and her sister, Miss Shiel, ate two. They all became ill, suffering from giddiness and twitching of the limbs. Dr. Ostermeyer was called in, and treated them for poisoning. Mr. and Mrs. Carney recovered quickly, but Miss Shiel, who had taken the larger quantity, retained some of the ill effects. The boy was found to have nothing the matter with him. Dr. Ostermeyer called at the Detective office on Saturday night, and reported the matter, and inquiries were made by Detectives Considine and Coonan. They ascertained that the "lollies" were purchased at a confectioner's shop in Lygon-street. The boxes bore no labels or directions, but the contents, it seemed, were called "pythons," and were intended for the amusement of children. Each of the "pythons," when set to with a match, develops into an article about 6 inches long, and resembling a serpent. It is an old curiosity – Pharaoh's Serpent – revived. The detectives found that a large number of children had purchased "pythons," at 0½d. [a halfpenny] per box, on Saturday from two confectioners in Lygon-street, who had been supplied with them in the morning by a traveller living at Abbotsford. The traveller stated he obtained the goods from a confectioner who imported them from London. The confectioners informed the detectives that they warned the children that the "pythons" were not lollies and were not to be eaten. The traveller undertook not to sell any more. Dr Ostermeyer states that the original toy was made with sulpho-cyanide of mercury, a compound, allied to the one made famous in the New York poisoning case recently, or alternately was made with bi-chromate of potash, also a virulent poison. What is the precise poison in this latest "python's nest" remains to be investigated by the proper authorities, to whom Dr. Ostermeyer has reported the matter, and for whom he has kept samples. He has himself purchased them since at two otherwise exclusively confectioners' shops, and is anxious that the necessary steps should be taken to sheet it home to the persons responsible for recklessly or ignorantly introducing such things into a confectioner's stock in trade. 1
Source: The Age, 12 November 1900, p. 3
1 Dr William Ostermeyer had a practice at 60 Elgin Street, Carlton, in 1900.
In July 1901, the Australian Town and Country Journal published a recipe for "Pharaoh's Serpents' Eggs", with a warning that the fumes are poisonous. The alternative "non-poisonous" recipe, using bichromate of potash and nitrate of potassa, would be considered toxic by today's standards.
"The pills you refer to are very common, and are known as Pharaoh's serpents' eggs. They are made in the following way:
Dissolve mercury in moderately diluted nitric acid by means of heat, taking care that there is always an excess of metallic mercury remaining; decant the solution, and pour into it a solution of sulpho-cyanide of ammonium or potassium. Equal weights of the two solutions should be thus mixed. A precipitate will fall to the bottom of the beaker or jar. This is collected on a filter, and washed two or three times with water, and then put in a warm place to dry. Take for every pound weight of this material an ounce of gum tragacanth which has been soaked in hot water. When the gum is completely softened it is to be transferred to a mortar, and the pulverised and dried precipitate gradually mixed with it by means of a little water, so as to present a somewhat dry pill mass, from which pellets of the desired size are formed by hand, put on a sheet of glass and dried again. They are then ready for use. The fumes from these pills are poisonous.
A substitute nearly as good as the original mercury compound, and superior in not being poisonous, is prepared in the following way:
Pulverise separately two parts bichromate of potash, one part nitrate of potassa, and three parts of white sugar. When well pulverised mix intimately. Make small paper cones of the desired size, and press the mixture into them. They are then ready for use, and must be kept away from moisture and light."
Source: Australian Town and Country Journal, 6 July 1901, p. 12
For more newspaper reports, go to Carlton in the News
Strangers on a Tram
Madge Connor was on her way home late one night in June 1918, taking the North Carlton tram, when she accidently dropped a bag of cakes she was carrying. A young man sitting nearby came to her assistance and picked up the bag. He seemed friendly, but the mood changed when he allegedly interfered with her clothing, pulling her skirt up to her knees. Madge slapped his face, then called for Constable Tucker, who happened to be on the same tram. If Henry Le Versha, 18 years old, was intent on an act of indecent assault, he had chosen the wrong target. Madge Connor was not only a policewoman, but also one of the first women to be appointed to the police force in Victoria.
To find out more about Madge Connor and her encounter with Henry Le Versha, go to Crime in Carlton
What's in a Name?
Barry versus Barry
Sir Redmond Barry, the judge who famously sentenced Ned Kelly to death by hanging, had a long association with Carlton. He was the original crown land owner of two adjoining allotments in Rathdowne and Pelham Streets in 1853, and he lived in Carlton until the mid-1870s, when his substantial house was acquired and re-purposed as the new Hospital for Sick Children. Redmond Barry was appointed the first chancellor of Melbourne University in 1854, a position he held until his death in 1880. He was laid to rest in Melbourne General Cemetery, Carlton. The Victorian Heritage Database (B2376) attributes the naming of Barry Square in Carlton to Redmond Barry. However another, much younger, contender for the naming rights has emerged. The website Multifaceted Melbourne states that Barry Square was named after Daniel Joseph Barry, a Queensland soldier who was killed in action in World War 1 in October 1918, and that University Square was named as recently as 1998. Does this stand up to fact checking? 1,2,3,4
The crown grant, dated 13 June 1873, for the area bounded by Grattan, Leicester, Pelham and Barry Streets refers to "a public ground known as University Square". This name was in use as early as the 1860s, when it was common to name reserves according to their locality, hence "Barry Square" after Barry Street on the western boundary or "University Square" after the University of Melbourne on the northern boundary. Other examples in Carlton include Argyle Square and Macarthur Square, where the street names were used interchangeably with the names of the squares. This all took place decades before Daniel Joseph Barry was born in 1894 and more than a century before Barry Square was purportedly renamed University Square in 1998. So Daniel Joseph Barry's claim to naming rights does not fit within the established time frame. 5,6
Who was Daniel Joseph Barry? According to his service record (NAA: B2455, BARRY D J), he was born at California Creek, Herberton in Queensland in November 1894 and he was working as a clerk at the time of his enlistment. He enlisted at Townsville in October 1916 and was a private in the 7th Machine Gun Company and later the 2nd Machine Gun Battalion. Private Daniel Joseph Barry was killed in action in France on 3 October 1918, a young life cut short a month before his 24th birthday. In the months following his death, his family sought information about his final resting place. Months stretched into years and in May 1923 the Officer in Charge of base records wrote advising, with regret, that Grave Services had not succeeded in locating Private Barry's remains. The only consolation to the family was that Barry's name, regimental description and date of death would appear on a collective memorial to the fallen, to be "erected in certain defined battle areas of France or Belgium". There is no evidence in Private Barry's service record that his name was memorialised in Barry Square, Carlton, or that he had any known connection with the reserve in Carlton. 7
What would Judge Redmond Barry have made of this evidence? He certainly had a prior claim to the naming rights of Barry Street and Barry Square, in terms of both timeline and his connection with Melbourne University. Unlike the present day naming conventions, it was common to have streets and other landmarks named after prominent citizens during their lifetime. Redmond Barry's claim is backed up by evidence from authoritative sources, such as the Victorian Heritage Database, Melbourne City Council and Melbourne University. By contrast, Daniel Barry's claim consists of an unsupported statement on a web page that is now closed for comments. The verdict comes down in favour of Redmond Barry, but CCHG would be interested to hear of any information in support of Private Barry's claim.8,9
Contact us if you can shed any light on this mystery.
Notes and References:
1 Australian Dictionary of Biography
2 The Argus, 28 September 1876, p. 7
3 Victorian Heritage Database (B2376)
4 Multifaceted Melbourne 5 Certificate of Title, Vol. 600, Fol. 912 (13 June 1873)
6 Argyle Square and Macarthur Square were permanently reserved on 13 June 1873, the same date as University Square.
7 NAA: B2455, BARRY D J (National Archives of Australia)
8 University Square Timeline 9 Melbourne University Key 13: Grounds and Buildings
A Host of Golden DaffodilsI wandered lonely as a cloud, that floats on high o'er vales and hills
When all at once I saw a crowd, a host of golden daffodils
William Wordsworth, 1770-1850
Daffodils in Murchison Square Carlton
The flowers that once inspired Wordsworth's poetry have finished blooming in Macarthur and Murchison Squares in Carlton, but they will be back in 2019. The bulbs were planted by Melbourne City Council in autumn 2018, following a successful trial planting in the Fitzroy Gardens, East Melbourne, in 2016. The daffodils are expected to provide a colourful winter display for the next five years.
The squares of Carlton - Argyle, Curtain, Lincoln, Macarthur, Murchison and University - are the topic of our August 2018 newsletter.
La Mama up in Flames
The Aftermath of the Fire
Carlton residents woke to the shocking news that La Mama Theatre in Faraday Street was gutted by fire in the early hours of Saturday 19 May 2018.
The innovative theatre was founded by Betty Burstall in 1967, in the style of La Mama in New York. The small two-storey building, once owned by the Del Monaco family, was a printing workshop, and an underwear and shirt factory before its transformation into an intimate theatre space. Betty Burstall, the "Mama" of La Mama, died in 2013.
In the theatre tradition of "the show must go on", Saturday night's performance of Bully Virus went ahead at the alternative venue of the Kathleen Syme Library & Community Centre, on the corner of Faraday and Cardigan Streets.
Related item: Betty Burstall 1926-2013
Bridget Kinsman (née Ballot), beauty therapist of Newry Street, North Carlton, lost her fight with cancer and died on 16 May 2018. She will be remembered as a gentle and caring soul, and will be sadly missed by her family, friends and clients. Bridget opened her salon Carlton Beauty Care in 1995, in a quaint two storey building on the corner of Newry and Henry Streets. Newry Street was not a prime location for a business, compared to the main shopping area of Rathdowne Street nearby, but it worked for Bridget. Word got around and her client base grew. She never had to advertise her services because the recommendation of a satisfied client was worth more than a thousand dollars of advertising. While other businesses came and went, Bridget's was one of the longest running to continuously occupy the building.
Bridget Kinsman (13 August 1968 - 16 May 2018) was farewelled at St Peter's Eastern Hill on 24 May 2018. CCHG extends its condolences to her husband Jeff and their two sons.
The shop at 119 Newry Street was built in 1881 by W. Hearndon. It has had a variety of uses over the years, including a fancy repository, tinsmith and bootmaker and repairer.
Fish is Back on the Menu
A new seafood business, The Fishmonger's Son, has opened at the former Canals shop in Nicholson Street, North Carlton in May 2018. The two-storey building at 703 Nicholson Street was auctioned in October 2017, following the retirement of John and Peter Canals. The Canals family business began as a fish and chip shop, operated by Spanish migrants Joseph and Maria Canals, in Collingwood in 1917. They moved to North Carlton in the early 1930s and took over an existing fishmonger's shop, which had been in Nicholson Street as early as 1905. Canals was a family business in the true sense, with successive generations learning the trade from their elders and making their own contribution to developing the business. Over the decades, migrants from Europe, like the Canals family, have done much to influence the Australian taste for fish and seafood. In 2017, the demand for quality seafood was greater than ever and the Canals brothers, John and Peter, chose to end on a high note and give themselves a well-earned break in retirement.
Notes and References:
Building occupancy information has been sourced from Sands and McDougall directories.
The Age, 28 September 2017
Little but Fierce
Shakespeare Street Mural
Have you see the new mural facing the mini park in Shakespeare Street, North Carlton? The text "Little but Fierce" is taken from William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream and was suggested by a local resident. The full wording is: "And though she be but little, she is fierce". That Shakespeare Street is "little" there is no doubt. The street is narrow and runs for one block only, between Drummond and Lygon Streets. For the "fierce" side of Shakespeare Street, we need to look back in history.
Shakespeare Street was the scene of at least two shooting incidents, one fatal, in 1922 and 1944. The street was identified as a "slum pocket" by the Housing Investigation and Slum Abolition Board in 1936-37. The people of Shakespeare Street had a battle on their hands in the 1950s and 1960s, when the Housing Commission of Victoria condemned five cottages on the south side (nos. 7 to 15 inclusive) as unfit for human habitation. The cottages were demolished in January 1970, leaving a vacant space ready for development. Without doubt, the fiercest battle fought in Shakespeare Street was in the 1970s, against the inappropriate building of a block of cluster flats on the south side of the street. Residents and other concerned citizens took action, at their own expense, by cleaning up the vacant site and creating a mini park for the benefit and enjoyment of the community. They bravely put their money where their mouth was, so to speak, and entered into an agreement with the City of Melbourne to buy the land. Decades later, the mini park and its new mural remain a tribute to the power of community action.
More information on Shakespeare Street
Shooting in Shakespeare Street
The Penny Dreadful
The Good Doctor
1942 - 2017
Dr Serge Liberman, medical general practitioner to a generation of people in Carlton, Brunswick and other inner suburbs, died on 22 December 2017. Here are thoughts and recollections from some of those for whom he was a treasured doctor, friend and writer.
Judith Biddington: There are many skilled doctors and writers in our community, but most don't have necessarily have skill in both areas. Serge Liberman did, he was a good doctor and a good and interesting writer. In addition, as a humanist and humanitarian, he had great people skills. No wonder people in Carlton followed him up to Brunswick when he moved from one suburb to the other, or flocked to his talks when he gave them. Serge had the capacity to involve you, as his patient, in what was happening to you, to explain, to answer all your questions honestly and sensibly, thereby treating you with respect. He always knew your history, even long term, over forty years for some members of our family. He was also very likeable and so many of his patients regarded him as a friend; even when they did not share his ethnicity they still enjoyed his writing and excellent scholarship. He would also have made an exceptional teacher. He will be sorely missed.
Anne Marie Lynzaat & Richard Trembath:
There are many stories I could tell about Serge Liberman who was our GP for decades. The one I shall tell comes from when he had retired, and it illustrates his compassion and empathy with his patients. About a year after he left the Lotus Medical Centre he read the death notice I had placed in the newspaper regarding my brother in law's death from pancreatic cancer. Anne Marie and I were both surprised and moved by the letter we received from Serge shortly afterwards. In it he expressed his best wishes and sympathy for our loss. He concluded with a typical dry joke that Anne Marie's unusual surname helped pick out the notice from all the others!
Shelley Marcus & Peter Tilley:
As patients of Serge Liberman in Carlton and Brunswick from the 1990's until his retirement in around 2013, my wife Shelley and I came greatly to appreciate his excellence and warmth as a GP but also his scholarly and literary interests. He was a late-20th-century version of Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, who was likewise a doctor and master of the short story. As a Russian-speaker and translator myself, I enjoyed our conversations on cultural matters during consultations. Serge received the Alan Marshall Literary Award in 1980 and 1981, and Shelley and I have an autographed copy of his 2011, 836-page magnum opus, 'The Bibliography of Australasian Judaica 1788-2008'. Serge will be much missed.
It is a rare privilege to have the wise counsel and empathy of the same doctor from the gawky edge of early adulthood until the wistful edge of retirement. I first went to the Lygon St clinic in the early 1970s with a throat complaint and soon found myself settling to see Serge whenever possible, following to new offices in Brunswick by the mid 1990s. The strictly physical complaints, increasing as I aged, he dealt with smoothly and competently, and I soon found I could also trust him to advise on matters of emotional health, with the same warm efficiency. I also discovered in his writings how deep his understanding of others could go, such as in his short story, published in The Age, of an elderly Italian widower readying to leave for Australia. Upon his retirement in 2013 I felt a door was closing on a large part of my life. Now I know it is shut for good. Addio Serge.
Serge Liberman was a popular doctor and you sometimes had to wait a while to see him, but he always gave you his full attention and care. One day I was sitting in the waiting room, suffering from what I thought was the world's worst cold, when I heard a terrible hacking cough coming from the consulting room. My symptoms were trivial by comparison with this patient, who sounded like they were at death's door. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the "patient" was, in fact, Dr Liberman himself. He was obviously unwell, but he was still seeing a few patients before going home to rest. He wrote a certificate for my time off work and, with his characteristic humour, he pushed a blank form towards me and asked if I could write a certificate for him. I gave him the rest of the week off.
An obituary, with an overview of his life and work, appears in the Sydney Morning Herald.
As well as his medical work, Serge Liberman was a chronicler of Jewish, and also of other migrant lives, in Carlton and other parts of Melbourne, which came alive in his writings. Much of his writing output can be found at his website.
In December 2014 Serge Liberman gave a talk to the Carlton Community History Group entitled "Writing Jewish Carlton". A copy of the talk can be found on the Academia website.
And So To Bed
The boutique Milly Sleeping closed in February 2018, after more than 12 years in Carlton. The business at 157 Elgin Street, a small two storey shop with a narrow staircase, began in 2005. Mother and daughter team of Janette and Leah Muddle have supported local designers and stocked an eclectic range of clothing and accessories. "Milly Sleeping" was not, as might be expected, named after the two resident cats, which were sometimes seen sleeping in the front window. It was named after a painting by Ernst Kirchner.
Nearly 100 years ago, in September 1919, a very different style of business was transacted at 157 Elgin Street. Joseph Nolan, a hairdresser, appeared in Carlton Court on a charge of having used his premises for gaming purposes between 10 July and 1 September 1919. His was one of several local businesses raided by police and a search yielded the incriminating evidence of betting tickets and marked money. Nolan pleaded guilty and was fined £40, with £3 costs.
The Argus, 6 September 1919, p. 17
Dracula's Last Bite
Carlton's well known theatre restaurant, Dracula's, has closed. The theatre restaurant began in Drewery Lane, Melbourne, in 1980 and moved to larger premises at 96-100 Victoria Street, Carlton, ten years later in 1990. The converted brick factory site, on the corner of Cardigan Street, was originally designed by architect P. Hudson in 1912 and built by F. Frenchman for Ross, Robbins Co., brassfounders. Dracula's final performance was on Saturday 23 December 2017.
Notes and References:
Building occupancy information has been sourced from Sands and McDougall directories.
Building design information has been sourced from the Australian Architectural Index and Building Application Index.
The Munster Arms
Princes Street is the dividing line between Carlton and North Carlton, and a major thoroughfare for east-west traffic. When the lights turn red at the Canning Street intersection, few travellers could fail to notice the distinctive Edwardian building on the south west corner. The Dan O'Connell Hotel is a Carlton institution and perhaps best known for its St Patrick's Day celebrations. The present hotel building is over 100 years old and was designed by Smith & Ogg and built by C.F. Pittard in 1912. It was named after Irish political leader Daniel O'Connell (1775–1847), but the Irish connection goes back even further, to a earlier hotel on the same site.1
The Munster Arms Hotel, named after the province of Munster in the south of Ireland, was first licensed to Margaret McCrohan in 1875. Her application of 8 June was initially opposed, and the close proximity of two other hotels - the Pioneer hotel and United States Hotel - may have been a contributory factor. The application was postponed for 14 days and the licence was granted on 22 June 1875. The original building was described as a small brick hotel, with nine rooms, a bar and a cellar. Mrs McCrohan and her husband Eugene ran the hotel until 1881, when the licence was transferred to George Henry (Harry) Wallace.2,3,4
Wallace held the licence for about a year only, and ran into trouble when removing an unruly patron from his hotel in October 1881. He took legal action against Daniel Dorian (Dorien) for assault, but this case was dismissed by the City Bench. A few months later on 27 February 1882, Dorian, a bricklayer, sought the sum of £300, as damages for an assault and battery, and malicious prosecution. The civil case was heard in the Supreme Court before a judge and jury. The presentation of evidence from both parties took the greater part of the day and the judge commented that the case could have been dealt with in a lower court. After a short deliberation by the jury, Dorian, the plaintiff, was awarded £5, considerably less then the desired amount.5
By the end of the month, George Henry Wallace had transferred his licence to Annie McCanny. Mrs McCanny, former licensee of the Kensington Hotel, did not have the capital to finance her new hotel business and she entered into an arrangement, to the value of £396, with the Melbourne Brewing and Malting Company Limited. Such financial arrangements were common in the nineteenth century and enabled persons of limited financial means to go into business. The brewing company acted as a de facto bank and the hotel was "tied" to the company and required to sell its beer. The bill of sale between Annie McCanny and the Melbourne Brewing and Malting Company Limited, dated 30 March 1882, includes a detailed room-by-room inventory of the hotel contents, and this gives a fascinating snapshot of the hotel in the 1880s.6
On 24 September 1882, Annie McCanny, her niece Mary Ann Cunningham and her friend Elizabeth Vernor had a frightening experience, when four drunken men forced their way into the hotel after closing time. The men went on a rampage, chasing young Mary Ann, throwing a decanter at Elizabeth, breaking a window, smashing glasses and damaging fittings. When Thomas Henderson (alias Pangburn), James Gawthorn, Thomas Whelan and John Robinson appeared in the City Court to answer the charges, they pleaded drunkenness as an excuse, and offered to make good the damage. The magistrate, Mr Panton, took a hard line and denied drunkenness as an excuse for ruffian behaviour, and he fined the men accordingly.7
Annie McCanny died intestate on 17 June 1883, aged 33 years, and she left two young sons, James and Henry. Their father, Thomas McCanny, could not be located and there was an outstanding protection order against him for domestic violence. (Ironically, the protection order enabled Annie to obtain the hotel licence because, at the time, there were restrictions on granting licences to married women.) The Melbourne Brewing and Malting Company Limited took possession of the hotel, as was their right, and the "two intelligent looking" boys appeared in the City Court charged with being neglected children. The magistrate, Mr Panton, was sympathetic to their plight, but Annie's estate, valued at £405, 8 shillings and 6 pence, was tied to the Melbourne Brewing and Malting Company Limited and there was no financial provision for her children. The boys were sent to St Augustine's orphanage in Geelong, and the Victoria Police Gazette later reported that the younger brother, Henry, had absconded in 1891.8,9,10
It could be said that the Munster Arms Hotel died with Annie McCanny. Once the administrative arrangements of Annie's estate were sorted out, the hotel was taken over in August 1883 by Mary Buggy, who paid £100 for the licence. It was during her time as licensee that the Munster Arms became the Dan O'Connell, with the new name first appearing in the Licensing Register in December 1883. The Dan O'Connell continues to trade in the 21st century and remains the only surviving licensed hotel south of Princes Street, between Nicholson Street and Rathdowne Street. This area of Carlton was once populated with a number of hotels, all of which have been delicensed, though some former hotel buildings still remain. The Dan O'Connell's immediate neighbours, the Pioneer Hotel and the United States Hotel, were delicensed in 1907 and 1925 respectively.11
Notes and References:
1 Building information has been sourced from the Australian Architectural Index and Melbourne City Council Rate Books
2 Hotel licensing information has been sourced from the Licensing Register (VPRS 7601) and Index to Defunct Hotel Licences (VPRS 8159)
3 The United States Hotel was on the corner of Canning and Neill Streets, Carlton. It is now the Princes Hill Gallery.
4 The Pioneer Hotel was on the corner of Station and Neill Streets, Carlton. The building no longer exists.
5 The Argus, 2 March 1882, p. 5
6 Conditional Bill of Sale 60205, Mrs McCanny to the Melbourne Brewing and Malting Company Limited, 30th March 1882 (VPRS 8350)
7 The Argus, 30 September 1882, p. 12
8 Probate File of Annie McCanny, 25-885 (VPRS 28)
9 The Argus, 7 August 1883, p. 10
10 Victoria Police Gazette, 23 September 1891, p. 270
11 The Argus, 15 August 1883, p. 11.
For more stories of Carlton pubs, read our August 2017 newsletter.
A Girl in Trouble
In her recent book For a girl : a true story of secrets, motherhood and hope, writer Mary-Rose MacColl gives an account of the time she spent at a home for unmarried pregnant girls in Carlton in the 1970s. Mary-Rose became pregnant at 18 and she travelled interstate, from her home city of Brisbane, to have her baby and give it up for adoption. While community attitudes towards single mothers were changing at the time, there was still a social stigma attached to being "a girl in trouble". In the case of Mary-Rose, she had left home and lied about the married man who had made her pregnant, in order to protect his identity and reputation. She kept her secret for years and it was only after the birth of her second child, a son, that the long-suppressed memories surfaced and she was able to embark on her painful journey of reconciliation and recovery.1
Mary-Rose's home during her pregnancy was the St Joseph's Receiving Home at 101 Grattan Street, conveniently near the Royal Women's Hospital, and run by the Sisters of St Joseph. The Receiving Home was first established in Barkly Street, Carlton, in 1902 by Margaret Goldspink, a well known charity and welfare worker. Within a few years, the home moved to the larger premises in Grattan Street, an opulent two-storey house designed by W.S. Law and built for Louisa Langley in 1890. Mrs Langley, who also owned the adjacent aerated waters factory, was declared insolvent in 1905, forcing the sale of the house and factory site to pay her creditors. The Catholic Church purchased the property, measuring 56 feet by 132 feet, for £2,000 in late 1905 and Archbishop Carr invited the Sisters of St Joseph to take over management of the Receiving Home in 1906. During World War 1 the building was extended, at a cost of £4,000 (twice the original purchase price), with a new wing and chapel that was officially opened by Coadjuter-Archbishop Daniel Mannix in February 1915. The land on the eastern side, towards Lygon Street, was later acquired and the houses of Grattan Terrace (nos. 81 to 99) were demolished in 1960 to make way for a new accommodation wing. 2,3,4,5,6,7,8
For nearly 80 years, St Joseph's Receiving Home offered shelter to thousands of pregnant women and also provided short term residential care to children considered by the courts to be neglected or "at risk". The supporting mother's benefit was introduced by the Whitlam Government in 1973, when it was acknowledged that single mothers needed support, not condemnation, to keep their babies. Rates of adoption, which was once seen as a convenient solution to a social problem, have dropped off dramatically since the 1970s, while the birth rate of ex-nuptual babies has risen steadily during the same period. These babies are now more likely to be born and raised in the community than in institutions. The Receiving Home closed in 1985, when it was merged with St Joseph's Babies Home to form the new St Joseph's Babies' & Family Service in Glenroy. The 1960s accommodation wing was demolished in the 1990s and redeveloped as a retail and residential complex. The Royal Women's Hospital, where many of the Receiving Home residents had their babies, relocated to new premises in Flemington Road, Parkville, in 2008. 9,10,11,12
Image Source: The Advocate, 27 February 1915, p. 27
Architect A.A. Fritsch's drawing of St Joseph's Receiving Home extension, officially opened in February 1915.
The original 1890 building facade was replicated in the new wing, and a chapel was added on the western boundary.
The houses of the former Receiving Home are now numbered 103 and 105 Grattan Street, Carlton.
1 The Age Good Weekend, 22 April 2017, p. 22-24
2 Mackillop Family Services
3 Land ownership and occupancy information sourced from land title records and Melbourne City Council rate books
4 Australian Architectural Index
5 The Age, 13 May 1905, p. 12
6 The Advocate, 6 January 1906, p. 16
7 The Advocate, 27 February 1915, p. 27
8 Register of Demolitions, 1945-1975 (VPRS 17292)
9 Find & Connect : History & information about Australian orphanages, children's homes & other institutions
10 Births Australia (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 3301.0)
11 Australian Social Trends (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 4102.0)
12 Building Application Index (VPRS 11202)
Play Area at Lincoln Square Carlton
Fun and Games at Lincoln Square
Lincoln Square, in Swanston Street Carlton, has seen it all. This leafy green space close to the CBD, site of a Bali Memorial and reserved for public use since 1853, has survived attempted road incursions, locked gates, gang warfare, a gruesome murder and a recent take-over by skateboarders.
Find out more about the history of this significant public space.
For more information on the squares of Carlton - Argyle, Curtain, Lincoln, Macarthur, Murchison and University - read our latest newsletter.
Image: State Library of Victoria
Intercolonial Handball Match
Former Loughrea Hotel
75 Elgin Street Carlton
Side Wall of Former Handball Court
22 to 24 Macarthur Place Carlton
Notes and References:
1 Evening News, 3 December 1973, p. 2
2 The Age, 24 May 1869, p. 3
3 The Argus, 16 January 1874, p. 5
4 The Advocate, 17 January 1874, p. 9
5 The Argus, 20 January 1874, p. 4
6 The Argus, 23 January 1874, p. 5
7 The Age, 28 January, p. 3
8 The Tasmanian, 7 February 1874, p. 11
9 The Advocate, 18 December 1874, p. 15
10 The Argus, 1 March 1875, p. 5
11 The Age, 3 June 1882, p. 6
12 The Age, 24 October 1905, p. 10
13 Index to Defunct Hotel Licences (VPRS 8159)
14 Land title records
15 Building Application Index (Melbourne City Council)
For Money or Honour
In November 1873, Victoria issued a sporting challenge to New South Wales to play Australia's first intercolonial handball match. New South Wales accepted the challenge "for either money or honour" but, in the spirit of sportsmanship, they agreed to play for honour only. The New South Wales contingent favoured their home town of Sydney for the inaugral match during the Christmas holiday period. However, Victoria won the first round by declaring that Melbourne would be a popular sporting destination at that time, owing to the visit of the All England Eleven, and the New Year's racing. 1
With the city decided, a suitable playing venue had to be found. There was a handball court in King Street, Melbourne, but Carlton, just out of the city, offered an alternative venue. The Carlton handball court, at the rear of the Loughrea (Lough Rea) Hotel in Elgin Street and backing onto Macarthur Place, was built by publicans Peter Taylor and John Curtain. The court was opened officially in May 1869 and was well patronised for both handball and racquet games. As publican of the Loughrea Hotel, Mr Taylor was able to provide a ready supply of drinks to slake the thirst of players and spectators alike. He was also credited with fostering the sport of handball, introduced into Australia by Irish immigrants in the nineteenth century. 2
The first day of play took place on Thursday 15 January 1874 and was attended by a crowd of 250 enthusiastic spectators. Hot weather conditions were trying for both players and spectators, and The Argus commented: "The game is essentially a manly one, and no one with flaccid muscles or short wind can by any possibility ever hope to shine at it." Over the next three hours, the crowd was treated to a series of nine double-handed games, contested by brothers John and James Doyle for Victoria and Messrs. Dillon and Thompson for New South Wales. New South Wales was declared the winner in five out of the nine games, but it was noted that the Victorian players scored 141 points, to the New South Wales players' 137. On the second day of play, Mr Dillon, representing New South Wales, took on Victoria's James Doyle in a series of single-handed matches. Dillon triumphed and things were looking grim for Victoria. 3,4
The final day of play dawned on Monday 19 January 1874 and the Victorian team had one last chance to show their prowess in a series of three-handed games. Prior to the main event, the crowd was kept entertained by a scratch match featuring John Curtain, M.L.A, who "showed that he was no mean player." The atmosphere was electric as the players entered the court - the Doyle brothers and Mr McNamara for Victoria and Messrs. Thomson, Dillon and Gaffney for New South Wales. McNamara proved to be an asset for Victoria, while Gaffney was considered the weak point for New South Wales. Victoria succeeded in winning five games outright and was declared the winner. In the end, New South Wales won the overall competition, but Victoria won the day. 5
Intercolonial rivalry aside, the post-competition mood was good natured and the New South Wales players were treated to a dinner, courtesy of the Hon. Michael O'Grady, at the Manchester Unity Hall in Swanston Street. By special arrangement with John Curtain, M.L.A, and the Minister of Railways, the players were granted free rail travel on government lines within Victoria. On the day of their departure for Sydney via the steamer Wentworth, 27 January 1874, the players had a champagne luncheon and were driven to Sandridge (Port Melbourne) in a drag and pair of greys. The farewell party included John Curtain, members of the Victorian Intercolonial Committee and several of Victoria's leading handball players, all of whom wished the visitors bon voyage and looked forward to meeting them again next year. 6,7,8
In December 1874, while plans were being finalised for the return intercolonial handball match in Sydney, a telegram from Port Darwin announced the death of Peter Taylor. When the news was later relayed to the Carlton handball court, the matches scheduled for that day were cancelled and the court was closed as a mark of respect for the man who had done so much to establish handball as a permanent fixture on Melbourne's sporting calendar. In February 1875, the Victorian team won easily against New South Wales over three days of competition. No doubt Peter Taylor would have been proud of their achievement. 9,10
The intercolonial handball match became a regular sporting event, alternating between Melbourne and Sydney, through to the 1890s. As the sport's popularity increased, handball clubs cropped up in Melbourne suburbs and country towns. Carlton established its own handball club in June 1882, under the patronage of John Curtain. Curtain, co-founder of the Carlton handball court, died in 1905. 11,12
The Loughrea Hotel at 75 Elgin Street was delicensed in 1919 and this also marked the end of the Carlton handball court. The owner, Victoria Brewery Pty Ltd, had no further business interest in a hotel without a liquor licence and it was sold in 1920. The handball court was converted into a brick factory facing Macarthur Place, then subdivided from the old hotel site in 1950. In 1970, the factory building at 22 to 24 Macarthur Place was bought by architect John Mockridge and was granted a new lease of life. The brick factory was gutted, an extra storey was added and a new residence was built within the shell of the old building. The original brickwork has been uncovered in recent years and evidence of its earlier function can be seen from the Macarthur Street frontage and side laneway. 13,14,15
For more information on sport and recreation in Carlton, read our newsletter on sport and recreation in Carlton.
More information on John Curtain.
Letters from the Great War
There are two poignant letters in the military record of Sergeant John Justin Leichardt Katterns. Correspondence is common in soldiers' files but it almost always comes from, or is addressed to, the military authorities. The Katterns' letters are unusual because one was written by the soldier to his mother while he was serving in Egypt in 1915, the other by his mother to a friend in Carlton.
More information on Sergeant Katterns
Image source: CCHG
Former Confectionery Factory of S.T. Nunquam
413-415 Nicholson Street North Carlton
Notes and References:
1 Australian Architectural Index
2 Building occupancy information sourced from Sands & McDougall directory listings and Melbourne City Council rate books
3 Melbourne City Council building application plans and files, BA 2890, 1920 (VPRS 11200 and VPRS 11201)
4 Building ownership information sourced from land title records
5 Carlton, North Carlton & Princes Hill Conservation Study, 1984
6 Biographical information sourced from birth, death and marriage records
7 City of Yarra, Planning application no. 991221, 1999
The Smell of Peppermint in the Morning
For many decades, residents of North Carlton woke to the smell of peppermint emanating from a confectionery factory in Nicholson Street. The two-storey, red brick building on the corner of Newry Street was built by T.E. Mathews for Stanislav Techitch Nunquam, manufacturing confectioner, 100 years ago in 1916.1
Nunquam's factory was not the first manufacturing facility to operate at the corner site. Russell & Sons, manufacturing confectioners, were there from 1909, and Johnston Brothers, furniture manufacturers, prior to that date. The earlier building was described as "brick factory and stabling" in council rate books. There were two cottages (nos. 417 and 419) on the northern boundary and these were later separately acquired for expansion of the business. In August 1920, a building application was lodged for a multitubular boiler and chimney stack, designed by C.S. Mears, a furnace builder of Tilson Street, Ascot Vale. The work was completed within two months, in the backyard of the cottage at 417 Nicholson Street.2,3
In 1955, when Stanislav Nunquam was 73 years old, ownership of the factory building and adjacent cottage (no. 417) was transferred from S.T. Nunquam Pty Ltd to Nunquam Pty Ltd. The change of business name can be seen in later photographs, with the lettering "S.T." painted out on the Nicholson Street façade. Stanislav died in 1966, aged 84 years, and his remains were cremated at Springvale Cemetery on 25 November 1966. His widow Nellie survived him by four years and died in Queensland in 1970.4,5,6
The confectionery business that bore Nunquam's name continued for another three decades. The second cottage (no. 419) was acquired by Nunquam Pty Ltd in 1978 and the company owned all the land between Newry Street and the laneway to the north. With the downturn in manufacturing in the 1990s, conversion of inner city factory buildings to residential apartments proved to be a lucrative business. The land was sold in 1999 and a planning application for construction of six warehouse dwellings was lodged with City of Yarra in September 1999. The cottages were demolished in 2000 and replaced with modern structures, but the external appearance of the brick factory building remained largely unchanged. The old copper pots have ceased boiling and the fine dusting of powdered sugar that was often seen on the upstairs window ledge has long since gone. The tall chimney, built in 1920, remains as a visual memory of North Carlton's industrial history.
More information on Stanislav Techitch Nunquam, the man whose surname means "never".
Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre
251 Faraday Street Carlton
A Russian Visitor
Aleksandr Leonidovich Yashchenko
It might seem strange to find a story about a travel diary written by a Russian in 1903 on a Carlton local history website. However, it sheds light on a small part of our history. The travel diary of 34 year old Aleksandr Leonidovich Yashchenko records the impressions of a Russian educationist and natural scientist who visited Australia for 3 months in 1903. He landed in Fremantle on the 2nd of July 1903 and sailed for Canada in October of that year. He visited places in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland and travelled by coach, train and tram, and ferry on the Murray River, as well as on foot.
The main objects of his attention were the provision of education, the native flora and fauna, and the indigenous people with whom he spent some time observing football, spear and boomerang throwing and other aboriginal displays. He met local dignitaries, like Frank Tate, the Director of Education, John Smyth, the Principal of Melbourne Teachers' College, the Russian Consul, Mikhaylovich Ustinov, various Protectors of Aborigines, as well as numbers of people who were born, or had made their home in Australia, as well as local indigenous people and those whose job was to protect them. He was generally very well received.
The whole diary is available in the Special Collections section of the Baillieu Library at Melbourne University and makes interesting reading. This short piece centres on part of Yashchenko's visit to Melbourne, time spent at what appears to be the Faraday Street School (SS 112) in Carlton, the home of the first practising school in 1880 and associated with every branch of teacher training until its closure in December 1972.
More information on Yashchenko's travel diary
The Trades Hall
Part of Our History
At a time when the nation's biggest convenience store chain is being cast as 'rorting wages of its workers' it is worth noting that the history of one of the world's earliest trade union buildings is in Carlton, on the fringe of the central city, originally solely financed and built by the workers to serve as a place for the labour movement. This article centres on the role of the Trades Hall in Carlton and its connection with the fight for regulated working conditions, particularly the Eight Hour Day. It was originally built in timber, after a successful union campaign in 1856, and was largely replaced by a two storey building with an imposing classical façade, bluestone foundations and brick walls with a cement render finish in the 1870s.
More information on Trades Hall and the Eight Hour Day
Often we think of the World War 1 serviceman as young, single and eager for adventure. But many did not fit this stereotype. Read the story of John Lelean Cope, 48 years old, who left behind his wife and adult daughters in "The Manse" in Princes Street, North Carlton when he sailed for Gallipoli late in 1915.
A Chaplain at War
Women and War : Two Case Studies
As we currently commemorate Australia's participation in wars, we need to see what role women played. Women are part of all societies, but when those societies are under stress the roles that women traditionally play can be either reinforced, questioned or even changed, temporarily or forever, and undoubtedly a state of war places a society under stress. So what happens in one town or suburb can be replicated in another. Both of the women cited as case studies in this article had some connection with Carlton and are therefore important to CCHG, but both also made significant contributions to many areas of Victoria.
Digital Image: State Library of Victoria
Artist's Impression of Queen's Coffee Palace
Corner of Rathdowne and Victoria Streets Carlton
Otto Jung's Bible
In August 2015 CCHG received a request for help in tracing the provenance of an 1827 French edition of the New Testament. An inscription on the inner cover suggests that it was acquired by Otto Jung in 1852. Inside the book, where presumably it has been for a century, is a used and opened envelope posted from Lorne and sent to Otto Jung at 1 Rathdown Street, Carlton. This was the address of the very grand Queen's Coffee Palace, begun in 1888 but because of the financial collapse never finished as intended. On the back of the envelope is a message in French, dated 1915. Not all of it is legible but the gist is very clear. Jung is making a gift of the book to "my beloved Paggie ... the only one in the Laver families (except her brother Lol) to have studied French" and recommends that she and her brother should read it from time to time.
German-born Otto Jung arrived in Victoria in 1853 as a young man of 23 - presumably his French New Testament, acquired in the previous year, travelled with him. He settled in Castlemaine where he became a close friend of the Laver family, who were farmers at Chinaman's Creek. When Jonas Laver died in 1880 leaving a family of seven sons, Jung, now a wealthy man, took the younger boys under his wing. William Adolphus, the fourth son, was a talented violinist and when a visiting German musician heard him play as a teenager he offered him training in Europe. In 1883 William and his mother Mary Ann travelled to Frankfurt with her two youngest boys. It is thought that Otto Jung accompanied them. In 1885 or 1886 Mary Ann died, but with Jung's support the three young Lavers stayed on. One son, Rudolph, remained permanently in Germany but in 1893 Jung continued his support for this family by helping the youngest boy, Ralph, establish a successful preserving factory in Collingwood.
William returned in 1889 in order to lobby for appointment to the Chair of Music, about to be set up at the University of Melbourne. He was not successful but became a private piano teacher and in 1895 oversaw the establishment of the Melbourne University Conservatorium of Music, initially located in the Queen's Coffee Palace. Otto Jung paid the rent for the first term. William married in 1894 and four children were born over the next five years. Lol (Laurence Otto) was the oldest and Paggie (Violet Agnes) the only daughter. Jung may already have been living at the Coffee Palace in 1895. Certainly it is his address on the electoral rolls from 1903 onwards. When he wrote his note to Paggie in 1915 she was 19 years old, Lol was 20 and their father's long-time supporter was 85. In the same year William Adolphus Laver achieved his ambition and became the third Ormond Professor of Music at the University of Melbourne. Otto Jung died in 1916. An interesting detail is that death notices in the Age and Argus recorded only his name, age and residence in the "Queen's Buildings". There is no reference to the Laver family to whom he had been so good a friend over so many years, or to anyone else.
Have you seen our latest publications?
Visit the publications page for more information.