The Carlton Community History Group (CCHG) was established by a committed group of people interested in the history of Carlton, North Carlton and Princes Hill, three inner-city suburbs 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 quarterly publication Carlton Chronicles, like us on facebook, share your recollections and participate in our zoom meetings and activities.
The Inner Circle Line : The Melbourne suburban rail line that disappeared
By Jeff Atkinson
This book tells the story of the development of Melbourne's suburban rail lines, and in particular of the ill-conceived inner circle line that ran through the inner northern suburbs from 1888 until its final closure in the 1970s. It tells of the political events that led to the line being built, the life and death incidents that occurred along the line when it was in operation and, after it had closed, the struggle of a residents' group to have the land and station building converted into facilities for community use.
Available for $15 (plus postage if applicable) by mail order from CCHG, or from the following retail outlets:
Note: Retail prices may be higher than the $15 stated above.
- Carlton Library, 667 Rathdowne Street, North Carlton
- Railway House, 20 Solly Ave, Princes Hill
- Royal Historical Society of Victoria Bookshop, 239 a'Beckett Street, Melbourne
- The Rail Fan Shop, 4 Churchill St, Mont Albert
- Train World, 290 Bay St, Brighton
Carlton 120 Years Ago
A Question of Affinity
Archibald Turnbull was a socialist clergyman whose religious and political views sometimes ran counter to those of mainstream churches. Rev. Turnbull conducted marriage services from his home in Rathdowne Street, Carlton, as an alternative to formal – and often more expensive – church-based services. In March 1900 Alfred James Smith and Sarah Jane Sanson presented themselves at the Turnbull residence and were married according to the rights of Our Father's Church. As required by law, they would have signed declarations stating that there was no known impediment to their marriage. However the honeymoon was over, so to speak, within 12 days when Sarah left her husband and refused to return to the marital home. Three years later, in June 1903, the marriage was annulled on the curious ground of "affinity".
IMPORTANT DIVORCE JUDGMENT.
MAN MAY NOT MARRY HIS NIECE.
The law is that though a man may marry his sister-in-law, he cannot marry her daughter. Mr. Justice A'Beckett held thus in the judgment delivered yesterday in the case of Smith v. Smith, in which Arthur James Smith, fireman of Victoria-street, West Melbourne, asked for a declaration of nullity of his marriage with Sarah Jane Smith, on the ground that they were within prohibited degrees of relationship and, alternatively, a decree for dissolution on the ground of desertion. The petitioner married the daughter of his deceased wife's sister on March 31, 1900, and they lived together for twelve days, when the wife left her husband, assigning as a reason conscientious objections to a union forbidden by her church. When spoken to on the matter, she said, "I cannot be a wife to him; the church forbids it; it would be wrong". She said her husband had been kind to her.
Mr. Justice A'Beckett said if the respondent had been the sister of his deceased wife instead of her niece, the marriage would have been valid under section 18 of the Marriage Act 1890, which provided that marriage with the sister of a deceased wife should not be voidable or in any way impeachable upon the ground of affinity. The daughter of a deceased wife's sister was within the prohibited degrees of affinity, but legislators had omitted to validate marriage with her. Doubtless they would have done so had the necessity of such a provision but occurred to them. Marriage with a deceased's wife niece having been voidable before the marriage with a deceased wife's sister was made unimpeachable remained voidable, and he had only to give effect to the law as it stood. It was no objection to a suit of this kind that both parties at the time of the celebration of the marriage were aware of the impediment. He declared the marriage null and void.
The Argus, 16 June 1903, p. 7
Alfred James Smith and Sarah Jane Sanson were not biologically related as uncle and niece-in-law, so it was not a matter of consanguinity, yet their degree of affinity was considered an impediment to their marriage. Had Archibald Turnbull been aware of this impediment at the time, he almost certainly would not have conducted the marriage ceremony. The Marriage Act of 1890 allowed a man to marry his sister-in-law and such a marriage could not be declared void by annulment – divorce or death of either spouse were the only legal options. But the lawmakers at the time had not considered the scenario of a man marrying his niece-in-law and therefore this was not specified in the legislation. Alfred could have filed for divorce on the ground of desertion by Sarah for upwards of three years but they chose to seek an annulment.
Note: Archibald Turnbull's residence was at 427 Rathdowne Street, Carlton.
Carlton 109 Years Ago
A Two Horse Race
There is no prize for coming second in a two horse race and that was the lot for James Wright Ferguson in June 1914. He was a candidate in the Melbourne City Council election for Smith Ward – in the heart of Carlton – and he lost to local real estate agent Thomas Foley, scoring 796 votes to Foley's 1041. Ferguson's loss was not the only one on that day. In the Victorian Football League, Geelong (9 goals, 11 points) thrashed Carlton (3 goals, 15 points) and leading Carlton goalkicker George Topping suffered an ankle injury.1,2,3
FILLING COUNCIL VACANCY
FOOTBALLERS VOTE EARLY
Polling took place today for the election of a councillor to fill the vacancy in the representation of the Smith Ward in the Melbourne City Council caused through the appointment of the Lord Mayor as alderman for the ward, a vacancy having occurred through the death of Alderman J. J. Brenan. The candidates were Mr James Wright Ferguson, caterer, of Lygon street, and Mr Thomas Foley, estate agent, of Grafton [sic] street. There were two booths – one at the orderly room, Grafton [sic] street, and the other at Messrs Campbell and Son's, office, at the Horsemarket, Sydney road. During the morning polling was fairly heavy, probably owing to the fact that supporters of the Carlton Football Club, who visited Geelong today, took an early opportunity to record their votes. Polling will close at 7 p.m., and the result will be announced about 8 p.m. Cr G. H. Ievers acted as returning officer.
The Herald, 6 June 1914, p. 14
James Ferguson had a second chance in February 1916, following the resignation of Thomas Foley. This time he was elected unopposed and he continued to represent the ratepayers of Carlton for the next forty years. He retired in August 1956 and was awarded the C.B.E. (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in January 1957. 4
CITY of MELBOURNE.
I, Sir David Valentine Hennessy, alderman for Smith ward, in the City of Melbourne, DECLARE that JAMES WRIGHT FERGUSON, of 212 Cardigan-street, in the said city, Caterer, being the only person nominated to fill the extraordinary vacancy in the office of COUNCILLOR for Smith ward, caused by the resignation of Thomas Michael Foley, the said James Wright Ferguson is duly ELECTED to fill such vacancy.
D. V. HENNESSY,
Alderman for Smith ward.
Town Hall, Melbourne, 1st February, 1916.
MELBOURNE CITY COUNCIL ELECTION.
TO THE RATEPAYERS.
Ladies and Gentlemen, – Kindly accept my sincerest THANKS for the honor you have this day conferred upon me by returning me (unopposed) as one of your representatives. I would specially thank these for their kind promise of support and assistance.
JAMES W. FERGUSON.
The Age, 2 February 1916, p. 15
James Wright Ferguson was originally in the bakery and catering business with his elder brother, John Albert "Percy" Ferguson. They were born in Gippsland and learned the bakery trade from their widowed mother, Eliza Lane Ferguson (later Freeman). As the "Ferguson Brothers", they had a bakehouse in Dorrit Street, Carlton, and shops in Lygon Street, Carlton, and Nicholson Street, North Carlton. The business partnership was dissolved by mutual consent in April 1913, the year before James first stood for council. John moved to Brunswick and established his own business as "J.A. Ferguson". This business was the forerunner of "Ferguson Plarre", which is still baking to this day. John Albert Ferguson died at his home in Coburg in 1952.5,6,7
James retained the business name "Ferguson Brothers" (later Ferguson & Co.) and the bakehouse in Dorrit Street. He catered for all sorts of functions – large and small – and at times provided gratis catering services for local charities and fundraising activities. Within the industry, he was best known as the official caterer to the Victoria Racing Club and his busiest time was during the Melbourne spring racing carnival. He died in Sydney in July 1974, one month short of his 93rd birthday.8,9
The entire west side of Dorrit Street, together with parts of Cardigan and Grattan streets, were acquired by the Royal Women's Hospital from the 1950s through to the 1970s. Both the bakehouse and James Ferguson's former home in Cardigan Street were demolished to make way for the Royal Women's Hospital carpark and staff accommodation. The former hospital carpark, constructed in 1974, was granted heritage overlay protection in April 2023, as a significant example of Brutalist architecture.10,11
Notes and References:
1 The Herald, 8 June 1914, p. 12
2 Saturday Mail, 6 June 1914, p. 1
3 The Argus, 8 June 1914, p. 8
4 The Argus, 1 January 1957, p. 9
5 Building occupancy information has been sourced from Sands & McDougall directories and cross checked with Melbourne City Council rate books.
6 The Argus, 26 April 1913, p. 12
7 For more information on John Albert Ferguson visit the Ferguson Plarre website
8 Labor Call, 31 October 1935, p.9
9 Ryerson Index
10 Land acquisition information has been source from land title records and Melbourne City Council rate books.
11 The Age, 4 April 2023
From the Shores of Loch Shin
The MacDonalds of Rathdowne Street
Loch Shin House
239 Rathdowne Street Carlton
The village of Lairg lies on the southern shores of Loch Shin, in the highlands of Scotland, and is a popular destination for tourists and visitors. In September 1844 a baby boy named William Macdonald was born there and, decades later, his Scottish heritage was commemorated in the name of "Loch Shin House" in Rathdowne Street, Carlton. William, the son of Donald and Mary MacDonald, arrived in Australia via the Aberdeen sailing ship "William Duthie" in 1865. Four years later, in 1869, he married Margaret Mary O'Brien, daughter of Irish solicitor Thomas O'Brien. They had a daughter, Charlotte (known as "Lotte"), born in 1870.1
The inner city suburb of Carlton was developing rapidly in the 1870s and the State Aid to Religion Abolition Act (391/1871) enabled established churches to raise revenue from the sale of pre-existing crown land grants. One such church was the Erskine Church, on the corner of Rathdowne and Grattan streets, and proceeds of the land sale funded the new church building on the corner site. The early land buyers were Sarah Hughes, Walter Renny and Bessie Stone. Mrs Hughes and Mr Renny had houses built for themselves, while Miss Stone onsold her block of land to Margaret MacDonald in 1879. In April of that year, a Notice of intent was lodged with Melbourne City Council for a two storey house, to be built by James Moore of Fitzroy. The house and land was owned by Margaret, but William MacDonald was registered as the occupier and ratepayer in council rate books, and the main householder in postal directories. When it came to naming rights for the house Margaret, of Irish ancestry, seems to have deferred to her husband's Scottish roots.2,3
Loch Shin House, now numbered 239 Rathdowne Street, was conveniently located close to the city and directly opposite the Carlton Gardens. Young Charlotte MacDonald was educated by the Sisters of Mercy in Nicholson Street, Fitzroy, a short walk across the Gardens. Decades later, her name was commemorated in the "Lottie MacDonald Prize", to be awarded annually for proficiency in Christian doctrine and catechism at the school. In the 1890s, Loch Shin House was advertised as a rental property and occupied by various tenants. The MacDonald family moved to "Saint Duthus" in Murray Road, Preston, then back to Loch Shin House in the early 1900s. William MacDonald worked at the Crown Law Department of Victoria for forty years and spent the last seven years of his employment as Registrar of Probates of the Supreme Court of Victoria. He was appointed Justice of the Peace in January 1910.4,5,6,7,8
In the meantime, Margaret was adding to her real estate portfolio. She must have been a woman of independent means, but she was referred to as a "married woman" or "wife of William MacDonald" in land title records. She already owned Loch Shin House and the land in Preston, and purchased several city properties in Elizabeth, Little Bourke and Lonsdale streets. In 1912 the residence of Allan McLean, former Victorian Premier (1899-1900) and Deputy Prime Minister (1905) was on the market. It was built in 1900 and named "Duart" after Duart Castle on the Scottish Isle of Mull. Margaret bought the house in Beaconsfield Parade, Albert Park, and Duart was to become the final home of the MacDonald family. Apart from the Scottish name connection, the two houses were vastly different. Duart was a stand-alone villa, built on land three times the size of the Loch Shin House block. While Loch Shin House looked out onto the Carlton Gardens, Duart offered bayside views and bracing sea air.9,10
Margaret Mary MacDonald died at Duart on 16 January 1916 and probate was granted jointly to her husband William and daughter Charlotte. In her will, dated 5 October 1911, she made provision for legacies to various religious, educational and charitable institutions, including the Church of the Sacred Heart in Rathdowne Street, Carlton, and the Sisters of Mercy in Nicholson Street, Fitzroy. Her husband William MacDonald died seven years later, on 28 March 1923, at a private hospital in Carlton. As a former Registrar of Probates, he was well versed in the wording of will and probate documents. In his own will, dated 21 February 1919, he gave biographical information in the wording of his memorial – a boon to later researchers – and detailed instructions on steps to be taken if his daughter Charlotte pre-deceased him, or if they died simultaneously. His legacies included the "Lottie MacDonald Prize", in recognition of his daughter's education by the Sisters of Mercy in Fitzroy.11,12
William's real estate holdings – which he inherited from his wife Margaret and augmented with the purchase of land adjoining Duart – included the vacant land bounded by Cooper Street and Murray and Gilbert roads, Preston. This land, part of crown portion 147, Parish of Jika Jika, was subdivided and partly sold off in 1923. Two new streets were created - Saint Duthus Street running west to east off Gilbert road, and Margtmary Avenue running north to south between Cooper Street and Murray Road. The name "Margtmary" suggests a portmanteau word for the names "Margaret" and "Mary", in memory of Margaret Mary MacDonald's ownership of the land. Co-incidentally, there is a MacDonald Street running off the south side of Murray Road, not quite opposite Margtmary Avenue.13,14
With the passing of both her parents, Charlotte became the sole heir to the MacDonald estate. She continued to live at Duart, her principal residence, while Loch Shin House, the city properties and the building allotments in Preston were advertised for sale within six months of William MacDonald's death. The real estate market was slow at the time and it was not until the late 1920s that all were sold and Charlotte received the full monetary benefit of her inheritance. The money was wisely invested and Charlotte was a wealthy woman for the rest of her life. Charlotte MacDonald died at Duart on 13 May 1945 and was buried in the MacDonald family plot at Coburg Pine Ridge Cemetery, together with her parents William and Margaret MacDonald. Her will was dated 21 February 1919, the same day as her father's, and they nominated each other as executors. As William had pre-deceased Charlotte, probate was granted to the National Trustees Executors & Agency Company of Australasia Limited. Charlotte's estate was valued at £53,509 16 shillings and 11 pence, the bulk of which was investments. Duart was valued at £5805 and ownership was transferred to the Roman Catholic Trusts Corporation in December 1945.15,16,17,18
Charlotte left no direct descendants and residue of her estate was divided equally amongst various religious, educational and charitable institutions:
Loch Shin House and Duart, the former MacDonald's family homes, still exist, while Saint Duthus has long since given way to suburban redevelopment. Margaret MacDonald's name is remembered in Margtmary Avenue in Preston.
- St. George's Church of the Sacred Heart, Rathdowne Street, Carlton;
- Convent of Mercy, Nicholson Street, Fitzroy;
- Convent of Loreto, Albert Park;
- St Vincent's Hospital, Fitzroy;
- Little Sisters of the Poor, Northcote;
- St Vincent de Paul's Boys' Orphanage, South Melbourne;
- St Vincent de Paul's Girls' Orphanage, South Melbourne;
- St Augustine's Orphanage for Boys, Geelong;
- St Catherine's Orphanage for Girls, Geelong;
- St Joseph's Home for Destitute Children, Surrey Hills.
Notes and References:
1 Biographical information has been sourced from the will of William MacDonald (VPRS 7591/P0002, 189/386), birth, death & marriage records, and family notices in newspapers.
2 Certificates of title vol. 544, vol. 616 ; vol. 699, fol. 635 ; vol. 699, fol. 636, vol. 1090, fol. 889
3 Australian Architectural Index, Record no. 78362
4 189/386 William MacDonald: Will; Grant of probate (VPRS 7591/P0002, 189/386)
5 The Age, 10 February 1894, p. 6
6 Certificate of title, vol. 1967, fol. 037
7 Little is known about Saint Duthus, apart from its name and location in Preston. It may have been a country house or homestead in what would have been largely rural land in the 19th century. The land is described as "vacant" in Margaret MacDonald's real estate inventory in 1916. (VPRS 7591/P0002, 142/240)
8 Victoria Government Gazette, 19 January 1910, p. 271
9 Certificates of title vol. 2586, fol. 109 ; vol. 2749, 764 ; vol 2870, fol. 943 ; vol. 3099, fol. 660 ; vol. 3230, fol. 862
10 Victorian Heritage Database
11 142/240 Margaret M MacDonald: Grant of probate (VPRS 28/P0003, 142/240)
12 The Argus, 31 March 1923, p. 1. The death notice does not name the hospital or its location, but William's death registration (no. 904/1923) records the place of death as Carlton.
13 189/386 William MacDonald: Will; Grant of probate (VPRS 7591/P0002, 189/386)
14 Special thanks to William Augier of Darebin Libraries for providing map references and making the connection with Margaret's name and the street in Preston named Margtmary Avenue. (Melway map 18, D11)
15 The Argus, 25 August 1923, p. 3
16 Certificates of title vol. 4864, fol. 617 ; vol. 4864, fol. 618 ; vol. 4864, fol. 619 ; vol. 4864, fol. 620 ; vol. 4864, fol. 622 ; vol. 4864, fol. 622 ; vol. 4864, fol. 623 ; vol. 4864, fol. 624
17 367/314 Charlotte MacDonald: Will; Grant of probate (VPRS 7591/P0002, 367/314)
18 367/314 Charlotte MacDonald: Grant of probate (VPRS 28/P0003, 367/314)
The Last Post for Rathdowne Street
Digitised Image: State Library of Victoria
North Carlton Post Office
After nearly 100 years of delivering letters and parcels, the North Carlton Post Office in Rathdowne Street closed its doors at midday on Friday 14 October 2022, and re-opened the following Monday at 607 Lygon Street, Princes Hill. The large brick building at 546 Rathdowne Street, on the corner of Richardson Street, was the first purpose-built post office in North Carlton. The vacant land was acquired by the Commonwealth Government in 1911 and plans were drawn up in 1912. While no report of the official opening date has been located, the post office was in operation by 1913. Over the years, the building has undergone several changes, reflecting developments in postal and telecommunication services. In the original floor plans, the two enclosed booths either side of the main façade are designated as telephone boxes, in the days when public telephone calls were operated-connected. External telephone boxes were added decades later to the picket-fenced area north of the building, and subsequently removed as the demand for public telephone access waned. The external brickwork has been painted over and is now a cream colour. In recent years, steps and a ramp for disabled access have been added to the front entrance.1
The need for postal and telegraph services in the rapidly-growing suburb of North Carlton was demonstrated decades before the new post office was built. In February 1888, a deputation comprising Mr Gardiner (MLA) and Councillor Mills called on the Postmaster General to open the Rathdowne Street telegraph station as a matter of necessity. The first North Carlton post office premises recorded in Sands & McDougall in 1888 was a shop at 783 Rathdowne Street, near the Macpherson Street corner. Miss Eliza White was the postmistress and she shared the premises with Mrs G. White, a stationer. In the early days of Carlton, it was not uncommon for postal services to be operated in conjunction with other businesses, such as stationers and newsagents. Miss and Mrs White remained at the address until 1892, when both moved to 797 Rathdowne Street, a short distance north of the Macpherson Street corner. The next move occurred in 1896 to 428 Rathdowne Street, on the east side, and the last recorded listing was in 1913.2,3
Elsewhere in Carlton, the post office at 146 Elgin Street was built in 1883 and officially opened in April 1884. The Carlton Post Office was closed in 2021 and postal operations were moved to the retail area in Lygon Court.4,5
Notes and references:
1 Digitised plans and historic photos of the North Carlton Post Office building are available on the National Archives of Australia website.
2 The Argus, 2 February 1888, p. 11
3 Building occupancy information has been sourced from Sands & McDougall directories and Melbourne City Council rate books.
4 The Age, 28 July 1883, p. 6
5 The Age, 2 April 1884, p. 5
Born on Christmas Day
"Every December Mumma would take me to the Salvation Army Citadel in Drummond Street. I would have my clothes changed and was given a toy for Christmas and photographed. Mumma would be given a bundle of clothing and food. After Christmas, a hand-coloured picture of me with yellow hair mounted on a card with a prayer would arrive in the post. But there was never any Christmas for us." 1
You may consider that a child born on Christmas Day would be doubly blessed, but for Noel Tovey there was no joy in Christmas. Noel Christopher Tovey was born at the Women's Hospital on 25 December 1934 and he spent his early years living in the slums of Carlton. He was the third of five mixed race children born to Winifred Ann Tovey and Frederick James Morton. His parents were not married at the time and the birth was registered under his mother's surname. However, Winifred and the children were generally known by the surname "Morton". The family lived initially at 21 Little Palmerston Street, then moved to a small two-storey house at 122 Barkly Street, Carlton. This house was the scene of Noel's early memories, which he describes in his memoir Little black bastard as: "Drunks, hunger, violence, filth, the stench of stale urine and vomit and the occasional day at St George's school was the norm and I had no reason to believe that other people lived differently." 2,3,4
Noel's father Frederick Morton, described as a "dark complexioned" vaudeville artist, was well known to police. He was a "snow" (cocaine) user and had a string of prosecutions dating back to the 1920s. Morton appeared in court to answer charges of vagrancy, drug trafficking, assaulting a tram conductor and having encouraged children to beg alms. The latter case, which took place in North Carlton in 1931, involved a group of unemployed street musicians playing in public and engaging two of their children to collect money from the waiting crowd. In their defence the performers – Septimus Ford, Frederick Morton and Henry Harold Davis – claimed to be unaware that they were committing an offence. Despite his criminal record, Morton once assisted police in gaining evidence for a conviction against Zal Markov, a Carlton chemist, for supplying cocaine without the appropriate documentation. Morton's co-operation with the police may have earned him a degree of leniency in the court system, but a child neglect case of July 1941 was more serious and warranted a custodial sentence. 5,6,7,8,9,10
NEGLECT OF CHILDREN
With shaven head and dressed in clothes provided by the Royal Park Home, little Marion Morton, 8, and her brother Noel, 6, were present in Carlton Court today under the guardianship of a sister from the Home to hear charges against their father, Frederick Morton, of Barkly Street, Carlton, street singer. Morton was charged with having failed to provide them with adequate food, clothing and lodgings on July 2. He was sentenced to one month's imprisonment.
Policewoman Catherine McKay said that she went to St. George's Primary School, Carlton, in answer to a complaint from the Mother Superior that day. She found the two children in a shelter shed, segregated from the other children. Their heads were in a verminous condition, their clothing filthy, and their shoes almost worn out. She visited the house in Barkly Street. There were vermin in the children's bed clothing and empty wine bottles under one of the beds. The children were taken to Royal Park Home, where it was necessary to shave their heads and burn the clothes.
Constable Norman H. Hume said that he had often seen men and women in a drunken condition in the house. Morton told him he did the best he could for the children, but was away working all day. Morton told the court his wife left him while he was at the Anzac Day march in April. Since then he had to look after the children. In his occupation he got a lot of free drink for singing in front of hotels, but he did not spend much on liquor. His average weekly earnings were 50/. To Detective Toner (prosecuting), he admitted that another child had been taken away from him because of neglect, but that was the fault of his wife.
The Herald, 29 July 1941, p. 4
The nuns at St George's Primary School had a duty of care in reporting cases of child neglect to police and they did so with best of intentions. However, they would not have known that their actions would result in years of physical and sexual abuse of both children at the hands of their adoptive "father". While serving his sentence in Pentridge Prison, Frederick Morton relinquished the care of his children to the Challenger family, mother and son, of Burren Junction in New South Wales. In April 1946, Arthur Neville Challenger was sentenced to two years hard labour for carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of sixteen. At the time of the trial, Marion was thirteen years old and considered by the presiding judge as "obviously willing", but this ignored the fact that she had been abused by Challenger since the age of eight. Challenger was never prosecuted for offences against Noel, who had remained silent about the abuse and was away in Sydney for medical treatment at the time of his arrest. It later transpired that Challenger had a criminal record for various offences and, had the appropriate background checks been done, the children should never have been placed with him.
BRIEF SESSIONS SITTING
Two offenders were sentenced to terms of imprisonment by Judge Storkey at the Quarter Sessions on Tuesday. A third defendant was discharged. Arthur Neville Challenger, 39, who since last Christmas had been living with his mother, two other people and a girl aged 13 years and ten months in an old District Hospital building, pleaded guilty to an offence against the girl on January 23. He was sentenced to two years hard labour, with the recommendation that, if possible, it be served on a prison farm. Evidence was given that the accused had been the sole support of the girl, who had been adopted by accused's mother. His Honour remarked he had obviously transgressed a trust which should have been his first consideration in life; only the fact she was not in trouble, and was obviously willing, deterred him from imposing a longer sentence.
The North Western Courier, 4 April 1946, p. 7
Frederick James Morton died in February 1943, and the children were returned to the care of their mother in Melbourne following the court case in 1946. They were back with their family but, with the ever-present problems of poverty and alcohol abuse, there was little sense of security. Young Noel became a street kid and had a few run-ins with the law, including a short stay in Pentridge Prison, where his father had also "done time". As an escape from this life, Noel discovered the world of performing arts, a positive legacy of his father's talent as a vaudeville artist. Noel's exotic dark looks – inherited from his parents' African and Aboriginal ancestries – made him a target of bullying and racial abuse as a child, but proved to be an asset on the stage. Noel took his mother's surname "Tovey" and he went on to a successful career as an actor, singer, dancer, choreographer and theatre director, both in Australia and overseas. 11
Six decades after his court appearance as a neglected child, Noel Tovey returned to tell his life's story at the Carlton Courthouse Theatre. The one-man performance, based on his memoir Little black bastard, opened in March 2003 to critical acclaim. Noel Tovey was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia in 2015 for significant service to the performing arts, to indigenous performers, and as an advocate for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex community. 12
Notes and References:
1 Tovey, Noel. Little black bastard (Hodder, 2004) p. 28
2 Information on the Tovey and Morton families, and direct quotes, have been sourced from Noel Tovey's two memoirs – Little black bastard (Hodder, 2004) and And then I found me (Magabala Books, 2017).
3 Sands & McDougall directories and electoral rolls confirm that Frederick James Morton lived at 21 Little Palmerston Street and 122 Barkly Street, Carlton. Noel's birth certificate gives the incorrect address of 21 Palmerston Street, Carlton.
4 St George's Primary School was in Drummond Street, near Pelham Street.
5 The Age, 8 June 1920, p. 7
6 The Argus, 14 July 1920, p. 11
7 The Argus, 1 August 1923, p. 17
8 The Age, 21 July 1925, p. 11
9 The Argus, 1 April 1931, p. 5
10 The other child mentioned in the 1941 court case was most likely the eldest son, Frederick, who was removed from the family home in September 1940. He was sent to the Silesian College in Sunbury where he received an education. There were two younger children, Francis and Claudia, in the family. Francis was taken into care as a baby and Claudia was raised by her aunt.
11 Death Registration No. 1671/1943
12 Australia Day 2015 Honours list
Is it Curtains for the Curtin?
John Curtin Hotel, corner of Lygon and Earl streets, Carlton
Another historic Carlton hotel – the John Curtin in Lygon Street – has been sold recently and is facing an uncertain future. The hotel's licence expires in November 2022 and, depending on the intentions of the successful buyer, the popular watering hole for trade unionists, politicians, journalists and students could be serving its last drinks before the end of the year. The hotel takes its name from John Curtin, Australia's wartime Prime Minister from 1941 to 1945 and, being conveniently located opposite Trades Hall, it has a long association with the trade union movement and the Australian Labor Party. The hotel's present name is a more recent re-branding from the early 1970s. It was known as the Lygon Hotel for the greater part of its long life and was licensed to Michael O'Meara in 1859. The original early Victorian brick hotel building was replaced, or substantially remodelled, in the early 20th century, with the addition of a distinctive archway façade.
The names "John Curtin" and "John Curtain" – both Irishmen associated with politics and Carlton hotels – are sometimes confused. John Curtain was a 19th century politician, business entrepreneur and publican. He was a Melbourne City Councillor and Member of the Legislative Assembly, and licensee of two Carlton hotels – the old Leicester Hotel in Leicester Street and, most notably, Curtain's Hotel (now Shaw Davey Slum) on the corner of Elgin and Drummond streets. At one stage, John Curtain owned dozens of business and residential properties in Carlton, but he was forced to sell many in the 1880s to cover his business debts. John Curtain died in straitened financial circumstances in 1905. His name is commemorated in Curtain Street and Curtain Square in North Carlton.
John Curtin, former trade unionist and Prime Minister of Australia, died in Canberra in 1945.
Note: Hotel building and licensing information has been sourced from the Australian Architectural Index, Melbourne City Council rate books and contemporary newspaper accounts.
John Curtin (1885-1945)
John Curtain (1835-1905)
The Salvation Army in Carlton
Image: Courtesy of Salvation Army Museum Melbourne
The Salvation Army Citadel in Drummond Street, Carlton, in the 1920s
One hundred years ago, on 18 August 1921, Commissioner James Hay opened the new Carlton Salvation Army Citadel "To the glory of God and for the salvation of the people". The distinctive brick hall was built to the same design as the Camberwell Citadel (built in 1910 and since demolished) and replaced an old double-fronted weatherboard house at 324 Drummond Street, Carlton. The Salvation Army acquired the site in December 1918, at a cost of £943, and spent an estimated £1,357 on the building. The plans were first submitted to Melbourne City Council in February 1919, but it was not until two years later in 1921 that building commenced under a new application. The location in Drummond Street was well chosen, being in the same block as the Carlton Police Station and the Carlton Court, where there were potential souls to be saved. Carlton was an economically depressed suburb in the 1920s and by the 1930s many dwellings – including whole streets – were declared unfit for human habitation. The Salvation Army played an important role in assisting the families living in poverty. Acclaimed indigenous actor, dancer and choreographer Noel Tovey was born in Carlton in 1934 and spent his early childhood years living there. In his memoir Little Black Bastard he recalls that he was taken to the Salvation Army Citadel once a year, given a new set of clothes and photographed. The studio portraits, reproduced in Tovey's memoir, depict him as a well-dressed, engaging baby and toddler – images at odds with his early life of poverty and deprivation. The Salvation Army would have helped many disadvantaged children feel special – if only for a short time.1,2,3
While the Citadel was opened in 1921, Carlton's association with the Salvation Army goes back to the 1880s, when the Army was first established in Melbourne. The salvationists made their presence felt by singing and marching in the city streets, but found themselves in breach of local regulations. In April 1883, Captain William Shepherd was fined £5, plus £5 and 5 shillings costs, for holding a procession (for other than funeral purposes) along Stephen (Exhibition) Street in the city, "without having obtained in writing the previous consent of the Mayor or Town Clerk, or having given notice to the officer in charge of the city police". Captain Shepherd was, by his own admission, a reformed prisoner who had lead a past life of sin and crime. Shepherd and his wife lived in a small cottage at 51 Lygon Street, Carlton, just a block away from the Melbourne Gaol, and he began inviting recently released prisoners to his humble home. The Salvation Army recognised the need to break the common cycle of discharged prisoners re-offending, and this lead to the formation of the Prison Gate Brigade, the first such brigade of its kind anywhere in the world. Salvation Army officers visited prisoners in the lead up to their release and waited at the "prison gate" to offer them support and accommodation to ease their transition back into civilian life. 4,5
Former Prison Gate Home at 37 Argyle Place South, Carlton
Carlton was at the forefront of the new brigade. On 8 December 1883, Major James Barker opened the Salvation Army's first prison gate home at High Ham House, 37 Argyle Place South, Carlton. The substantial two storey brick building, on the corner with Cardigan Street, was part of a terrace constructed by E. Brooke in 1873. Not all ex-prisoners stayed at the home – some were just there for meals – and not all stayed on the straight-and-narrow path to salvation, but all were accepted without judgement. The home was funded entirely by voluntary contributions of money and clothing, the latter of which was important as prisoners were often discharged with only the clothes on their backs. There was even a bootmaker and tailor in attendance to repair footwear and clothing, so that ex-prisoners would look presentable for their return to society. Around the same time, in January 1884, a home for women was opened at 11 Barkly Street, Carlton, one of a pair of cottages owned by Robert Frost. This was the first, or the forerunner, of the Salvation Army's "Fallen Sisters" or "Rescued Sisters" homes. The four roomed cottage was at least twice the size of Captain Shepherd's home in Lygon Street, and it had a bathroom, which would have been considered a luxury by many Carlton households at the time. The women's home in Barkly Street operated for a short time only, as a new home was established at Montgomery House in Gore Street, Fitzroy, in late 1884.6,7,8,9,10,11
Moving forward into the 1890s, the Salvation Army established a barracks at 62 Bouverie Street, Carlton, not far from the Carlton & West End Breweries that produced the "demon drink". The Board of Public Health approved opening of the former warehouse as a public hall in February 1891. The barracks closed four years later in February 1895. In 1915, during World War 1, the Salvation Army had a crèche built on the corner of Canning and Richardson streets, North Carlton. The crèche operated as a home for young children, rather than a day care centre, as many lived there before being placed in foster care or moved to other residential facilities. The crèche children, and also local residents, received a special treat in January 1938 when the Salvation Army distributed twenty five cases of apples from the Doncaster stores. It was quite an occasion, with Salvation Army officers beating the drum and calling on people to come out of their houses and help themselves to the free apples. Post-World War 2, the crèche was taken over by the Melbourne City Council. The original two storey crèche building was extended over the next few decades to occupy the entire corner site bounded by Canning, Richardson and Amess streets. The North Carlton Children's Centre now operates as a day care centre and kindergarten.12,13,14,15
Former Salvation Army Crèche at 481 Canning Street, North Carlton
What of the remaining Salvation Army properties in Carlton? Both Captain Shepherd's cottage in Lygon Street and the barracks in Bouverie Street have long since disappeared. The original prison gate home at 37 Argyle Place South still exists and, from external appearances, looks much the same as it would have in the 1880s. The cottage in Barkly Street, now no. 152, has had a more recent makeover, with a replacement fence and decorative iron lace on the verandah.
Special thanks to the Salvation Army Museum for sharing information and images of the Army in Carlton
Notes and References:
1 The date of opening and the quotation are on the foundation stone at the front of the building.
2 Building information has been sourced from Salvation Army property records, building plans and building application files (VPRS 11200 and 11201).
3 Little black bastard : a story of survival, Noel Tovey, Hodder Headline Australia, 2004
4 The Herald, 10 April 1883, p. 2
5 The Herald, 6 April 1883, p. 3
6 The date of opening is on a commemorative plaque, on the Cardigan Street side of the building.
7 Australian Architectural Index, Record no. 77852
8 Bendigo Advertiser, 18 January 1884, p. 3
9 The cottage at 11 Barkly Street is described in the Melbourne City Council rate books, and "Mrs Russell" is listed as the main householder. Her association with the Salvation Army is yet to be established.
10 Cox, Lindsay. Beyond prison bars, Hallelujah, vol. 3, issue 1, March 2010, p. 27
11 The Herald, 14 October 1884, p. 4
12 The Argus, 4 February 1891, p. 11
13 Salvation Army property records
14 Australian Architectural Index, Record no. 80559
15 The Age, 25 January 1938, p. 17
An Echo From the Past
Digitised Image: CCHG
This postcard-sized advertisement for Echo Publishing Company Limited of North Fitzroy was discovered amongst some notebooks, meticulously handwritten by William Wilson of Drummond Street, Carlton. Mr Wilson was a student at the Education Department Training College in Grattan Street, Carlton, in the early 1900s. The advertisement served a dual purpose in promoting a book by American author Ellen G. White, and the verso could also be used as a blotter – a smart way of advertising in the days of pen and ink. Ellen G. White was one of the founders of the Seventh Day Adventist movement and her book was first published by the Pacific Press Publishing Association in 1903. This places the date of the advertisement between 1903 and October 1905, when the business name of the Echo Publishing Company Limited was changed to the Signs of the Times Publishing Association Limited. 1,2
The Echo Publishing Company Limited began as a small-scale religious publisher and printer on the corner of Rae and Scotchmer Streets, North Fitzroy, in 1886. The business expanded its operations to include commercial work, and moved to larger premises at 14-16 Best Street, North Fitzroy in 1889. The Company, run by the Seventh Day Adventists, reviewed its operations in the early 1900s and made the decision, based on its religious principles, to discontinue commercial work and leave the city. This was an early example of decentralisation and involved building a new state-of-the-art factory and housing for workers and their families in Warburton, then a small village east of Melbourne. The North Fitzroy factory was vacated in February 1907.3,4,5,6,7
William Wilson's notebooks and other documents were kindly donated to CCHG by the Yarra Ranges Regional Museum. The advertising blotter is now in the local history collection of the Fitzroy Library.
Notes and References:
1 Ellen G. White Writings Website
2 Victoria Government Gazette, 4 October 1905, p. 3
3 Business address information has been sourced from Sands & McDougall directories and newspaper advertisements.
4 The Age, 30 April 1889, p. 3
5 The Age, 13 May 1905, p. 15
6 Reporter (Box Hill), 20 April 1906, p. 5
7 Table Talk, 10 January 1907, p. 24
"No Parking" Sign in Canning Street, North Carlton
Iron Lacework, Cnr. Canning and Macpherson Streets, North Carlton
This sign on the median strip in Canning Street, North Carlton, states quite clearly:
Keep off the Grass
NO PARKING ON LAWN RESERVATION
But are parking officers from Melbourne City Council likely to cross the municipal boundary of Princes Street to issue an infringement notice? The sign, bearing the Melbourne City Council's name and coat of arms, is a relic of times past, when Carlton, North Carlton and Princes Hill were all part of the same municipality. North Carlton and Princes Hill were hived off from Melbourne City Council and joined the newly-created City of Yarra in the 1990s.
There are plenty of other reminders of Melbourne City Council to be found in North Carlton and Princes Hill. The coat of arms appears on the green street bollards and in the iron lacework of many shopfront verandahs. The images of fleece, bull, whale and sailing ship date back to 1843, when wool, tallow and oil were the chief exports of the colony (then part of New South Wales).
Next time you go for a walk along Canning Street, have a look the bollards and compare the coat of arms images with those on the "no parking" sign. The whale and sailing ship images have been relocated to the lower half, while the bull has been moved up to join the fleece on the upper half. The change was made in 1970 in order to have the land-based and water-based images placed, logically, on their respective levels. Why didn't someone think of that back in 1843?1
1 Melbourne Coat of Arms
Gas Lighting in Carlton
Corner of Amess and Richardson Streets, North Carlton
Note: MMBW detail plans are available online at the State Library of Victoria's website.
In the days before the advent of electricity, the streets of Carlton were illuminated with gas lighting. There were gas lamps on many street corners and several examples still remain, as truncated lamp post bases. The Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) detail plans, drawn up in the late 19th and early 20th century, include codes showing the location of gas lamps (G.L.) and electric light posts (E.L.P.). The two methods of illumination co-existed for a time, but electric lighting eventually took over and the gas lamps were decommissioned. The upper portions of the lamp posts were removed, leaving the decorative bases.
There are gas lamp bases at the following locations:
- Corner of Amess and Pigdon Streets, North Carlton ;
- Corner of Amess and Richardson Streets, North Carlton ;
- Corner of Canning and Fenwick Streets, North Carlton ;
- Corner of Canning and O'Grady Streets, North Carlton ;
- Corner of Lygon and Richardson Streets, North Carlton ;
- Corner of Nicholson and Pigdon Streets, North Carlton (Removed in October 2019) ;
- Corner of Lygon Street and Argyle Place, Carlton ;
- Corner of Rathdowne and Barkly Streets, Carlton ;
- Corner of Swanston and Pelham Streets, Carlton.
Corner of Nicholson and Pigdon Streets, North Carlton
The lamp post was made by "D. Niven and Co., Iron Founders, Collingwood".
The base was removed from the street corner in October 2019.
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 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 was a Carlton institution and perhaps best known for its St Patrick's Day celebrations. The former 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 ceased trading in March 2020, a business casuality of the COVID-19 pandemic. The building was acquired by the Fitzroy Community School for use as its Carlton campus, planned for opening in 2023. The Dan O'Connell was the last 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.11,12
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 women 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)
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