Who Lived on Your Street?
A Blue Plaque is to be fixed to 27 Catherine St, Glebe, home of civil rights activist Charles Perkins in the 1960s. This article tells the story of its earlier occupants in the 19th and 20th centuries.
When houses were being built in Arcadia Rd, two were for families of sea captains, also known as master mariners. Captain Percy William Bull moved into No. 3 in 1895 and Captain John Bolton Carpenter into No. 47 in 1900. Percy William Bull Percy William Bull was well known as the master-in-charge of ships on […]
One of Hereford St’s most important and colourful families in the 19th and early 20th century were the Korffs, who gave Coffs Harbour its name. John Korff, a qualified shipbuilder and naval architect arrived in Sydney in 1835 and first settled on the Hunter where he built a cutter called the Rovers Bride and another […]
When I wrote about Arcadia Rd in Bulletin 4 of 2017, I had enough information to write about the first owners of Arcadia Rd (north). Since then, I have learnt more about the NSW Land Records system and can now report on the southern side of Arcadia Rd. The Toxteth Estate, owned by George Wigram […]
During the 1840s when Henry Smithers Hayes managed the Brisbane Steam Flour Mill he gave his address as ‘Blackwattle Swamp’. Before land reclamation was finally completed in 1880, the muddy headwaters of Blackwattle Bay reached about as far as today’s Parramatta Rd. In a real estate quasi-pastoral spin, some auctioneers named the area ‘Blackwattle Swamp […]
A plaque in Foley Park lists John Tawell as one of the occupants of Hereford House which stood on the site from 1829 until its demolition in the 1930s. Tawell is recorded as having lived there during the years 1831-5. (Druggist Ambrose Foss purchased Hereford House in 1833.) An ex-convict who ‘made good’, John Tawell […]
Josiah Slater was one of George Allen’s most trusted servants on the Toxteth Park Estate. When he died on 17 April 1890 his residence was Elim. Dating from ca 1878, the two-storey freestanding building was probably built close to an earlier worker’s cottage in the Toxteth grounds. Elim is now 236 Glebe Point Rd. Its […]
Part of the final subdivision of the Toxteth Estate, the lots in Alexandra Rd were first advertised for sale in 1904. On the western side it was builder James Howard Brown who purchased six of the 11 lots so we can assume he constructed the homes we see on those lots, apart from the more […]
You could be forgiven for thinking that Rock Lane was named for the rocky outcrop it traverses, however it’s in recognition of Harry Rock, Glebe Alderman in 1913 (briefly) then 1926 to 1928. The political aspects of Harry’s life in the Glebe branch of the Labor Party are covered in detail by Michael Hogan in […]
A victim of the 1919 flu pandemic, Dr James Percy Clifford was in 1903 the first tenant of 35 Allen St after moving out of St John’s College during the course of his studies at Sydney University. He shared the newly built house with his two unmarried sisters: Johanna Margaret, four years his senior, and […]
Butcher’s and baker’s shops were generally located along the suburb’s main arteries. In 1901 each of the 16 Glebe butchers serviced an average of 1200 residents; and the 7 bakers served about 2750 people each.
In 1952 Italian born Mario Abbiezzi was living in St Johns Road, Glebe. Just before Christmas he received an official letter giving him two months’ notice of deportation. As a member of a “communist penetrated organisation and a financial contributor to a communist publication’, he had been refused naturalisation.
The first sale was two lots (Nos 2A & 4) to Robert Winn, a builder, in August 1895 and the last lot (No 2) sold 13 years later in 1908.
William Aysh Adams was one of three carpenters (most of the other 210 passengers being agricultural labourers) on board the immigrant ship Julindur which landed in Sydney on 5 April 1849. Adams had moved to Sydney by 1879 when his youngest daughter married Thomas B Nosworthy at the Glebe Wesleyan Church, and by 1882 he had settled as a ‘gentleman’ of means at Ethelville an eight-roomed house at 9 St Johns Rd adjacent to a Congregational Church.
Occupied at different times by the Tilson, Clark, Monie, Cohen, Drew, Thomas, Lucas, May, Hunt and Young families, the site also played a part in Glebe’s railway history.
Maybanke Anderson, feminist and educationist, was involved in a wide range of reformist issues, especially relating to women. Francis Anderson was the first Challis professor of logic and mental philosophy at the University of Sydney.
Another articles about Maybanke and Francis Anderson is in the People in Glebe’s History section of this website.
In 1907 “Hartford” at 244 Glebe Rd, together with its specially made and bought furniture, was purchased by the Levy family who had moved in by 1910 – Henry ‘Harry’ Phillip ‘of independent means’, his brother Joseph Angel, a wholesale jeweller, Joseph’s wife Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’, and Basil Angel, in adult life a partner in his father’s jewellery business.
Robin William Askin, Premier of NSW for the then record term of 1965 to 1975, preferred to be known as Bob and changed his name by deed poll to Robert in 1971.
Number 19 had one ‘famous’ owner – the Catholic politician Dan Minogue. Dan was born in Ireland in 1893 at Feakle, County Clare, Ireland. So the house was named for a birthplace.
One of Glebe’s original corner stores, 55 Glebe St was run as a grocery for over a century from the 1850s. The Bardsleys were early shopkeepers there.
Much is on the public record covering James Barnet’s career as Colonial Architect; this article focuses on his life in Glebe and Forest Lodge where he settled after arriving in Australia.
In 1892 Samuel Barraclough’s family home was Gareloch 16 Toxteth Rd. This was the year he graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Sydney. He later became Dean of the faculty and a fellow of the university senate over a three-decade period.
After their marriage on 23 August 1923 newlyweds Bert and Dora Birtles were in digs at Ellangowan, 1 Stewart St. The pair became part of a network of Leftist literati including Nettie Palmer, Jean Devanny, Kylie Tennant, Christina Stead, Katharine Susannah Prichard, Frank Dalby Davidson, Flora Eldershaw, Marjorie Barnard and Miles Franklin.
Hilda Booler lived for 44 years at 12 Ferry Road. Her son Des lived there all his life. Both are commemorated locally by the Hilda Booler Kindergarten in Jubilee Park and the Booler Centre in Camperdown, respectively.
For most of his working life Dr Bohrsmann was a medical practitioner at 36 Glebe Road adjacent to Derby Place.
George Lloyd Bowen was a casualty of the First World War. At the time of his enlistment he was his widowed mother’s only child, living with her at 277 Glebe Point Rd, in Palmerston Terrace.
Henry Butters was the second publican of the University Hotel, taking over the lease from John Walton in September 1858. He remained there until 1866 when he moved to the Currency Lass on the corner of Glebe Rd and Mitchell St. Butters lived in Waterloo House, Mitchell St, until his death in 1892.
Musician, painter, sculptor and “non-violent” anarchist Barry Canham rented the same top floor flat at 28 Toxteth Road.
Harry Clay was a theatrical entrepreneur whose family home was based for many years in Glebe. He promoted his daughter, Essie, as a “child wonder” and a “phenomenal child balladist”.
Michael Conlon set up a pottery business in Broughton Street, Glebe, on 1875. When he
began his pottery “he only employed two lads” but by 1907 the works employed 28 on an acre and a half of land.
“Tibby” Cotter is regarded a possibly the best fast bowler of the first decade of the 20th century. His pace, and habit of frequently breaking the stumps and occasionally the batsmen, earned him the nickname of “Terror” Cotter in England. He joined the AIF in 1915 and served at Gallpoli. In 1917, he was shot and killed at Beersheba.
An article about “Tibby” Cotter is in the People in Glebe’s History section of this website.
“Plorn” Dickens, the tenth child of Charles Dickens, settled in Australia. The 1896-1900 Glebe Electoral Rolls listed his occupation as “gentleman”, which implied either inherited wealth or unemploymment. In Plorn Dickens case, it was the latter.
Edwina Doe retired as long-time editor of the Glebe Society Bulletin 2012.
Career thief Darcy Dugan lived his last years in Glebe and was at least once on the run in the suburb. An armed robber but never a killer, Dugan spent over half his life in prison but was more famous for his derring-do than his crimes.
Edsburg and Glenlea were the original names of the two Victorian mansions still standing on Mary St. Glenlea now number 4 is being restored as a family home; number 6 has been converted into flats.
The Eglinton Road precinct provided a possibly unique situation where all but one of the houses in the street were built by one builder over a period of time.
There is an entry for each house identified by address under which all currently known and released information is recorded.
‘Mick’ Emblem was an alderman who survived several Glebe Council scandals.
Nurse Farrell ran Buxton, a private maternity hospital at 22 Wigram Rd from 1921, when it stopped functioning as a private residence, until she retired after her 60th birthday. A large number of Glebe babies were born at what was referred to as ‘Nurse Farrell’s private hospital’.
Physician John Foulis had a medical practice on today’s Broadway and a t two addresses in Glebe Road.
Sydney in 1848, illustrated with copper plate engravings of the city’s main streets and buildings, was an instant success when published in parts in 1848-9. The book’sauthor lived for a number of years in Glebe.
Author and book reviewer, Thelma Forshaw, lived in and around Glebe and wrote about the area.
Nursing sister Anna Garden took six months’ leave to join the Second Contingent sent to the Boer War. Determined to go and willing to pay her own passage, Anna was a last-minute addition to other Army Nursing Service Reservists already selected.
The Different Drummer, 185 Glebe Point Rd, is the oldest of Glebe’s wine bars. Alcohol has been sold there since 1903.
Michael Golden was a landholder of substance. He owned much of Leichhardt Street at Glebe Point, Sidcup, a seven bedroom mansion with a library and dining, smoking, breakfast and ironing rooms, stable and coach house on the corner of Cook Street and Glebe Point Road (now units) and eight houses in Duncan Street (now gone) off Bathurst Street.
Known locally as ‘the old farmhouse’, this building has survived for just on 150 years, making it one of the oldest in Forest Lodge/Glebe.
Edward James Hinder ran his “Family and Dispensing Chemist” between Cowper and Francis streets “opposite the Council Chambers” from 1876 until his untimely death at the age of 30.
Lew Hoad was a prominent tennis player in the 1950s. For five straight years, beginning in 1952, he was ranked in the world top 10 for amateurs, reaching the World No. 1 spot in 1956. He represented Australia in the Davis Cup with Ken Rosewall, winning the Cup for Australia four times from 1952-1956. He was widely regarded as one of the most naturally talented of tennis players.
An article about Lew Hoad is in the People in Glebe’s History section of this website.
‘Dismal Jimmy’ Hogue, MP for Glebe 1894-1910, was Minister for Public Instruction 1895-9 and 1907-10 and Colonial Secretary 1904-7. He married Jessie Robards, born at Raymond Terrace on 18 October 1853, a skilled rider said to be the first woman to reach the summit of Mt Kosciusko on horseback.
John Hood was a pioneer photographer and the father of commercial photographer and photojournalist Sam Hood, whose collection of prints and 44,800 negatives forms an invaluable pictorial resource at the State Library of NSW.
Harry Hopman was the architect of Australia’s post World War II tennis supremacy. “Hopman’s chickens” during the “Hopman era” included Frank Sedgman, Ken McGregor, Mervyn Rose, Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad, Ashley Cooper, Neale Fraser, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, John Newcombe, Fred Stolle and Tony Roche.
Art patron Mervyn Horton was born at L’Aiglon 278 Glebe Point Rd. He was on the committees of the National Trust, the Gallery Society, the Arts Council of Australia, the Society of Artists and the Art Gallery of NSW. In 1962 he founded Art and Australia to promote Australian artists.
During the 1920s and 1930s, Gladys Hunter sang and danced in a variety of theatrical performances. In the 1960s and 1970s, she ran a secondhand/antique business at 45 Glebe Point Road while living next door at number 43.
Frank Hurley, who was born in Glebe in 1885, is best known today as a photographer and filmmaker who worked in the Antarctic with Mawson and Shackleton, was official photographer during the two world wars, and made expeditions to Papua during the 1920s.
An article abut Frank Hurley is in the People in Glebe’s History section of this website.
Fictionalised in Underbelly, Hurley in 1994 had been exposed by the Wood Royal Commission as a key figure in Sydney’s underworld, and at the time of his death was about to stand trial on charges of heading one of Australia’s biggest cocaine importations.
Florence Jacobs was the original owner of Durham Court, 417 Glebe Point Rd, built on part of the Golden Estate, subdivided in 1908. In 1909 Florence’s mother Sarah Speare bought lots 1 – 4 between Leichhardt St and Cook St. Sidcup on the Cook St corner.
The headland at the junction of Blackwattle and Rozelle bays was at one time popularly known as Jarrett’s Point after the builder of Venetia, a double-storey mansion, and Bellevue, its adjacent four-bedroom cottage. William Jarrett’s properties included four terraces comprising St Aubyn’s on Kennedy St (now Leichhardt St flats) and the Gaza-Alma stretch 433-445 Glebe Rd, plus dwellings in Brougham, Campbell and Mitchell streets, the Fairlight farm at Mulgoa and houses, shops and land at Leichhardt, Petersham, Ashfield, Marrickville, Canterbury and Campbelltown.
Built on the waterfront at Blackwattle Bay at a cost of £75 for ship chandler and sailmaker George Linley Robinson, Llangollen was occupied by November 1844.
This is the story of Leichhardt Ave, created after the subdivision of the Golden Estate in 1908 but not given its own name until 1923.
The only person whose career is summed up in The Australian Dictionary of Biography as “politician and murderer” and in The Australian Encyclopaedia as “politician and criminal” lived for a number of years at various addresses in Glebe.
John Locke was co-founder of the NSW Magic Soap Company which erected its corrugated iron buildings on Wentworth Park Rd in the late 1880s and by 1892 was employing 16 hands.
Hartford (244 Glebe Point Road) on the subdivided Toxteth Estate was built for dentist E Randolph Magnus (his preferred name), the driving force behind the establishment of Sydney’s Dental Hospital.
Geologist and explorer, Mawson is best known for his exploratory expeditions to Antarctica. He joined Shackleton’s expedition from 1907-9, and headed the Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 2011 – 14. The scientific work he undertook in this and later expeditions formed the basis for Australia’s claim to 42% of Antarctica as Australian territory.
An article about Douglas Mawson is in the People in Glebe’s History section of this website.
Joseph Maxwell was the second most highly decorated Australian soldier in the First World War.
Andrew McGovisk built the Bridge Hotel on the corner of Pyrmont Bridge Rd and Junction St with a shop on either side.
Major James McManamey was born and married in Glebe and taught at the Collegiate School on Glebe Point Road. He later trained as a barrister. As Second in Command of the 19th Battalion 5th Infantry Brigade, McManamey was killed by shrapnel on 5 September 1915 just two weeks after landing at Gallipoli.
The Meares family were the first occupants of Cliff Lodge at the corner of Mary St and Glebe Point Rd, a two-storey sandstone villa set in extensive grounds, with a bathing house on Blackwattle Bay. Renamed The Anchorage in the 1920s, it was demolished by Parkes Developments in January 1971.
A right-wing member of the ALP, Stan Millard was a Leichhardt Municipal Councillor from 1974 until his death in 1983.
Michael Mitchell was a businessman with a whole grocery and wine and spirits business. He served as a JP and an Alderman and was a founding member of the Glebe Masonic Lodge.
In September 1880 the Guildford Lodge estate on the corner of Leichhardt St and Glebe Point Rd was bought by William Mitchell. After the departure of the Mitchell family Guildford Lodge was rented out. In April 1925, Guildford Lodge was bought by Frederick Stearns & Co. Guildford Lodge was demolished and replaced by a factory. In 1944, Frederick Stearns & Co. was bought out by the Sterling Drug Co.
In 1975, Una Moncrieff was living at 139 Wigram Rd Forest Lodge, her family home since the time of WWI. She and her sister Edna claimed to be cousins of singer Gladys Moncrieff who in 1921 achieved fame throughout Australia as The Maid of the Mountains. Over time they assumed the surname ‘Moncrieff’ and, like ‘Our Glad’, were in show business, playing up the connection in their publicity.
John Mullavey opened the Toxteth Park Hotel in 1873, its licence and the leasehold of the building passing in 1882 to his widow who ran the pub until her own death 15 years later.
In an age before regular garbage collection services, mandatory labelling of products and the disposal of items after only one use, accidental
death by poisoning was not uncommon. Fourteen-year-old Nellie Neely was one such victim.
Northcote Rd was part of the final subdivision of the Toxteth Estate, advertised for sale in October 1904.
Patrick O’Sullivan was publican of the Burton Hotel in Denmam Street (now part of St Johns Road). On 31 March 1880, he died after being involved in a fight with three of the pub’s young customers.
The third wife of the Father of Federation lived at two addresses in Glebe: Auburn, 15 Allen St, and Maryville, 393 Glebe Point Rd.
‘Belle’ Parr was the victim of a murder-suicide shooting. During the First World War she lived with her husband William, a postal worker, at Ayr House a slate-roofed building he jointly owned at 255 Glebe Point Road on the corner of Marlborough Street.
Reuben Peninton was a master carrier with stables at 24a Sheehy Street, near Blackwattle Bay.
John George Purves lived in Glebe for over 50 years. His name has been given to the short street near the site of his 93 St Johns Rd steam bakery. In 1885 JG became one of the few Australian bakers to mechanise bread-making, replacing the old hand-made method.
Rev. Robert Racklyeft served as a chaplain in France during the First World War. He was posted to Glebe in 1927 and set up the Boys Brigade. He enlisted again as a chaplain in the Second World War.
This house is one of Glebe’s oldest surviving stone buildings, dating from ca 1856. It was isolated, surrounded by vacant land until the early 1870s when Ambrose Thornley jnr erected Florence Villa next door. The Retreat was built for James Rothwell, a George St saddler and harness maker who won several government contracts.
After his touring days were over, opera singer Thomas Rainford lived in Glebe until his death. His daughter Eva also had a long association with the suburb.
“I now spend most of my time repairing refrigerators and giving them away to anybody in need. Everybody should have a fridge. If someone brings me a fridge I usually swap it for a good one.”
Edna Ryan (1904-1997) was a political activist and famous fighter for the rights of women.
In 1886 and 1187, George Sargent operated a bakery at 64 Glebe Street. After his introduction of the “penny pie”, business boomed. By the time of the Great War, Sargent’s Ltd owned six cafes and 36 tea rooms, including the ‘largest Tea Romm in the Commonwealth” in Pitt Street, Sydney.
In 1952 self-styled ‘Wandering Poet’ William Pell was staying at 109 St Johns Rd when he penned his six-stanza ‘At Sunset on the Nullarbor’.
Alfred James Shearsby was an historically important photographer and geologist.
The Intercolonial Investment, Land, and Building Company purchased the three acre site of the Strathmore Estate in September 1899. The new owners proposed a 25 lot subdivision. Sheehy St was created in 1900 at the time of the subdivision
John Moore Smail was chief engineer for the Water Board and for 20 years in charge of both Sydney’s water supply and its sewerage system. In the years 1898 to 1902 he lived at Winster on the corner of Boyce St and Bell St
Bernard Smith was a painter, writer, teacher, criti , philanthropist. He was the Foundation Professor of Contemporary Art and was Director of the Power Institute of Fine Arts, University of Sydney and was the inaugural President of the Glebe Society. Bernard Smith and his wife Kate authored the seminal 1973 book The Architectural Character of Glebe.
An article about Bernard and Kate Smith is in te People in Glebe’s History section of this website.and
Fred Spofforth, the “Deamon Bowler”, lived for much of his youth in Derwent Street, Glebe.
Blackwattle Bay’s Strathmore was built in 1857 for businessman and politician Alexander McArthur (1814-1909), the son of a poor Scots-Irish farmer and itinerant Wesleyan preacher. On the five-acre estate was Strathmore, a three-storey stone house directly opposite George Allen’s Toxteth Park to the south.
Benjamin Stone lived at 294 Glebe Point Rd from the time the house was built until two years before his death. Both his home and the stove he manufactured were christened Waratah.
Jane Suggate’s childhood was spent aboard a house built on top of a boat. Saving the cost of construction materials, and possibly in an effort to avoid paying land rates, her ferryman father had converted an iron steamer into his own “Noah’s Ark” on the water’s edge at Glebe Point.
One of Australia’s best-known Press cartoonists for over 40 years, Leslie Mervyn Tanner was born in 1927 when his parents were living at 12 Reuss Street Glebe.
James Henry Trammell was a US fugitive who settled in Glebe after escaping an Arkansas murder charge.
Victoria Rd, now widely known to residents and visitors alike due to the Jubilee stop on the Light Rail and the access to the Tramsheds, was created in the subdivision by George Boyce Allen in the period 1894-96 (south side) and 1902 (north side).
On board the Harbinger which docked in Sydney in February 1849 was the 13-member bounty immigrant Wearne family from Cornwall. The Wearnes went on to have many children (11 each was the norm).
The University Hotel on the corner of Glebe Rd and Broadway opened its doors to the public in December 1856. The original hotel was built for local businessman John Walton. Construction began in 1854. When completed, it was an imposing landmark on the road to Parramatta.
Vera White was born on 9 July 1901 at Glebe, the daughter of Ida Venette Haigh (1875-1959) and Walter John White (1875-1919), a printer, who married in 1899. The family were at 74 Forsyth St before moving to 6 Ferry Rd (in Richmond Terrace) where they lived from 1907 to 1915
Whittle was awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on two occasions, near Boursies and Lagnicourt, France.