Category Archives: Streets

ThrowbackThursday: A Day in Court, Eltham Courthouse, 1967

#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back to August 30, 1967. It’s a Wednesday morning and you have been summoned to appear at the Eltham Courthouse, 730 Main Road, Eltham at 10 a.m. You have never appeared in court before and this leaves you feeling a little anxious. The weather forecast is mostly fine with a maximum of 61 (16°C). It was 48 (9°C) when you got up and had rained overnight but the sun was out now. The rain ultimately meant it would only get up to 58 (14.5°C). You check the summons one more time to verify the time and head off. You do not want to be late.

Eltham Court, 730 Main Road (looking southeast), 30 August 1967 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

You approach the courthouse heading south down Main Road from Pitt Street. People are already there, mingling around outside chatting. Seems everybody else had the same idea about arriving early and all the parking spots out front are already taken; on both sides.

Looking west from Brougham Street near Eltham Courthouse across Main Road, 30 August 1967 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

Never mind, you turn left into Brougham Street and park there; minding not to step into any puddles left on the unsealed road that could splash mud onto your freshly polished shoes.

Understandably you feel a little nervous so you just dash across the road to the servo to grab some chewing gum and smokes.

Eltham Courthouse, looking northeast across Main Road, 30 August 1967 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

As you take a few puffs on your cigarette you notice that people are now starting to head inside. Still, you figure you have a few more moments to help calm your nerves as you wander up Main Road taking in the scene.

Eltham Court, Main Road (looking southeast), 30 August 1967 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

The coppers have now turned up in their Paddy Wagon and the suspect is bundled inside. Better get a move-on; they’ll be calling you shortly. You take one more quick drag of your smoke, stub the butt out, pop some Juicy Fruit in and dash inside.

“I solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.”

 

Built in 1860, the Eltham Courthouse is the oldest public building remaining in Eltham. In its early days the building was used as the meeting place and office of the Eltham District Road Board and as an overflow classroom for the local school. The Eltham Courthouse ceased operational duties in 1984 and is now used by various community groups including Eltham District Historical Society. It was listed on the Victorian Heritage Register (Number H0784) in 1982. The building is of architectural significance because it retains intact early features. These include use of handmade bricks, simple decoration, roof trusses, timber ceiling boards, original windows, doors and associated hardware and a collection of court furniture. Additions to the court house have been done in a manner which did not interfere with the fabric of the original building.

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ThrowbackThursday: Main Road Shops, Eltham, Winter 1968

#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back 50 years to the Main Road shops in Eltham. It is a Monday morning, July 15th, 1968 and the weather is fine but cloudy. People are off to work and school. The temperature is 41 degrees (5° C) with a high of 53 (12° C). Cars and people are navigating the roadworks which are now well under way to widen Main Road from Pitt Street to Elsa Court.

Looking north along Main Road, Eltham from just south of Dudley Street, 15 July 1968 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society @elthamhistory)

What memories does this invoke for you? One can certainly get a fuller impression now of how this area changed with the widening of the road.

 

MysteryMonday: Residential Street, Eltham District, c.1990

#MysteryMonday – Today’s image is of a residential street, possibly Eltham, c.1990. It was around the time the Shire was introducing speed humps.

Residential Street, possibly Eltham, c.1990 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

Can you identify this? We’d love to hear from you; your thoughts and suggestions as to where it is and help us catalogue these images.

Over to you . . .

ThrowbackThursday: Pryor Street, Eltham, c.1960

#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back to 1960 and Pryor Street, Eltham near the intersection with Main Road.

Looking west along Pryor Street, Eltham near intersection with Main Road, c.1960 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society @elthamhistory)

Standing about halfway on the southern side of Pryor Street looking towards Main Road, we see on the northeastern corner, the new branch of the State Savings Bank of Victoria under construction. A brickie’s cement mixer stands on the footpath beside the building and the roofing is yet to be completed. In 1980 the State Savings Bank of Victoria name was revised to the State Bank of Victoria, which was eventually sold and absorbed into the Commonwealth Bank in 1990. Given the Commonwealth Bank already had a branch in Eltham, the building was acquired by the Bank of Melbourne which itself was acquired by the Westapc Bank in 1997. Despite some modifications and extensions, the current @Westpac Eltham branch building remains very recognisable especially when viewed from Pryor Street, even 58 years later.

Next door up the hill is a white timber building, Eltham Plumbing Supplies operated by Leonard and Jeannette Patricia Whiteway. Unlike the bank, this site has seen many changes. In 1963 a  Petition for Bankruptcy was issued re Jeanette Patricia Whiteway of 88 Napoleon Street, Eltham, house duties, and carrying on a business at Pryor Street, Eltham in partnership with another as a plumber under the names Eltham Plumbing Supplies and L. & J.P. Whiteway. The Whiteways kept trading and four years later sought a notice for discharge. Eventually the building became the Eltham Bookshop including bric-a-brac items for sale.

With the development of the Eltham shopping district and Commercial Place, the building was demolished and a new cafe, the Eira Cafe and Lounge Bar replaced it and which more recently came under new ownership as the Jock and Eddie Cafe.

Looking west along Pryor Street, Eltham near intersection with Main Road, c.1986. Showing the State Bank of Victoria and former Eltham Plumbing Supplies, by then the Eltham Bookshop on the right (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society @elthamhistory).
Looking northwest along Pryor Street, Eltham near intersection with Main Road, c.1986. Showing the State Bank of Victoria and former Eltham Plumbing Supplies, by then the Eltham Bookshop. (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society @elthamhistory)
Looking west along Pryor Street, Eltham near intersection with Main Road, Oct 2017 (Google Street View)
Looking west along Pryor Street, Eltham near intersection with Main Road, c.1960 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society @elthamhistory)

In this view, the house immediately to the left was the first house built in Pryor Street. By 1964 the property was in the ownership of the Shire of Eltham and was relocated c.1965 near to the area of the currrent Barak Bushlands.

Looking west along Pryor Street, Eltham near intersection with Main Road, c.1960 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society @elthamhistory)
Looking west along Pryor Street, Eltham, Oct 2017 (Google Street View)

 

References:

1963 ‘SEQUESTRATION ORDERS AND FIRST MEETINGS’, Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (National : 1901 – 1973), 12 September, p. 3259. , viewed 10 Jul 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article241015035

1967 ‘NOTICE OF ORDERS OF DISCHARGE’, Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (National : 1901 – 1973), 11 May, p. 2427. , viewed 10 Jul 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article241040009

@Westpac

@Jock&Eddie

MysteryMonday: Real Estate Sales, Eltham District, c.Nov. 1992

#MysteryMonday – Today’s images are of the first two frames from a roll of negative film. They feature two separate properties up for sale and which had been sold by November 17, 1992. The other frames on the roll of film are not related but are probably the reason the film was originall donated to us. They concern an excursion undertaken by the Society to One Tree Hill Mine  on November 20, 1992. However, these images do interest us but we have no other information other than the thousand words contained in each picture.

Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 4 strips
Fuji 100 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

The first is of a deceased estate sold by Peter McDougall of The Professionals; 23 acres in size on 2 titles in a prime position, with a made road frontage and close to the Pony Club with an easy drive to Eltham, Greensborough and Melbourne – so perhaps Kangaroo Ground? Given it is a made road frontage, probably one of the main roads and the property is number 100.

Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 4 strips
Fuji 100 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

The second property is number 82, sold by Peter Reid Real Estate of 126 Bolton Street, Eltham. Not giving away much at all; so you either know it or you don’t.

Can you identify these? We’d love to hear from you; your thoughts and suggestions as to where they are and help us catalogue these images.

Over to you . . .

MysteryMonday: Lavender Park Road; what’s in a name?

#MysteryMonday – Have you ever wondered how the street you live on came by its name? People, places and events shape where we live and provide us with an insight into the past and what was important at the time. For instance, Lavender Park Road in Eltham was once known as New Street. Why would they change a perfectly good name for the street, when it did not need to be, or did it?

Maybe it was because on the 29th of May 1954, a local Eltham carpenter by the name of John Swallow, committed a double murder at his home on New Street. This happened on the same day as the federal election of that year.

John 48, his wife Mary 47, and step daughter Patricia 25, all went to the Eltham Courthouse on Main Road to cast their vote in the election that Saturday. After voting they returned home to their New Street house around midday.

Patricia would later recall to ambulance officers, that she was feeling unwell, and so went to lay down when she heard an argument erupt over voting between her mother Mary and step father John.

A concerned neighbour heard loud thudding noises and yelling coming from John and Mary’s house, he went to investigate. When he arrived at the house he was met by John at the front door. He would later describe John as “having a frantic look upon his face, and manic eyes”. John must have been a sight, bleeding and clutching a cut throat razor by his side. He then announced to the neighbour, “they voted commie!” before turning and going back inside. The distressed neighbour immediately raced home to call the Police.

When the police arrived, they found Mary dead on the kitchen floor from catastrophic head injuries; her daughter, Patricia, clinging to life, slumped on her bed. Both women had been attacked by the same weapon, a large hammer, or sledge hammer as reported by the newspapers. John was also discovered in the house, bleeding from self-inflicted wounds from the razor, and had attempted to ingest caustic soda.

Patricia was taken to St Vincent’s hospital, but died the following day, the 30th of May. John was also taken to St Vincent’s, where he remained under constant police guard for several months while he recovered from his injuries, at least the physical. He was eventually well enough to be taken to the City Watch House and then Pentridge Prison before his trial in October of the same year.

When it came time for John to face the courts, the Judge called a mistrial, the Crown would not prosecute on the grounds of insanity. John was led away from the dock of The Magistrates Court and taken directly to Willsmere, the Kew Mental Asylum.

Kew Mental Assylum (from the collection of Public Record Office Victoria)

On the 9th of August 1962, John Mervyn Swallow died of heart failure, he was 57. He had been a resident of Kew for four years. John’s body was returned to Eltham Cemetery and buried in the same grave as Mary. There is no mention of his name on the head stone. Patricia’s grave is next to Mary and John. A sad irony has an angel upon her grave, “its head missing”, possibly vandals or just an accident of time and events.

Eltham Cemetery

What became of the home where all of this took place on New Street shall remain a mystery but within six months of this horrific event, the street had been re-named to Lavender Park Road after the original property near the end of the road, Lavender Park.

 

Contributed by by Heather Eastman

ThrowbackThursday: Maria Street near Eltham Railway Station, c.1910

#ThrowbackThursday – Today we time travel back to Main Road, Eltham, c.1910, opposite the relatively new Railway Station. At that time and up until the late 1940s, Main Road was known as Maria Street.

https://victoriancollections.net.au/items/5ad05cad21ea721b748d29d4
Looking northwest across Maria Street, Eltham towards Eltham Railway Station, c.1910. (From the Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph collection No. 613, held jointly by Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library.)

In this view we are standing near the northeast corner of what will become the intersection of Arthur Street and Main Road looking northwest across the road. The railway station can be seen on the left. In the centre is a small wooden shop front with H.H. Clark painted on the sides, believed to be from where Mr. Horace H. Clark conducted his estate agency and auction sales business. Further down the road to the right of picture is another shop belonging to Mr. W.J. Capewell, butcher.

https://goo.gl/maps/nD36wPp1SmE2
Looking northwest across Main Road, Eltham from the intersection with Arthur Street (Google Street View, October 2017)

The same view today.

https://victoriancollections.net.au/items/5ad05c2d21ea721b748ca5ee
Looking southwest across Maria Street, Eltham towards Eltham Railway Station, c.1910. (From the Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph collection No. 609, held jointly by Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library.)

And in this view we are standing near the future intersection of Pryor Street and Main Road looking to the southwest across Maria Street.  W.J. Capewell’s shop front is forefront on the right; note the Hot Water sign painted on the fence. In the distance is a larger shop, Lloyd’s General Store (later Staff’s) with Summer Drinks and Hot Water also advertised on the building’s side. This shop was located opposite to where Arthur Street is now situated. Between these two buildings can be seen H.H. Clark’s agency though you need to look closely as it is very small in size.

https://goo.gl/maps/7KK4TzKatrQ2
Looking southwest across Main Road, Eltham from near the intersection with Pryor Street (Google Street View, October 2017)

The same view today.

As can be seen, the landscape has undergone dramatic transformation over the last 100 plus years. What changes will there be in the next 100?

These photographs form part of a collection of photographs gathered by the Shire of Eltham for their centenary project book, “Pioneers and Painters: 100 years of the Shire of Eltham” by Alan Marshall (1971). The collection of over 500 images is held in partnership between Eltham District Historical Society and Yarra Plenty Regional Library (Eltham Library) and is now formally known as the ‘The Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photograph Collection.’
It is significant in being the first community sourced collection representing the places and people of the Shire’s first one hundred years.

 

Ref: 1930 ‘DEATH OF MR. H. H. CLARK’, Advertiser (Hurstbridge, Vic. : 1922 – 1939), 21 March, p. 3. (AFTERNOON), viewed 26 Jun 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article57762046

@YarraPlentyRegionalLibrary @therealelthamlibrary @elthamhistory @YarraPlentyLib