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Blackwell House Strathalbyn 1869. Double sash windows with curved tops. In 1912 a butcher purchased it and named it Blackwell House and operated a butcher shop from here.
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A Special Survey of 4,000 acres was taken out along the Angas River in 1839 for George Hall (secretary to Governor Gawler) and William Mein and others. Land was surveyed from the mouth of the Angas along the river to about where Macclesfield is now situated. Other contributors to the Mouth of the Angas Special Survey were Strathalbyn settlers including: 806 acres purchased by Dr John Rankine, Blackwood Park; 166 acres purchased by William Rankine, Glenbarr; 410 acres purchased by Donald McLean; 81 acres purchased by Edward and Charles Stirling of Hampton and later the Lodge. William and Nicol Mein kept 728 acres for themselves but George Hall (who kept about 930 acres) was a Colonial Office employee with an eye on speculation. He also paid £4,000 for the Great Bend Special Survey along the River Murray from Morgan to Blanchetown but it was claimed this was taken for Governor Gawler but in Hall’s name to avoid scandal! But the land was not worth £1 per acre! The Meins were graziers and also took out Occupational Licenses for leasehold land in 1843. They were Scots so they donated £600 for the building fund for the Presbyterian Church in Adelaide in 1840. But in 1843 they dissolved a business partnership in Adelaide and they appear to have left the colony perhaps to join their relatives in NSW. Meins did not stay on to become Strathalbyn pioneers unlike the Rankines, McLeans and Stirlings. The other prominent early founder was William Dawson- hence the creek flowing in front of Glen Barr is the Dawson Creek which enters the Angas River in Strathalbyn. Dawson Banks is another of the grand old properties in Strathalbyn.
Stirlings chose their land to the north of the town and built Hampden and the Lodge; John Rankine chose his land to the north of the town and built Blackwood Park whilst brother William Rankine chose land to the south on Dawson Creek and built Glenbarr house. The first public building in the fledgling town of Strathalbyn was the Strathalbyn Hotel erected in 1840 and the second was probably St. Andrews Presbyterian Church which opened in 1844 with additions in 1869. As most of the settlers were Scottish the name chosen for the town was Scottish and the first church was Presbyterian. The first farmer to produce a crop was David Gollan. His interest in wheat led him to open the first flour mill in 1850 in the centre of the town. Mill Bridge adjacent to the flourmill bridged the Angas River. As the town progressed quickly a local council was formed in 1854 with the Stirlings, Rankines and Archibald McLean (investor in Langhorne Creek) being among the first councillors. The Stirlings were especially important to Strathalbyn. Edward Stirling (the father) joined into a partnership with (Sir) Thomas Elder and Robert Barr Smith in 1855. Stirling stayed with the company as it funded the Moonta and Wallaroo copper mines in 1861 then he withdrew but remained as an investor in the mines. The company went on to become Elder Smith and Co the most successful SA 19th century company. Edward Stirling had two sons, (Sir) Edward Stirling a famed surgeon who lived at St. Vigeans at Stirling and (Sir) Lancelot Stirling, local Member of Parliament for the Strathalbyn district, sheep and cattle breeder and company director. The Stirlings lived in the family home Hampden until it burnt down around 1870. Then they moved into the Lodge which was extended and remained the family home for Sir Lancelot Stirling after his father Edward died in 1873. Lancelot lived there until he died in 1932. The Stirlings of Strathalbyn also owned and operated Nalpa Station on Lake Albert. The Lodge is now the centre of a new suburban development at Strathalbyn.
From the beginning Strathalbyn prospered because of its access to water from the Angas River, its reliable rainfall, its genial climate for cropping and from the patronage of its wealthy founders. The town was laid out in 1840 and blocks sold at that time. The discovery of silver, lead and zinc at nearby Wheal Ellen mine in 1857 further boosted the growing town. The mine closed a short time later but re-opened in 1869 and operated until closure in 1888. It briefly re-opened from 1910-14 for the last phase. Until recently Strathalbyn had another zinc mine conducted by Terramin Mining which started operations in 2007. The zinc from here was sent to Nyrstar refinery at Port Pirie for smelting. The mining occurred 360 metres below the ground surface. The mine had a life of five years and closed in late 2013 ending the jobs of 115 local people. But Strathalbyn has always had a range of local industry. A foundry operated in the town from the mid 1850s as well as the usual businesses of blacksmith, saddlery etc, and the town handled coach services to Wellington via Langhorne Creek from around 1854. It was also one of the first towns in SA to have its own gas works started by David Trenouth in 1868. By 1870 the small urban centre of Strathalbyn had gas street lights! The gas works operated until 1917 when an electrical service took over power provision. From an early date Strathalbyn also had its own newspaper and printing press the Southern Argus housed in Argus House which was built 1867/68. The Southern Argus which is still published, is SA’s oldest country newspaper. In 1912 it established an offshoot – the Victor Harbor Times. In terms of transportation and the transport of goods Strathalbyn prospered as it was the terminus of the horse drawn tram service from Port Elliott and Goolwa in 1869. That is why the Terminus Hotel is so named. In 1884 that line was converted to a broad gauge rail line for steam engines and linked at Mt Barker with the line to Adelaide. Strathalbyn had a flour mill from 1850 as noted above and in the 1860s the town had its own brewery. The heyday of business boom for Strathalbyn was in the 1860s and 1870 when so many of the fine town buildings were erected. Heritage buildings are shown on map above and they include:
Commercial Street/Dawson Street.
•At the northern end of Commercial Street on the corner with North Parade is the Doctor’s Residence. 26 North Parade. Dr Herbert built a grand 8 roomed residence here in 1858. Dr Ferguson purchased it in 1869 and added and altered the verandas. Dr Shone bought it in 1897. Dr Formby took it over in 1907 and kept it until he sold it to Dr Fairley in 1979! Note the double chimneys and the ogee(S shaped) gutters above the bay windows and the 1850s French windows.
•On the northern end of Commercial Street is the Wesleyan Methodist Church which was built in 1874. It replaced the demolished Methodist church built in 1854. Built of random stone, semi rounded windows etc. It became the only Methodist church at the time of Methodist amalgamations in 1900 .It closed around the time of amalgamation with the Presbyterians and Congregationalists in 1977. The Hall was added in 1939.
•Blackwell House, 18 Commercial Street. A two storey bluestone structure from the 1860s. It was much altered in 1912 when the parapet along the roof was removed, the slate replaced with iron and the upper balcony added.
•The former Power House 1917 –when gas works closed. Became Council Chamber 1939 when ETSA arrived.
•Coleman Mill store. Fine stone building with few windows. Built 1864. Coleman bought the mill from Gollan.
•1850 flour mill which was sold to Laucke’s in 1938. Commercial Rd and Mill Street an imposing four storey structure. Note the four storeys, purple sandstone, and little windows.
•Beside the mill is Water Villa house. The earliest part dates from 1849 and the Italianate bay window sections are 1879. David Gollan the owner of the 1850 flour mill built this as his residence. It is a mixture of stones. Note the French doors in the old original part of the house onto the veranda.
•Argus House, 1868. 33 Commercial Street. It was a print works and residence and shop.
•Post Office 1911. 37 Commercial Street.
•Savings Banks of South Australia. A fine two storey structure for the bank and manager’s residence. Built in 1930. It has rough stone, prominent gables, repeating arches, wooden doors, and terra cotta tiles.
•Church of Christ. Opened in 1873.Limestone walls, arched windows.
•Masonic Hall built in 1896 but Lodge established 1866.Additons 1912 and 1957.
Rankine Street/Albyn Terrace.
•Strathalbyn Police Station (1855) and Court House (1865) now the National Trust Museum.
•National Bank 2 Albyn Terrace. Squared stone blocks, two storeys and a dominant building. Elaborate porch and balcony and decorative window surrounds etc. Erected in 1869. Nearby Norfolk Island pine was planted in 1895.
•Tucker & Sons solicitors at 8 Albyn Terrace. Have a look at all the shops along Albyn Terrace a great 19th century streetscape still largely intact. It was used in the film “Picnic at Hanging Rock.”
•London House general store at 7 High Street 1867. Now an antiques shop. Cobb and Co used to use the stables at the rear for the daily coaching service to Adelaide. London House had the first telephone in Strathalbyn in 1883.
•Robin Hood hotel erected in 1855 and still standing. 18 High Street.
•The Strathalbyn library 9 High Street. Opened 1922 with a classical façade with good symmetry.
•The Town Hall at 11 High Street. 1874 opened as a two storey stone structure with fancy parapet as an institute building. The parapet is supported by paired brackets.
Other locations- Chapel Street, East Terrace and South Terrace.
•St. Andrews Uniting Church (formerly Presbyterian) 1844 for main church with transept added 1857. Manse erected 1854. 1869 tower completed, bell donated by Edward Stirling. Clock installed 1895. Church hall on the opposite corner was built in 1911.
•Former Primitive Methodist Church 1861 was sold to the Anglican Church as a church hall in 1901 following the Methodist amalgamation. It was sold to the Foresters Lodge in 1912(when Anglicans purchased the former Catholic Church) and much later it as sold to the Scouts.
•St. Barnabas Catholic Church 2 Chapel Street. This was a late addition to Strathalbyn being erected in 1913. But Catholic services began in 1881 when a Catholic church was consecrated in Rowe St. The first priest arrived in 1906. A presbytery as built 1911 in East Tce and then church two years later. The 1881 church was sold in 1913 as Anglican parish hall called St. Barnabas. It is on the corner of Rowe and Murray street.
•Christ Church Anglican Church 7 East Terrace. The tower on Christ Church was erected from donations on the death of Sir Lancelot Stirling in 1932. The tower opened in 1933 but the church was built in 1871.
•Railway Station on South Terrace erected 1883 in time for opening of broad gauge line to Adelaide and start of branch line trains to Milang from Sandergrove siding.
•Two storey residence attached to Rowe’s foundry in South Terrace. Britannia House as it is known was built in 1855.
Image from page 262 of “Royal and historic gloves and shoes” (1904)
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Title: Royal and historic gloves and shoes
Year: 1904 (1900s)
Authors: Redfern, William Beales
Subjects: Gloves Footwear
Publisher: London : Methuen & Co.
Contributing Library: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Library
Digitizing Sponsor: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Library
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Text Appearing Before Image:
SLIPPERS No. 1 A WHITE satin slipper, with a square toe and a low heel; it isbound with silver braid, and has a rosette of pale blue ribbontrimmed with silver. The shoe is reputed to have belongedto a Lady Digby. Date, about 1750. No. 2 A SMART shoe of red kid bound with white braid. The toe ispointed, and the instep is slashed and ornamented with arosette of white ribbon ; a backing or lining of white kidshows through the slashings; the heel, of red leather, is small, andis inches high. Date, eighteenth century. No. 3 A VERY neat slipper of blue kid, with a low heel and pointedtoe. Eighteenth century. Nos. 4 and 5 A BALL slipper of white ribbed silk goloshed with crimsonsilk, square-toed and without heels. On the white kidlining is written in ink the name of Miss Gordon and themakers name, Patterson, 74, Oxford Street appears on the sole.The patten, for protecting the slipper, is made of brown moroccoleather, and was worn over the ball slipper. Date, early Victorian. •>> I
Text Appearing After Image:
GLOVES AND SHOES 105 No. 6 (centre of plate) THIS white satin shoe is embroidered with green, yellow, andlight red silk ; it has latchets for buckles, and the heel, ofwood, z inches high, is covered with white kid. Attachedto the shoe is a slip of antique paper with faded writing, which statesthat the shoe belonged to Sarah Churchill, the wife of the GreatDuke of Marlborough. The clog, which appears on the extremeright of the picture, belongs to the shoe. Time of Queen Anne.All the above are in the collection of W. P. Gibbs, Esqr.The clogs and pattens are of the seventeenth and eighteenthcenturies and are in the collection of the Author. 106 GLOVES AND SHOES PLATE XXVIII EASTERN SHOES AND CHOPINES No. 1 AA PAIR of shoes made of hempen string. Views of the upperand sole are given. No. 2PAIR of wooden-soled shoes; the uppers are composed ofleather covered with brown felt, over which is a wide bandof blue cashmere. Nos. 3 and 4 WOODEN chopines, or clogs, 8 inches high, worn by Turkishwo
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