Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Robert Logan's Cottage

Here's an interesting story. Robert Logan is not a well known or significant personality in Hobart's history. In fact Logan's arrival in Van Diemen's Land was pretty much involuntary. He had been convicted of larceny and sentenced to transportation for life at Berwick-Upon-Tweed in May 1829. Logan arrived in Hobart in December 1829, and despite being suspected of stealing or being an accessory to the theft of 10 x 1 pound notes in June 1831, he was to receive his ticket of leave in February 1838. Fortunately for Robert, he had no more misdemeanours recorded against him and he went on to receive his conditional pardon in September 1841, followed by his absolute pardon in May 1844. He was then able to take his place in Hobart society as a free man.

By May 1845, land on the western side of De Witt Street in Battery Point was subdivided and made available for purchase. The newspaper adverts of the time were addressed to builders and capitalists and predicted that "the result of a purchase cannot prove to be anything other than an exceedingly profitable investment".

By this time, Robert Logan had been a free man for 12 months and he was able to acquire about an acre of land in the sale. It had a 74 metre frontage along De Witt Street and extended back all the way to Newcastle Street. Logan set about constructing himself a sandstone cottage and went on to construct eight others on his parcel of land which he rented out.

Logan ran for election as a Hobart City Council Alderman in 1862, and although he wasn't elected, it was an exceptional rise from the rank of convict to landowner and man of respectability. The full stop on Logan's rise to respectability took place in May 1921 when the Hobart Council renamed St Georges Street, which was a little side street that had been created to provide access through to Newcastle Street when De Witt Street was subdivided in 1845, to Logan Street after Robert Logan who had lived in the cottage on the corner of its junction with De Witt Street.

Apart from his street name, Logan's legacy still exists with all nine of the cottages Logan constructed still existing to this day and are in fine condition serving as private residences.

Main Text & Information Source - 
"The Story Of Battery Point - Street By Street" - Donald Howatson 2012