Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Old Wool Factory, Hobart

In 1869, the Tasmanian Government had made an bonus offer of 1000 pounds for the first firm that was to make sales of 1000 pounds of woollen goods that were manufactured in Tasmania from Tasmanian grown wool.

The bonus appears to have been widely promoted and attracted Archibald & David Johnstone to head out to Hobart from Scotland in 1873. They became partners in a firm that was to establish the Waverley woollen mills at a premises on the outskirts of Launceston. They quickly went on to produce the required amount of woollen products and claim the bonus.

Archibald & David Johnstone moved to Hobart in 1883 and set up their first woollen mill in a factory in Gore St. By 1899, they had constructed an impressive new premises in Molle Street next to the Hobart Rivulet. The factory was powered by steam engines and it was said that the constant noise of the machines would fill the air with a deafening roar.

The building has survived and is preserved in fantastic condition to this day and is home to numerous small businesses and cafes and still is an impressive looking building.

Main Text & Information Source - 
"The Story of Central Hobart - Street By Street" - Donald Howatson 2015

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Hobart Synagogue

The unique appearance of the Hobart Synagogue is truly remarkable as it the oldest synagogue in Australia and is also a very rare example of a style of architecture known as Egyptian Revival.

Prior to the design and erection of their synagogue, the Hebrew residents of Hobart had worshipped at the home of one of their prominent residence, a man named Judah Solomon. By April 1843, the Jewish congregation had determined to build themselves a new house of prayer that was specifically dedicated to the God of Israel and in order to make this a reality, they had begun to collect donations to pay for the construction. The plot of land on which the synagogue sits was formally a part of Judah Solomon’s garden who very generously donated the land to the cause.

The foundation stone for the new building was dedicated at a ceremony held in August 1843 and building for the new synagogue was commenced to a unique design that had been put together by an architect named James Alexander Thomson who had earlier arrived in the colony as a convict.

The building was undertaken by the firm of Kirk & Fisher and the elaborate stone carvings that adorn the front fa├žade of the building were principally done by Mr Fisher himself. The new synagogue was officially opened in July 1845 and the building remains a unique fixture of the Argyle St streetscape to this day. The workmanship, beauty and overall appearance of the building were reported to have elicited universal admiration.

Main Text & Information Source – 
“The Story of Central Hobart – Street By Street” – Donald Howatson 2015

Sunday, 18 December 2016

St Peter's Church, Oatlands

As far back as 1827 Archdeacon Scott, at the Instigation of Thomas Anstey, Police Magistrate of Oatlands, had applied to the Government for appointment of a catechist to represent the Church of England at Oatlands, and for help in erecting a log building for a chapel. The requisition was acceded to, and William Pike was appointed with a salary of £100 a year, and a forage allowance for his horse. Services were held for a few years beneath a tree on the shore of Lake Dulverton.

In 1834 a movement was started for the erection of a church. Land was granted by the Government and, with the assistance of convict labour, building of the church and rectory commenced in 1838 to plans originally drawn up by John Lee Archer and Robert De Little. The original structure included a shingle roof.

The present building was opened for worship in 1838. In that year the Rev. G. Morris had already been established as rector of the parish of Bath and chaplain of Oatlands township. In 1840 the .Rev. Gregory Bateman became parish chaplain and rector of Oatlands. He was succeeded in 1847 by the Rev. William Dry, who laboured for three years, until he was succeeded by the Rev. Ison. He ministered to the needs of the district until he died, and his remains were interred under the east end of the church' by Dean Branby.

The next incumbent was the Rev. 31. W. Adams, who was succeeded in 1876 by the Rev. Henry Edwards. For the next two years the Rev. John Bach officiated. From 1879 the Rev. W. F. Mitchell remained as rector for 18 years. The Rev. Root ministered until 1899, when the Rev. J. Priestley became incumbent until 1908.

In 1848 the church was furnished with cedar pews. For a few years after 1859 seat holders were required to pay a shilling a year for the right to vote at contested elections tor church wardens. A census taken in 1859 to ascertain the number of Church of England adherents in the ' district ' disclosed a total of 309 men, women, and children.

The occupations of the parishioners given were widely varied. Some of them were entered in a record book as javelin man, waggoner, brewer, gaolkeeper, Innkeeper, executioner. In 1868, the parishes of Oatlands and Jericho were united. The Rev. Adams was the first minister appointed to the charge. In 1897 a "small rental was imposed for pews, but was discontinued after a few year«. The Church was roofed with iron in 1898

The first register records brief, but' interesting accounts of those early days at Oatlands when it was a penal settlement. According to the register death in the early days between the ages of 20 and 40 years was somewhat common, and many persons died as a result of "Intoxication at the races."

Constructed of freestone, the church, as it stands today, is in a splendid state of preservation, as are the interior fittings. It has seating room for about 250 persons.

Main Text & Information Sources –
Interpretive Sign at the Site
Australian Heritage Database
“Oatlands…A Colonial Treasure” – Walter.B.Pridmore

Historic Photos – 

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Pubs of the Goulburn St & Barrack St Intersection, Hobart

Here is something a little different to usual that I discovered whilst reading through one of noted Hobart historian Donald Howatson’s sensational books about the backgrounds of many of the streets across Hobart, Bellerive & Battery Point. They are well worth your time to seek out as they are all such a wonderful resource full of historical facts and interesting stories.

This is about the intersection of Goulburn Street and Barrack Street in central Hobart. Goulburn Street was well known for the large number of Pubs and Inns that have operated along the length of the street and the intersection with Barrack Street is particularly interesting as there have been pubs operating on all four corners over many of the early years of Hobart. In fact, some of the original buildings still exist in one form or another although none of them currently operate as licensed premises.

Starting on the north west corner of the intersection, was the home of the Black Swan which was the first of the pubs to be licensed. A very early pub, the Black Swan operated between 1822 and the early 1830’s. The building pictured above stands on this corner today but I’m not sure if there’s anything of the original pub remaining.

On the opposite side of the road, on the south west corner was the substantial two storey pub that was known as The Dog & Partridge. This pub was opened in 1836 and reportedly no expense was spared in making the building a very comfortable Inn. William Lanne, the last full blooded Tasmanian aboriginal man, died here in 1869. By 1871, the authorities were refusing to renew the Dog & Partridge’s license on the ground that there were two other pubs on the same intersection and that the Dog & Partridge was no longer required as a pub and the owner was then advised to let the Inn out for some other purpose. Fortunately, the majority of the two storey building (pictured above) survives to this day and is still being utilized.

Opposite the old Dog & Partridge site, on the south east corner of the intersection stood the old St Patrick Inn which was established in 1831. The St Patrick operated through till 1882 when its name was changed to the Goulburn Hotel. By the 1920’s, the premises were very run down and the licensing authorities threatened the owners with closure unless the owners undertook a program of refurbishment and rectified the situation. The owners immediately complied with the directive and carried out improvements and added extra rooms. The Goulburn Hotel continued to operate until recent times, well and truly outlasting its former competition on the other three corners of the intersection. The building today pictured above is the home of the Hobart Hostel.

The final pub is the youngest of the four pubs that graced the intersection. The Peacock Inn was opened in 1846 on the north east corner by its landlord, John Chard. Chard appears to have been a bit of a character as within months of the Peacock Inn opening, he was fined 10 shillings and costs for his assault on an unruly female patron who it appears he stuck with a pint pot, although he did claim that she had hit her head on the edge of a door after she fell. He must have been a bit of a entrepreneur as he also apparently staged cock fights on the premises for which he was subsequently charged for this. The Peacock Inn eventually closed in 1875 but the building has survived the ravages of time and still exists (see photos above) and appears in great condition.

This is a very interesting small part of Hobart and its history and it’s great that you can still go to the intersection and see the four buildings and can almost picture the patrons coming in and out after a rowdy drinking session.

Main Text & Information Source - 
“The Story of Central Hobart – Street By Street” – Donald Howatson 2015

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Launceston Customs House

The substantial customs house was built in 1885 by J & T Gunn at a cost of 9,500 pounds. Custom House, with its elegant portico and Corinthian columns and its overall size is indicative of Launceston’s importance as a port at the time and this building once housed what was thought to be the most important of government functions. The ore from rich tin mines at was processed in the town, plus Launceston supplied the mine fields on the west coast.

Trade flourished, and the customs duties contributed to a booming Tasmanian economy. Sadly, today the wharves which were synonymous with this building are gone and a very necessary levee bank visually divorces the building from its immediate riverside setting.

This building once housed what was thought to be the most important of government functions and currently contains the offices for Customs and Border Protection in Launceston.

Main Text & information Source – 
Australian Heritage Database