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Friday, February 19, 2016

Albion Hotel, 329-333 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, Early 1900's.

The Albion Hotel stands on the site of Alexander Bowman’s store, which he started in 1852, possibly Dandenong’s first store. Bowman owned every street corner but one of Lonsdale Street in the very early days, and was said to have ‘owned half the township at one period’.

James Clarke bought the store erected by A. W. Bowman, and converted it into a hotel, which he named the “Mornington Arms.” Clarke took advantage of a rumor about the establishment of a permanent market to invest in this hotel, and it turned out to be a very profitable move. At first the house was merely a “beer shop.” However, Clarke did not live long to enjoy his prosperity, as, coming home from Melbourne one night, he was thrown from a cart and killed.

Alfred Pope (son of David Pope), conducted the house for a time, but was succeeded by Charles Dobson, who transferred from the “Shamrock Hotel" on the corner of Scott and Lonsdale Street. Charles Dobson purchased it in 1882 and re-named it the ‘Albion’ alter the hostelry in Bourke street, Melbourne, from whence the coaches left for Dandenong and Gippsland.

Peter McQuade was the proprietor in 1889 and the McQuades replaced the early one-storey timber building with the present two-storey building in 1891. Peter James McQuade was born in Ireland, and when he first arrived here, he farmed at Flemington before taking up land at Springvale, where he worked for fifteen years. He ran the Bridge Hotel 185-195 Lonsdale Street in 1887, and from 1889 owned and ran the Albion Hotel.

The hotel had been in the possession of varying members of the McQuade family continuously from 1889 until at least 1993 (Present ownership not known to us). The magnificent verandah as seen in this photo has been removed but the façade has remained largely unaltered, with an extension into a small retail premises next door.

The hotel has a near intact upper level, with timber sash double hung windows, but the ground level façade has been altered. Here the former face brick wall has been rendered and the original five openings (windows, doors) have been revised but the paneled Victorian-era timber door, with its top light, resembles the original.

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Dandenong State School, 174-182 Foster Street, Dandenong.

Interestingly this undated photo includes the fence missing in most images, which leaves us curious of the date range for the quaint wooden fence.

The first Dandenong state school was built at the corner of Robinson and Foster Streets and officially opened its doors on 4 May 1874. Not long after the Railway was built to Dandenong, safety became an issue with the schools proximity to the station, so it moved to its present site on Foster Street in 1881 and welcomed about 200 students.

The Gothic-inspired building took nine months to construct and at the time its ornate style was considered to add significantly to the township’s architecture. It had three rooms – one for boys, one for girls and a gallery – and modern fittings for the day including a porch, a hat rack and ventilation.

But not everyone was pleased with the new school. Joseph Harris, the St Kilda MP at the time, said that although the building was pleasing, he felt the expenditure on school buildings in the colony was too lavish. He said that if more unpretentious buildings were erected, surplus finance could be used to open schools in more sparsely-populated districts.

A classroom, head teacher’s office and lavatory were added in 1901 and another four classrooms were completed in 1909. Further classrooms were added in the 1940s and 1950s to cope with expanding enrollments, which topped 760 pupils in 1960. The school today has over 300 students from families representing 45 different nationalities.

Image courtesy of D.D.H.S.

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Shamrock Hotel, Corner Scott and Lonsdale Streets, Dandenong, About 1880

Gregory Keighery, who had a boot shop on the south corner of Scott and Lonsdale streets, in 1864, built a two-storied brick front to his place, in 1866, and opened it as the “Shamrock Hotel.’’ He also built a billiard room, and installed a first-class table.

He sold out after a few years, and built a two-storied wooden house, near the creek, which lie opened as a wine store. He also conducted a bootmaker’s shop there. Charles

Charles Dobson became licensee of the “Shamrock," and retained possession for a long term. He eventually transferred to the “Albion,” but when the gold boom in Western Australia broke out he sold to Mr. P. J. McQuade and left for the Golden West.

The Shamrock was still standing in the 1920's, but at some point was demolished and replaced by the Club Hotel (later known as The Pub), which in turn would be demolished and replaced by the former NAB building, now home the Chisholm.

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Stone Bridge, Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, in 1904.

Looking into Dandenong towards Foster street.

Over the years ‘the rapids of Dandenong’, so described once by the poet Adam Lindsay Gordon, have swept away more than one bridge in the area. The first bridge over Dandenong Creek was constructed in 1840. A flood swept this away ten years later and it was replaced.

The stone bridge, built in 1866, probably by Robert Huckson, lasted 52 years. Part of it was granite, quarried locally from the vicinity of Wedge and Power Streets.

This bridge was replaced in 1919 by a ferrous metal single-span bridge, with concrete deck, known as the ‘Peace Memorial Bridge’. It was designed by R. H. Woolcock, shire engineer,once described as ‘one of the best engineers in Victoria’. Part of the bridge still carries portion of the Princess Highway over the Dandenong Creek. Modern concrete bridges now span the local creeks at many points.

Image courtesy of D.D.H.S.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Commercial Bank 209 -211 Lonsdale Street, 1964

This photo was taken at the time of demolition of the old Commercial Bank, One can see the old stables still visible in the rear of the property before these too were demolished.

Separated from Dunbar’s Hotel with vacant treed land, the imposing and ornate Commercial Bank was built in 1869. The Commercial Bank also remained with its original façade until it was demolished. ) Its replacement was a two storey brown brick building typical of architecture in the 60’s

The Commercial Bank was the first bank to open a branch in Dandenong,in 1869 and continued throughout the years to support major developments in the town. As the pioneer of banking in Gippsland,it enhanced the central position of Dandenong in the region. The Commercial closed its doors in 1893 despite a public meeting expressing its support.

Tho first manager of tho Commercial Bank was Hector M. Sutherland, For fifteen years Mr. Sutherland occupied bachelor quarters at Dunbar’s Hotel, and I think that in those days everybody in the town and district knew “Mr. Sutherland’s room.” It was situated off the. main entrance, and long after Mr. Sutherland married and took up his life on tho bank premises the room retained its old name.

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Lonsdale Street, from Clow street, Dandenong, in 1971

Looking from the Clow Street intersection towards the Town Hall. With the Albion Hotel on the right and Waltons up the left, Old Dandenong was alive with the colours and movements of the early 70's.

Photo courtesy of D.D.H.S.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Temperance Dining Rooms, Clow and McCrae Streets, 1870's

Henry Rodman’s ‘Temperance Hotel and Dandenong Dining Rooms’
was between the old market site and the present market site,
on the corner of McCrae and Clow Streets.

This places is on the corner of the present carpark from the former Woolworths, Temperance Home was still located here in the 1890;s, but mention of the establishment after this seem to be non existent.

Note the local characters sitting under the mighty Red Gum in the foreground, Such a tree would be a worthy landmark for the local area today.

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Dandenong Market, On a Market Day (Tuesday) 1924.

This was before the Market moved to it's present location. The growth and prosperity of Dandenong were closely linked to the success of the markets from the earliest days. The markets originally operated from a site at the corner of Lonsdale and McCrae Streets.

Originally they provided a direct outlet for livestock including beef and dairy cattle, poultry and horses, for fresh market garden and dairy products, and for a wide variety of household, craft and industrial goods and services

The Produce and Goods market, which we know today as the Dandenong Market, moved to its present location on Clow Street around 1926. A sketch plan of the Dandenong Market 1869 showed that there was a produce market at this date. The Produce Market was set between the cattle yards, calf pens, and pig yards with Lonsdale street on one side and McCrae St on the other. Most of the stallholders came from Melbourne suburbs to take advantage of the lucrative trade in bringing city goods to the country market.

Stallholders displayed their wares and the general market day on Tuesdays changed Dandenong from a sleepy town. The streets around the market were cluttered with motor cars, horses and drays, and the pavements and shops were crowded with people busy buying all their weekly requirements.

In 1964 an extra market day proposal was met with antagonism from local retailers. Forty years earlier, shops had been statically placed near the market, but now the market was considered as both old-fashioned and as competition.

The Clow Street site, in the early 1960s was still the location of both the Produce Market and the Showgrounds. For some years the Agricultural Society had been anxious to move to larger grounds. Greaves Reserve, on the other side of Bennett Street from the new livestock market had been allocated for this purpose. The shift was completed by 1967.

The Clow Street site was subsequently redeveloped as a civic centre with municipal offices and council chambers opening officially on 10 February 1968.

Information courtesy of Jenny Ferguson's Thesis, Thank you Jenny

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Dandy Discounts, 282 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong

The original building was built around 1951, it has seen many uses from Ford Motor Showroom (Garage), A Chrysler Dealer, Dandy Sound, Brashs, Dandy Discounts, and more recently the former Bendigo Bank, along with numerous others. Modifications were made along the way creating a second floor storage area. Presently this site is vacant.

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Dandenong Telephone Exchange, Walker and McCrae streets Around 1985

This photo shows the old traffic lights and intersection that existed during the Telecom day and age. McCrae street beyond this picture is now a pedestrian only plaza.

Picture found at:

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