Saturday, June 11, 2011

Living and dying in our little house

207 Young (a fantastic new blog about renovating a pre-federation house on the east coast of Australia) recently put me on to Trove, which is the digitised archives of the National Library of Australia. It has all kinds of old newspapers, scanned and text-searchable. It's truly amazing.

I'd actually been to Trove before, because there's some great old knitting patterns and stitch patterns on Ravelry that have been pulled from various old newspapers on Trove, but I hadn't though to search for my street address before!

Such good fun! On 21 November 1903 Mrs Cooper gave birth to a daughter at our house, while her husband was in Marble Bar. Poor old Mrs Macmillan held her mother's wake at our house in 1928, and her husband died (in our house) only three years later. Mrs Macmillan must have had some kids though, because Miss Ruby Macmillan won a crossword prize in 1932, a year after her father's death!

Curiously, though, our place is listed as being for rent in the middle of all of this, in 1929. I know that originally there were eight townhouses like ours on a single block, so perhaps some of the houses were sharing numbers? That would seem to make sense, as in October 1929 the property is listed as being "four rooms, conveniences," but only a month later a property at the same address is described as "6 rooms, cons, lawns, etc."

The four room property is listed as being "near running shed." I wonder what that means?


Amie said...

I did this recently with the property we're renting at the moment too. It turned out the lady who used to own it was actually not a very nice person according to newspapers. It made a little sad.

But, I can tell you what that "near running shed" probably refers to trams. :)

Jasmine said...

That's such a great little story! I love the term 'running shed'.

Helen said...

ohh I've just had a fun time reading and fixing text on Trove

How exciting.

Anonymous said...

oh how fascinating!
What a wonderful history your house has!