Mark Moss & Co owned a large portion of North Fitzroy. In 1875 he acquired the whole block bounded by Rushall Crescent, Falconer, Michael and Rowe streets (Fitzroy – Melbourne’s First Suburb, p.27). There is more information on this land and Rowe Street in general here.
It appears that at some point between 1875 and 1884 the land consisting of 99-109 (now number 95-109 Rowe Street) were owned by A Windsor. This land was sold in 1885 to Joseph Hollow.
Joseph Hollow (Builder) & Naomi Hollow, owners: 1885-1938
Joseph was born in 1839 In Marazion, St Hilary, Cornwall, England and died aged 63-64 in North Fitzroy on 12 April 1903. He left behind his wife Naomi Hollow who continued to live at 103 Rowe Street until a few years before her death. He had 8 children. Over time I will do a full review of Joseph Hollow and link it here.
103 was built first and then shortly after the three houses to the right of 103 were built, possibly by Joseph Hollow. These were complete in October 1885 and advertised for rent. It is likely that Joseph Hollow made his money for the purchase of these from his time in the mines near Rutherglen.
In 1888 he also purchases the strip of land on the left of his house at 95-97 Rowe Street from Eliza Reed. The two terrace houses were built quickly and also leased out.
In May 1930, 103 Rowe St was advertised for lease (The Age, 3 May 1930). It is likely at this point Naomi Hollow moved in with a child or to a nursing home. She died 6 years later and the house was put on the market.
When the three house 95, 97 and 103 went to auction only 95 and 97 sold and 103 was later readvertised.