105 Rowe Street, Fitzroy North

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.

Realestate image April 2020

Joseph Hollow (Builder), owner: 1885-1903

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 at least 1935. He had 8 children. Over time I will do a full review of Joseph Hollow and link it here.

MMBW Map 1904 showing Rowe Street in the bottom of the image and Rushall St to the right.

the three, it is likely that each has lost some of its original features. Each has polychrome brickwork, though 107 has been painted. 105 and 109 also still retain their original verandah and ironwork, and the original barley twist sash window. They all would have had an ironwork front fence originally, but these have all been replaced. Only 105 has its original path but the veranda flooring appears to have been concreted over. 105 is particularly nice supporting both of its original fireplaces which look quite charming from the street.

The three houses where completed by October 1885, J Hollow has them advertised as “Three new brick villas, six rooms, bath, copper, asphalt yard; 1 pound”. It is likely this was a little expensive as they are reduced to 20s per week in November and 18s in December (The Age, 22 Oct, 7 Nov, 19 Dec 1885). And they appear on the rate books at 20 Nov 1885 as brick houses of 8 rooms and none yet have tenants at this time.

Joseph also owned his house at 103 and the three from 105-109 (Rate Books 1885). He also later acquires 95-97 Rowe Street from Eliza Reed in 1888.

By the following year he had tenants – Joseph remains the owner until after his death in 1903. It appears that Naomi Hollow sold these three houses at some point after his death.

Joseph Wadislaw Folwarczny (Lithographer / Artist) – resident: 1886-1892

Joseph Folwarczny was born in Warsaw, Poland in 16 July 1877 he and his wife Sarah (from Hungary) travel to Australia on the Whampoa. They are recorded as being 25 and 23 respectively, however it is unlikely this is correct. In 1882, 8 May, he was naturalised, however they have is age as 39. Which would mean he was likely born in 1842-43 and was actually 33-34 and Sarah based on her age at death would have been born at a similar year. (Ancestry records).

Joseph and Sarah moved here from Helen Terrace on George Street Fitzroy, the owner had passed away and it is likely the estate was selling the terrace. Prior to this he was at 4 Little Hanover Street and Hanover Street Fitzroy in the late 1870’s. His name is recorded in these books as Folvotchny or Folvatchny during this time (Australian City Directories 1878-1882, Rate Books 1884-1890).

In 1888, Augustus Burke, is also recorded as living at 105 Rowe Street with Joseph. It is likely Joseph and Sarah leased a room to reduce the rent. The houses are also now recorded as 6 rooms. Augustus is missing from the list in 1889, but it is likely he was still there as he is recorded as having moved next door to 107 Rowe Street in 1890.

During his time at 105 Rowe Street, Joseph’s profession changes a number of times and includes Lithographer, Artist, Draftsman and Civil Servant. He also changes address a number of times.

In 1897-1899, he is living in a 6 room house at 106 Bennett St, North Fitzroy owned by James Green. By 1904 he was living at 141 Surrey Road Hawksburn.

Michael Kennedy (Hatter) – resident 1893 – 1894

Michael is not a resident for long and within a year has moved to the smaller house owned by James Green at 81 Rowe Street.

Charles Lake (Carpenter) – resident 1894 – 1895

Charles was a member of the one of the local lodges, who celebrated at the Lord Newry Hotel, North Fitzroy. In March 1892, he was presented with a Past Arch Certificate. (Fitzroy City Press, 20 May 1892, p.2) At this time he was likely living at 24 Woodland St, Fitzroy North (Rate Books 1892) and prior to that at 144 Rae Street, Fitzroy North (Rate Books 1890)

James D Lees (Lawyers Clerk) – resident 1896-1899

James may be related to Ernest Lees a teacher who has been living at 97 Rowe Street, North Fitzroy. He moved from 7 Moor Street, Fitzroy (Rate Books, 1893) to 61 Rushall Crescent in 1894 (Rate Books, 1894).

John Charles Coyne (Civil Servant) – resident 1899-1905

John is married to Maggie Desmond in 1899 and this is likely their first married home . She is recorded here on the Electoral role (Home Duties) in 1903. Early on he is known as Charles J Coyne. He may have stayed here as late as 1908-9.

In 1912-1917 he was living at 246 Scotchmer Street, N Fitzroy and in 1921, he and Maggie were living at 87 Delbridge Street, N. Fitzroy (Electoral Roles, 1912, 1917, 1921).

John Charles Coyne died in 1922. He was the chief clerk in the probate duties office at the Law Courts. He had been ill for some time and died suddenly on the Friday night at age 52. “He was formerly in the office of the Master in Equity and in the office of the Commissioner of Taxation in the Railway Buildings. He left a widow and two sons” (The Age 28 Feb 1922, p.9). His sons are Jack Coyne and Harold Coyne. He was clearly well admired as his staff at the Probate Duties Office, Melbourne, posted a tribute to “our late chief ” to commiserate the loss of John a year after his death.

By 1910, the house was empty at the time of the Sands & McDougall check and by 1915, Arthur J Lee was living there. I have yet to research this period, but by 1930, Stephen G Hollow is there and in 1935 William J Hamilton.

During the first world war, James Thomas Riley – MT Dvr – Regiment 11888, 3rd Div Sup. Colm, was recorded as living at this address. He was a musician. He survived the war, but I haven’t researched him further. Recorded in the WW1 Soldiers list.

Unfortunately the heritage study conducted in the 1970’s seems to be missing the photos of these houses, so I do not have a 70’s photo.

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