133-135 Kerr Street, Fitzroy

This street is amazing. I am sure you can tell that these are not the original houses on this block. The land on which they were built was owned by William Bamber and housed three little houses. Two were brick and one was wood. These existed in 1860. By 1863, William was living in the one closest to Young St, with Glafs? in the middle and Henry Vye in the far one.

133-135 Kerr Street, Fitzroy – Google Image 2017

Henry Vye’s GGG Granddaughter shared vital information in relation to this site. Henry was here for such a short period. He was born in 1813 in Swanage, England and came to Australia in 1858. He was commissioned to work on St Patrick’s Cathedral, and originally settled in 78 Kerr Street. The 1863 Rate Books confirm he was there then, but 78 Kerr is later renumbered and eventually becomes 133-135 Kerr Street. In 1863, Henry and his wife Elizabeth moved to New Zealand.

During Henry’s time there were 3 houses on this block. But when William Bamber sold somewhere around 1893 to Mary Barrett it was still three small houses – all wood. It is interesting as in 1883 Alfred Barrett / Mary Barrett first appeared on the street in some sort of house between what was then 91 Kerr Street and William Bamber’s houses. By 1893 Mary Barrett is noted as owning 133-139 Kerr Street.

Then in 1920, the houses go from 133-139 to being just 133-135 Kerr Street. It is likely at this time the houses that exist today were built, so removed the old houses and built the two brick houses.

State Library Victoria – Urban Action Photo c. 1970-1974

People that lived on this land prior to these houses were: William Bamber as noted above, along with John Kelly, Miss Joffers (1865), Charles Prichard (1867), James Henderson (1872), Thomas Skinner, William Ryan (1876), James Young, Franz Kaaden (1883), James Young, Arthur Sanderson (1885), James Young, Thomas Jones (1888), Samuel Jervis, Henry East, Henry Bongent (1893), Samuel Haines, Mrs Monaghan, Amy Phillips (1895), Ann Darracott, William Duckworth, Catherine Monaghan (1900), Mrs C Howard, Mrs Elizabeth Layfield, Henry Baskerville, Mrs E Worley (1905), John W Hogan, Frederick Schott, Mrs Rose Reardon, William H Davey (1910), John Hogan, Mrs Agnes Ezard, Thomas E Stewart, Mrs Perry, Frederick Barrett (1915).

Then the two houses are built and from here it is 133-135 Kerr Street, including residents: Morris Mendoza, John B Blitz (1920), Nathaniel Nelson, Alick Mealmaker (1925-1940). So Nathaniel and Alick are here a long time. by 1945, Mrs M Neilson survives Nathaniel, but Alick is still in 135. They remain like this to 1950.

Between 1950 and 1955, both 133 and 135 turn over with A Sacuta moving into 133 (1955-1975) and Mrs C B Melamaker (1955-1960). 135 then has a few changes, with Mss F Smeaton (1965), and B McIntosh / D Maras (1975).

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