143-147 Kerr Street, Fitzroy

143-147 Kerr Street is an interesting site. I am speculating somewhat over what was built here and when. 14 little houses or buildings existed between Young St and Napier St on the North Side of Kerr Street in 1890. Most of the houses were tiny, 2-4 room brick cottages.

Google Image – Jan 2021

In 1863 Francis Crawford owned three blocks on this side of the street. The numbers at the time were 72-76 Kerr St (which is interesting as even numbers are generally on the south side). This was corrected in 1866 (or thereabouts) when the numbering went to 99-103 Kerr Street. It was updated again in 1886 when it settled as 143-147 Kerr Street. For ease we will cover the three places together.

In c.1868 Francis Crawford sold the three little brick houses to Thomas Moore. Thomas moved into what became 143 and was here from 1869 to 1876. He then moves out and is not in any of the houses in 1883 -1885. But by 1888 he is back in 143. And in 1900 no.147 no longer exists and Thomas is in 145. I think this coincides with when the house below was built.

This is 145 Kerr Street. Thomas Moore was here until 1920, when Cecil Moore moved in and was here till 1950. From there it was lived in by W T Briggs and N J Donnelly.

Urban Action Works photo – State Library c.1970-1974

The site to the right, left and the rear are also owned by Thomas Moore and seems to become sites that additional commerce can operate from. The photo below is of A R Thatcher & Sons, Wire Workers which were on the site in 1925. They were not recorded in the Sands & MacDougall databases in either 1920 or 1930, so this photo below must have been in the 1920s.

Image held by Fitzroy Library. Archibald Richard Thatcher was an inventor, but found that his inventios were pirated so often that he turned to patenting his product, such as the coat-hanger hanging on the doorway.

Many people lived on this site over the years, some names and years are: Richard Henley & William Mitters (1865), Thomas Muspratt, Mrs Sidyard (1867), James Morris, Thomas Muspratt (1869), Thmas Mcintyre, James Gregory (1872), Thomas McIntyre, James Memett (1876), Henry Allingham, Theopilus Bonning (1883), Jomes Ponton, William Donaldson (1885), James Ponton, Elizabeth Richie (1888), Henry Stephens, Harry Coe (1893).

After 1900, when the big house was built there are often one or two others on the site at 149: Mrs C Wilson (1905), Mrs H Schieferdecker (1910) and then Edward Kitson (1915-1920).

Then in 1925, the numbers change and two 147s appear, being Mrs Florence Henderson and A & A Thatcher, Wire Workers (as per the photo above). In 1930-1935 Mrs Eva Shand is listed at 147. There is now only one site. In 1940 it is Edgar L Dannock. It then goes to Johnathan McGinty 1945-1960.

In 1960 we first see 147a Kerr St, and here is CC Moore, Wood Works, which is visible in the 1970s photo and you can see that they operate on both the right and left of 145 Kerr. CC Moore is here to 1975 when Sands & MacDougall stopped producing their books. The photo below shows the main part of the factory. You can see how it wraps around 145 Kerr St, so is known now as 143-147 Kerr.

State Library Photo – Urban Action Works – 1970-1974.

Apartment buildings were built around and adjoining 145 Kerr at some stage after 1970 and today (early 2023) they are again upgrading these buildings. The image below gives a good indication of the full site. The 151-155 on the right are not part of it, but 137-149 are.

Google Map of the site in 2021

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