11 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

The bluestone house was built c.1853 at the same time as the Royal Terrace on Nicholson St and 5 years earlier than the Granite Terrace at 1-9 Gertrude St (which has now been removed). “The bluestone terrace is built of similar material as the Royal Terrace with a bluestone façade with sandstone details. Bluestone was easily available from the quarries at East Brunswick and Clifton Hill. The two-storey house contains six rooms, with a small yard and originally a narrow single storey row of service rooms at the rear, running along the east side. (Fitzroy History Society Nov 2021 Newsletter).

Google Image – December 2020

Thomas William Mason (Hat maker and seller) owner: 1853-1867

The house at 11 Gertrude Street was built for Thomas William Mason, a hatter who came out from England in 1852. He bought the land at 11 Gertrude Street in 1853 for 148 pounds. It measured 16ft x 98ft. In 1854, Mason set up his successful hat business at 67A Collins Street East. He worked there for 30 years before retiring and his son continued the business. By 1885 Thomas was living at 29 Walker Street Northcote” (Fitzroy History Society Nov 2021 Newsletter).

Alexander Joseph Lugton (Engineer) and Judith Lugton owner: 1867-1903

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is screen-shot-2021-10-25-at-45249-pm.png
Photo from Di Allen (Ancestry.com)

This was the site of Alexander ‘Sandy’ and Judith Lugton’s residence. In 1867 it is a six room brick and stone house (Rate Books, 18 Nov 1867).

Alexander was born in June 1894. He married Judith Hobson in 1852 in Lambeth, Surrey, England. They travelled together to Australia on the ship ‘Kent’ and arrived on 23 September 1852. Initially, they lived in Kyneton where their had their first son William in 1853 and in 1855 their second son Alexander Joseph was born.

Alexander was the founder of A. Lugton and Sons, a firm of blacksmiths, engineers and boilermakers in Little Lonsdale Street (1859-1952). He owned the business from 1867-1903. (Fitzroy History Society Nov 2021 Newsletter).

Judith Hobson Halliday – Photo from Di Allen (Ancestry.com)

Alexander and Judith initially had two boys, both William ‘Bill’ and Alexander ‘Joe’ joined their father working in Alexander’s blacksmiths, engineers and boilermakers in Lonsdale Street in the late 1860’s.

Alexander and Judith lived in Gertrude street for the rest of their lives. Alexander died in 1894 and Judith died in 1903. They are buried in the Melbourne Cemetery along with a number of their little children, Ernest Albert (died 1864, age 1), Ernest (died 1868, age 3) and Frank (died 1871, age 2). Their grave site, also commemorates their grandsons Frank Leslie (No.447 B Company, 24 Battalion, 6 Infantry Brigade, killed in action Pozieres, France 29 July 1916, 22 years) and Private John Archibald (57 Battalion killed France 9 Aug 1918, 29 years).

Image from Cyclopedia of Victoria, 1903-1905, Vol 1, p. 322.
Photo from Di Allen – Ancestry.com

‘Joe’, Alexander and Judith’s second son married Emily Victoria Morcombe at the family home in Gertrude Street, and then set up home nearby in Leicester Street.

While Alexander’s sons joined him in the business, his daughter ‘Sarah Halliday’ married William Cook, who was a Melbourne City Councillor and had been a member of the Carlton Board of Advice for 12 years as at the publication of the Cyclopedia of Victoria, 1903-1905, Vol 1, p. 322.

Sarah Halliday Cook 1904-1953

According to Anna Wolf in the FHS Newsletter November 2021, Sarah became the owner between 1904-1953 and rented out the property to a number of individuals and families, with William Morton being one of those residents between 1913-1926.

In 1905, William Goldsmith resided at #11, then by 1910 it was Ms Eva Rice and then in 1915-1920: William Morton (Pianist) and J Morton (Violinist) (Sands and MacDougall).

Photo from Di Allen (Ancestry.com.au) on 11 Gertrude Street. The photo is c.1958. You can see the sign for P Chong on the side.
Another photo showing the building c.1958 – Photo taken by John Lockyer O’Brien – held by the Melbourne University Archives.

“Between 1927-1966, Phillip and Gertrude Chong and their family lived in the house. Phillip Chong was a Chinese herbalist. He started his practice in Albury. His wife, Mary Gertrude Fosang was from a family of successful millet and tobacco growers in Wangaratta. Chong travelled extensively to attend clinics in regional towns such as in Wagga Wagga, Albury, Warrragul and Dandenong. Remains of his sign “P. Chong – Herbalist” are probably still on the western wall of the house. Chong, along with many other Chinese herbalists, are significant to the history of Fitzroy and the Chinese community of Melbourne. Various members of Melbourne’s Chinatown owned the property between 1953-1985.” (Fitzroy History Society Nov 2021 Newsletter).

Hoey Kwok Fee – owner & resident 1968-1974

Image held by Fitzroy Library. This photograph was commissioned by the Fitzroy Photographic Committee in 1986 by Caroline Philipp. Built on the site of Granite Terrace after it’s demolition in 1965. No 11 (right) was built 1857.

Hoey Kwok Fee and his business partner Joe Yin Louey, became owner and occupier between 1968-1974. The rear garage was converted into a factory to produce bean sprouts. The business was named Yin Kee Louey & Co and the produce supplied Chinatown’s restaurants.” (Fitzroy History Society Nov 2021 Newsletter).

Image held by Fitzroy Library. 1978

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