95-99 Westgarth Street, Fitzroy

There is a bit of debate as to the numbering between 93-95 Westgarth Street, which is the Ice Factory, and 95-99 which was a bacon curing factory at the turn of the century.

Google Image – April 2021

Messrs. Smith and Sons

Advertised as “Ham and bacon curers and small goods manufacturers, recently inaugurated their business at 95-97-99 Westgarth-street, Fitzroy. The entire process for curing, etc., is conducted on the premises, special appliances for the various processes being constructed. Some 12 men are busily engaged, and the output is 2 tons of ham and bacon, and 5 tons of small goods weekly.” (Fitzroy City Press, 5 Oct 1900)

The business was run by Councillor William Smith, Member of the Northcote Shire Council. He was born 3 March 1845 in Glasgow, Scotland and was the fifth son of the late Mr. William Smith, warehouseman of that city. William was “educated at the Normal School, Glasgow and, on the completion of his studies, was for two and a half years with Mr Joseph Butters, head of the well known butchering firm at Charing Cross, Glasgow. He arrived in Melbourne in July 1868 and was engaged for a leading firm in Fitzroy, and subsequently in the well-known business of Webster and Co., of Geelong, the pioneer butchering firm of that place. He next entered the firm of Watson and Paterson, bacon curers, of Preston, where he remained for some time, and then joined in business the well known firm of King, Smith and Kenihan, Northcote, in the year 1879… He then embarked in business as a bacon curer, in conjunction with his son, in Fitzroy under the style of William Smith and Son.” (Cyclopedia of Victoria, 1903-1905, Vol 2, p. 196)

William Smith was for many years a member of the Northcote Shire Council, is the oldest ‘Forester’ in Northcote, a member of the Caledonian and Agricultural Societies, and prominent in the Master Butchers’ and Bacon Curers’ Association. William married Annie Elizabeth Watson in 1872, daughter of Mr John Watson (esteemed pioneers) and together they had seven sons and two daughters” (Cyclopedia of Victoria, 1903-1905, Vol 2, p. 196)

State Library Image – Committee for Urban Action (Melbourne, Vic.) – 1970-1974 – The Ice factory is the first building and behind it was the Bacon Curers – William Smith and Son (in 1900) which later became Peters Ice Cream.

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