Tag Archives: Williamstown History

Alfred Hotel (former) – 92 Stevedore Street, Williamstown

When I first moved to Williamstown 20 years ago, I was intrigued by the aqua blue building in Stevedore street. I did read up on it, back then. However, now that it’s no longer aqua (the paint was removed as part of a renovation a few years ago), I was about to ask if anyone had any photos showing it with it’s former blue coat.

Then, by accident, today I found a photo I’d taken – on my phone – in May 2008.  And yep, it shows it halfway through the renovation!  Now, phone-cameras back then were still a bit primitive, but I’ve cleaned up the image a little bit and here it is:

DavidS_20080523_164604

Some quick comments, followed by more formal information:

  • I assume the Carlton Ale sign was a pleasant surprise!  It seems the (water? steam? sand?) blasting technique used was gentle enough to leave the sign image alone.
  • Not sure if the deeper aqua blocks (e.g. above and left of the “C”) are a result of the cleaning  – displaced paint flowing down – or are the original colour. Or maybe faded less. Or maybe…

Location Information

Street Address: 92 Stevedore St, Williamstown.

UTM Grid Reference:  GDA94    55H    314885 (E)      5808014  (N)      
Google Earth image:  click to enlarge

Screenshot - 14_09_2014 , 9_20_05 AM

Brief History

Most of this information came from Reference [1]. For copyright reasons, I’m only giving a basic summary. Please refer to [1] for more information. As an aside, it too contains a colour image of the building  taken during the ‘aqua’ period. Unless stated, all quotes come from [1]

  • Built 1859/1860 out of Victorian Basalt “as two stone residences each of six rooms, for James McDonagh. By the following year it was listed as a twelve room hotel called Mac’s no doubt owing to its owner’s surname”
  • Upon being sold to  Catherine Miller– in 1869 – it was renamed The Alfred
  • “Her publican, Patrick Francis O’Hagan, bought the hotel in 1876, retaining ownership for the next twenty years”
  • “one of only three surviving pre-1860 hotels in Williamstown”

References

[1] Hobsons Bay Heritage Study Amended 2010 – Volume 3 – Heritage Precinct and Place Citations. Part 2 – Heritage Places – 92 Stevedore Street, Williamstown

Williamstown Sea Baths (notes)

At the moment these are just notes. Hopefully I’ll come back later and make them into a proper article.

I went for a walk along Williamstown Beach and right at the end of the stroll, I spotted this in the water opposite Sirens (the West end of Sirens, to be precise):

DavidS_20130915_125839

The round one looked like rock or metal and was cleanly cut with a hole in it, right in the middle. Could it be something to do with the (long-vanished) old Sea Baths?

Here’s a great photo of the Sea Baths. Note they are off-shore:

0_212299

Source: http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/24981

According to [1] “Bunbury’s and Lillington’s Baths were replaced by the Williamstown Baths, which were the largest in Port Phillip Bay in 1888. The baths were located half way between Forster and Gardens Streets, with a promenade leading to a bathing structure that had two enclosures in 1892”  (emphasis mine)

It then adds “A bandstand was added sometime after 1904” and “Dressing sheds were added in the 1930′s and are now used as Sirens Restaurant … The baths were destroyed in a ferocious storm in 1934, and bathing patterns changed to reflect a more open acceptance of mixed sea bathing … A dressing pavilion, saltwater swimming pool and Lifesaving clubrooms were added around 1935”

Here’s a view using Google Earth as it looks today (with their new 3D buildings showing, nice!)

image

The (picture) left street -coming at us – is Foster and the right one is Gardens. My attention was drawn to the curved (rock rubble?) structure off shore and near the end of Gardens St. Could it be the foundations of the original baths?   Some thoughts:

1) The “curved rock rubble” is not “halfway” between the two streets at all. In fact the sea bed is relatively clear halfway, so I’m wondering if that was a very approximate location given in [1]

2) The round object in my photo is roughly in the middle of the above rock rubble, but right near the shore.

Time for some more research and questions of FB.

References

[1]http://vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au/vhd/heritagevic/?timeout=yes#detail_places;13689