Metropole Hotel, Launceston, Australia


Murray View No. 42. The Hotel Metropole, Launceston, Tas.
1930s
Publisher: Murray VIews, Gympie, Queensland

Built as the Launceston Coffee Palace (opening 1882), also known as Sutton’s Coffee Palace and Metropole Coffee Palace. Demolished 1976.

Google Street View.

Prominent amongst the new erections will be a three-storey building in Brisbane-street, opposite the Brisbane Hotel, for Mr S. J. Sutton. In this Mr Sutton intends to carry on the business of a first-class coffee palace, similar to that in Collins street, Melbourne, and the establishment will be denominated the “Launceston Coffee Palace.” Mr Sutton has recently returned from a visit to Victoria, where he has had ample opportunity of observing the management of coffee houses, and intends to adopt the style of the Collins-street Coffee Palace.

The internal arrangements of the coffee palace will be very complete. The entrance hall, 8ft wide, will be in the centre of the frontage, and a shop will be provided on either side. On each side of the hall will be the public rooms, consisting of a coffee-room, commercial-room, smoking-room, and ladies’ dining-room, a special feature of the arrangements being that these rooms are readily accessible to the public, instead of being placed in some out-of-the-way part of the house. The public dining-room will be across the end of the hall, and will be an apartment 36ft long by 19ft wide. There will also be a kitchen, pantry, and bake-house in the rear. The second storey will comprise, in addition to the arcade already mentioned, two commodious par lours and nine bedrooms, four of the latter being 16ft by12ft, and the remaining five smaller apartments. The third storey will contain sixteen bedrooms. The building will be fitted with bathrooms and other conveniences, and there will be fire escape from the rear of the second flat. Every attention will be paid to ventilation, such sleeping apartments as will not containg fireplaces having flues leading from the floor to the top of the parapet.
The Launceston Coffee Palace will be built of brick with a cement front and iron roof, and Mr Sutton expects it will be completed and ready for occupation in November.
Launceston Examiner, 21 May 1881

The new coffee palace being built by Mr S. Sutton is making rapid progress, and is already being roofed, and will be ready for occupation by the 1st of December next. The architecture of the elevation is of a highly pleasing style, looking both light and graceful, while the building is really a very substantial peace of work. The basement is divided into two shops, coffee-room, smoking-room, commercial-room, ladies dining-room, and large dining hall. These rooms are lofty and commodious, and are divided by a spacious hall 8ft. wide, with a large staircase as near the front of- the house as possible. Overhead are 27 bedrooms and two bath-rooms, and in the rear a large- kitchen and pantry are yet to be built, also a ten-stalled stable. The new bake-house at the rear has a steam boiler, and machinery for making biscuits, besides other patent appliances of recent invention.
Telegraph, 20 August 1881


Brisbane Street, 1897-99, with the Launceston Coffee Palace second from the corner. (Photo from the Archives Office of Tasmania1897-99.)

A change has taken place in the management of one of the most important city establishments, the Metropole Coffee Palace, Brisbane-street, where on Saturday Mr W. Hunt, formerly for very many years chief steward on the Pateena, took over control from Alderman S. J. Sutton
2 September 1901

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kunanyi/Mt Wellington, Hobart, Australia


The Pinnacle, Mount Wellington, Hobart
c.1910

(Note the writing on the rock to the right.)

Google Street View.

Entries from “Wellington Park Historic Heritage Inventory & Audit Project”, Vol. 2, A Mcconnell & L. Scripps, 2005(PDF):

The Pinnacle
Natural Feature of scenic beauty visited regularly by Europeans from the 1830s to the present day, and until the 1930s on foot. First known non-Aboriginal ascent (by George Bass) was Dec 1798; many famous people have climbed Mt Wellington (eg, Charles Darwin). A Cornish* photo shows a wide made packed dolerite rubble (no earth) path leading up (N side?) to a summit cairn (?) (with a square base and a peaked top with the base of timber pole protruding) .  .  .  Social values are primarily as a major viewing point; but also used regularly for snow play, to see the sun rise on New Year’s Day (p. 60)

Trig Station on Mt Wellington summit
The stone base is probably part of one of James Sprent’s cairns for his trigonometric survey of Tasmania(1832-37 & 1850s) – probably established between 1832-1837. (p.53)

Wragge’s Summit Observatory
Wragge’s first observatory (meteorological station) in Hobart was established on the summit of Mt Wellington in May 1895 by Clement Wragge. According to Thwaites* a hollow cairn of rocks was built first to temporarily house the instruments and then a timber hut was built. The Observatory Hut was 12′ x 8′, and from 7′-12′ high. It was a timber building lined with wood and with a corrugated iron roof. The entire building was surrounded by a wall and covered with an outer roof of rocks (a 1910 photo (Cornish*) shows a large round ‘cairn’ of rocks with peaked dome on N side of the Pinnacle which may be the rock covered hut?). The hut contained a large fireplace. Mr Arthur Wherrett was appointed as the summit observatory observer. When fitted out it was regarded as “the equal of any such station in Australia” (Thwaites*). The observatory was set up to improve the weather forecasting ability by being able to take atmospheric pressure readings at height (as well as at sea level – the Anglesea Barracks observatory) building on methods pioneered by Wragge in Scotland in the 1880s. Wragge was in the forefront of meteorological forecasting, being awarded a Royal Meteorological Society gold medal for his work in Scotland (on Ben Nevis) and he issued the first Australasian weather charts and forecasts (for each of the colonies and New Zealand) in 1887, and he began the tradition of naming cyclones. (p. 88)

* J. Thwaites, “Clement Wragge’s Observatory on Mt Wellington” . Tasmanian Tramp No. 24, 1982-3
* Ted Cornish, “Early Mt Wellington Huts” & “History [of a] Bushwalking Hut, Mt Wellington”, unpublished manuscript with photographs, 1969; copies held by Wellington Park Management Trust

Eaglehawk Neck, Australia


Eagle Hawk Neck near Hobart, Tasmania 1910
c 1910
Publisher: McVilly & Little

The Eaglehawk Neck / Teralina is a narrow isthmus that connects the Tasman Peninsula with the Forestier Peninsula, and hence to mainland Tasmania, Australia. . . . Locally known as ‘the Neck’, the isthmus itself is around 400 metres (1,300 ft) long and under 30 metres (98 ft) wide at its narrowest point. The area features rugged terrain and several unusual geological formations. . . . As Eaglehawk Neck / Teralina forms a natural thin gateway between the peninsulas, it was used by the British as a place to stop convicts attempting to escape from Port Arthur and other penal institutions on the Tasman Peninsula. A system was developed where a line of dogs were chained to posts across the ‘Neck’ to warn of any convicts attempting to escape. The Dog Line was first implemented in 1831 and was used until the closure of Port Arthur in the 1870s. Thomas J. Lempriere, a commissary officer at Port Arthur, declared the Eaglehawk Neck as ‘impassable’. Despite this, many attempts were made by convicts to escape from the Tasman Peninsula via Eaglehawk Neck, including Martin Cash and William Bannon. The area was heavily patrolled by soldiers, and the guards’ quarters still remains as a museum.
Wikipedia.

Falls Hut, kunanyi/Mt Wellington, Tasmania


Falls Hut, Hobart in Winter 1910.
1910s
Publisher: McVilly & Little

Other huts

In 1888 a recreational hut was built besides the King’s Sawpits, where the original sawyer’s huts had once been located. From that point onwards, the huts were “a fundamental part … of the mountain experience to locals for over one hundred years” (Lee Andrews & Associates Heritage Consulting, p38). In the period 1890-1910 the hut building reached its peak. In all, through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, around forty small huts were built on the mountain. They were used as weekend retreats, bases for walking and skiing, or even as homes. They were built of local bush materials, with small touches of refinement, such as ornate mantelpieces, verandahs, bush lattice gables, bridges, fern gardens and cellars. One hut had a piano. Some were linked with telephone wire to warn of approaching guests.
Tasmania Stories

[Falls Hut was] built 1897, originally one room, then two rooms built on, the first subsequently being used as a toolshed. A two-level bridge was built here in 1901. George Mason, a well-known ranger and builder of the original Richards Monument, was the proprietor.
kunanyi/Mt Wellington History


Falls Hut, Cascade, Hobart
c.1910


Falls Hut, Cascades, Hobart, Tas
c.1910
Publisher: McVilly & Little


Falls Hut, Cascades, Hobart
c.1910
Publisher: McVilly & Little


Rustic Bridge, Cascades, Hobart, Tas
c.1910
Publisher: McVilly & Little

Falls Hut was one of the better-known huts which featured frequently on postcards from around 1900 to 1920. Visitors came from interstate and overseas to sample the hut members’ hospitality. The hut was built in 1891 and renovated in 1903 with a new wing and an amazing rustic bridge.
List the Mountain

Zoo, Hobart, Australia


Peacocks at Zoological Gardens, Hobart, Tasmania
c.1930
Publisher: Valentine & Son Publishinh Co., Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane

The zoo was first established as a private collection in a garden in Sandy Bay that the owner, Mary Roberts, opened to the public. When she died in 1921, the zoo was gifted to the city, and moved to this site on the Domain, where it was opened two years later. You can read about that here. . . . These gates were erected a few years back. They say interesting things like: “The Beaumaris Zoo opened here in 1923. In its early years it was a popular outing for the people of Hobart, but in the 1930s, the Great Depression led to falling attendance and rising financial losses. The zoo closed in 1937. In 1942, the Royal Australian Navy converted the site in to a fuel oil storage depot. It remained in use until as recently as the 1990s, when the four storage tanks were removed.”
A Visit to the Zoo (more pictures)

Mrs Roberts owned and operated the zoo until her death in 1921. The Roberts family then gifted the zoological collection to the Hobart City Council and, with a subsidy from the Tasmanian State Government, the zoo was moved to the Queens Domain. With sweeping views of the Derwent, the site underwent a restoration to house more than 100 animals and 220 birds and was opened in 1923. Elephants, bears, tigers, eagles, zebras, ducks, rabbits and spider monkeys featured as attractions. But the zoo is most famous for being home to just one animal. The last captive thylacine nicknamed “Benjamin” was trapped in the Florentine Valley, near Mt Field in 1933 and sent to the Hobart Zoo where it lived for three years.
The Hobart

MOVING A ZOO : PROBLEM FOR HOBART COUNCIL.
The Beaumaris Zoo at Hobart has been closed, but the evacuation of the animals and birds is no small problem. The polar bears, particularly, are determined not to be disturbed, and to date it has been found impossible to ensnare them for shipment to the Wellington (N.Z.) Zoological Gardens for which they have been purchased. It is a condition of sale that before they are taken delivery of the Hobart City Council must crate them. The bears have other ideas, and all attempts to trap them have failed. Different methods have been tried, with the object of decoying them into the den of their pit, but they are cunningly suspicious. No longer do they sleep in the den. For a time they were placed on reduced rations, and then a tempting meal was placed in a corner of the den. The male bear, with remarkable cunning, managed to reach the food with his front paw, and dragged it into the open, where it was devoured by the pair. There is a likelihood of the council seeking the assistance of the Melbourne Zoo authorities to capture the bears. A pair of Tasmanian devils has been sold to a private zoo in Brisbane.

Daily Examiner, 19 November 1937

Holy Trinity Church, Westbury, Australia


Holy Trinity Church, Westbury
c.1910
Publisher: Spurling & Son

Google Street View.

Foundation stone laid May 1869 and church opened 20 May 1874, replacing an older wooden church.
Cemeteries & Churches & Things

This large cruciform bluestone church in the Decorated Gothic style was begun in 1869 and the building consecrated in 1874. It was designed by Henry Hunter, Tasmania’s most prolific Victorian architect. The tower was added early this century.1 The marble high altar and reredos were designed by Alexander North.
Organ Historcial Trust of Australia


Interior of Holy Trinity (Catholic) Church, Wesbury, North-Western Tasmania, showing the last resting place of the late Venerable Archdeacon Hogan (on the right)
Weekly Courier, 21 May 1914

Cataract Gorge & Cliff Grounds, Launceston, Australia


Cataract Gorge from King’s Bridge, Launceston, Tas.
Postmarked 1905

Google Street View.

…the Launceston City and Suburbs Improvement Association was formed in 1890 by a group of local men. “They decided that they wanted to make the gorge accessible to everyone and improve it,” said Ms Sargent, who is part of the Launceston Historical Society. “They rowed in a boat up the gorge and they used red paint to mark the rocks to where they wanted to put a path. The very next day they got the workmen there and they got a path from the Trevallyn side of the South Esk Bridge, as it was known then, and started cutting into the rocks.”

By the time workers got to Picnic Rock — which is on the northern side of the river between Kings Bridge and the First Basin — the work was becoming “treacherous”, so explosives had to be brought in. “They actually brought the dynamite in and blew the rocks away,” Ms Sargent said. “150 tonnes of rock was thrown into the river so they could get through and make the track. They started in January 1890 and it wasn’t until three years later that they actually got into the cliff grounds.”
ABC News

[The Caretaker’s Cottage] is perched above the South Esk River, adjacent to Kings Bridge, and is highly significant historically for its association with the early development of the Main Cataract Walkway. It is highly significant for its representation of the Arts and Craft style of architecture and for its
association with architect Alexander North. It was originally constructed in 1890
Tasmanian Heritage Register Datasheet (pdf)


Crusoe Hut and Cliff Grounds, Launceston, Tas.
1900s

In 1893, this site housed the Crusoe Hut, but today comprises a viewing platform overlooking the Basin and Alexandra Suspension Bridge. A natural rock outcrop has been
incorporated into the area to provide seating. This site provides important views across the Gorge
Tasmanian Heritage Register Datasheet (pdf)

Duck Reach Power Station, Launceston, Tasmania


Electric Power House, Launceston
Postmarked 1918
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

Duck Reach Power Station was the first publicly owned hydro-electric plant in the Southern Hemisphere, and provided the Tasmanian city of Launceston with hydro-electric power from its construction in 1895 to its closure in 1955.

The Duck Reach Power Station first operated on a trial basis on the evening of the 10th of December 1895, when it was used to illuminate some of Launceston’s streets using arc lights. On the 1st of February 1896, the hydro-electric power system was officially switched on, remaining in operation until 1955.
Wikipedia

The generating station was situated about 40 feet (12m) above the level of the river. It was quite a substantial erection, with 18 inch (460mm) stone walls and an iron roof. Originally it had only one storey with a gallery running along the side to facilitate access to the machinery. It was 105 feet (32m) in length and 24 feet (7m) wide with a height of 22 feet (6.7m) to the ridge line, large enough to hold nine or ten turbines.

At that time it only contained eight turbines; five for arc lighting and three for incandescent 1 lighting. On 12th February 1895 the Launceston Municipal Council accepted the tender of Mr J.T. Farmilo to build the station at a cost of £1 488.9.6, the contract to last 17 weeks. Because of the nature of the country (being very rocky) a large amount of heavy work was required to build the station. The contractor was required to secure a firm foundation and form subterranean passages under the building for the water to pass after running through the turbines.
Duck Reach


Electric Power Station Launceston Tasmania
Postmarked 1910
Publsher: Spurling & Son, Launceston