During the process of doing the painting I found that the home had been built around 1906, late in the Federation period; and built in the very early decades of colonial settlement in the area.
The first owner was a Mrs Smith.
For many years, my understanding is that the property was used as the home of the Smith family until it was sold and subsequently bought by the Commonwealth of Australia in June 1950. The residence was altered in the mid 1960’s and the new Glen Huntly post office was opened.
The building operated for postal use then for the next twenty years.
After this period ownership of the property changed again and it was used throughout the 1990’s and into the 2000’s as a gardening nursery.
Since then, the home has been renovated and repurposed as a cafe and now known as Grange Junction.
Not long after its’ opening earlier this year one of the extended family members got in touch with me.
Barry’s father was the son of the original owner and as a child Barry grew up next door to his grandparents who owned the home.
He has since shared with me some of the memories he has of living in the street from the mid 1940’s onwards.
Here, in Barry’s own words, are some of his recollections of this era.
History of Smith Family of Glenhuntly
Smith Family at 122 Grange Road, Glenhuntly
Alf and Annie Smith
From memories by Barry Smith who resided at 124 Grange Road, Glenhuntly with parents Noel Smith (Youngest child of eight children).
Alf was employed by the Victorian Railways. At weekends he was a lay preacher for the methodist where he laid the foundation at the methodist church on the cnr of Grange Road and Wattle Avenue, Glenhuntly. Which remains today.
I was born on the 24th June 1943 at Glenhuntly approx before the end of World War 11. As a child growing up at home in Glenhuntly, I recall pin holes in the windows from blackout material in case of air raids in Melbourne.
In my early days I recall that bread, milk and ice for the ice chest on the back verandah, were delivered by horse and cart.
There was a water trough for horses outside 122 Grange Road, and one on the corner of Grange Road and Watson grove, where a service station was, the horse trough was used to check car tyres for leaks.
Horses were used by the Caulfield Council as there was a council yard with horses and drays in Grange Road where Parton Court is today.
Horse stables and trainers were an important part of Glenhuntly in the 40’s through to the 60’s.
The service station on the corner of Grange Road and Watson Grove was owned by the Dennis family who owned hotels in the Melbourne area… their intention was to build a hotel on the land as they owned the paddock behind.
However, as my grandfather was the Methodist lay preacher and had great support from the Methodist community…the area remained dry (and the hotel was never built).
The scout hall down the lane off Glenhuntly Road, with 122, 124 and 126 Grange Road, Glenhuntly fronting it, was well patronised by young boys going through Cubs, Scouts, Senior Scouts then Rovers, with some coming back as leaders of the 1st Glenhuntly/ 5th Caulfield Scout Group.
Tomlinson Removals operated out of a very large depot in Glenhuntly Road, Glenhuntly, with rear access by the lane past the scout hall into Glenhuntly Road.
Cooper and Cooke set up a pottery founder in a warehouse in Glenhuntly Rd, Glenhuntly, between Grange Road and the Glenhuntly Railway Station. Eventually they moved to Bendigo where the business still operates today.
The Glenhuntly State School in Grange Road, had a small airport in the reserves behind it, as light aircraft used the strip in the early 1900’s.
The Glenhuntly Fire Station was on the corner Grange Road and Glenhuntly Road and the wooden fire hose tower for drying the hoses was adjacent on the corner of the lane and Glenhuntly Road.
This information was compiled by Barry Smith who resided at 124 Grange Road, Glenhuntly from my birth on the 24th June 1943 to when I left in late November 1975, 32 years.