Some things never change

The Argus, advert for Wards estate, BentleighSome things never change.

Colliers International researchers found that in December last year, house prices for suburbs near trains and trams hit an average of $526,000 – with top rail suburb prices soaring by up to 57 per cent in the year.
Herald Sun, 24/7/2008

(See also a similar article on The Brisbane Times web site, 10/8/2008)

Now compare to this…

…Bentleigh will take its proper place among the southern suburbs. Caulfield and Brighton are spreading out to Bentleigh, and it is only natural that the development of the suburb will be most marked on the main roads close to the station, the very position occupied by WARD’S ESTATE. When the railway is electrified Bentleigh will be only 25 minutes’ run from the city.
— advert in The Argus, 7/2/1920.

In some ways, attitudes haven’t changed much in the last 90-odd years.

I found the Argus article via the National Library of Australia’s newspaper digitising project. They’ve got a search facility running, which is very neat. Some things aren’t in the system yet, but there’s quite a bit that is.

So far I haven’t found any trace of my family, even though on my Dad’s side they’ve been in Australia for over a century. But I did find plenty of old ads for Hattams, the menswear shop I used to work for, which has been around at various locations since 1879. I’ll have to print some out and drop them past.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

5 replies on “Some things never change”

Do you know which area of Australia your Dad’s side of the family first came to? If so you might want to investigate passenger indexes for ports in that area for around the time your Dad’s ancestor(s) arrived. Lots of these are indexed and available on state archives websites. You might have to dick around with different spellings. Additionally were any of your Dad’s family teachers? If so there are lots of teacher registrations you can find. Again indexes available and some are even digitised. Were any of your Dad’s family in mental asylums? If so lots of records available for searching, also prison registers (unfortunately you had to do something that got you noticed by the government to leave records behind – like break the law, or act crazy, or be Aboriginal). If you know which local government area your Dad’s family lived in you can check local government rate records (again usually at the state archives) to find out the address they lived in. Marriage certificates will tell you where the parties lived at the time of the marriage (similar to birth and death certificates). These are available through state Birth, Death and Marriage registries.

Sorry to go on so long but I know more about this than you’d ever really want to.

As far as I know, they settled in FNQ (by the 1930s they were on Thursday Island), though admittedly family history is a bit hazy. I don’t know of any teachers, (certified) crazies or convicted criminals, but you never know!

Thanks for linking to this, what an amazing resource. Whatever they’re using for text-recognition seems a bit iffy, but even trawling through this manually is better than being closeted in a university basement looking at microfiche!

Glad to see that you’ve been checking out the online Argus index! More decades are currently in process… we’re just tight on funding. (It’s a project being run out of La Trobe History Program)

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