In the 1880s, the Township of Puebla was surveyed which included the land stretching from Anderson Street to the recreation reserve near the mouth of Spring Creek. Early land buyers included J. Follett, Andrew White, A.G. White, Pearson, Rudd, Rosser, J.W. Taylor and his brother, H. Taylor, and particularly J.L. Price who owned several allotments. It is reported that Harry Rudd’s corrugated iron house was the first to be built.

FE Gilbert Map

An early district map indicates that F.E. Gilbert owned the land now known as 32/35 The Esplanade, Torquay which he purchased at the 1888 Spring Creek Estate sales. A later map and Council rates indicate that 33 The Esplanade is located at the rear forming part of Lot 210.

William Shakespeare was the next owner, selling his land acquisitions (Lots 208, 209, 210) on The Esplanade in 1899, with Archibald Young purchasing Lot 210. He was an auctioneer from Geelong and built the first house on the property that same year. An early map indicates this was toward the front of the block. During 1920 Archibald built a second house at the back of the property. Archibald died on 7th November 1920 at the age of 64 years. The block had been subdivided creating the ‘battleaxe’ block[1] where the rear block has its own driveway. His wife Annie Elizabeth sold the property located at the front of the original block along with the bathing box in 1922 to John Charles Collins, a real estate agent from Geelong keeping the rear property until she sold it in 1924 to Mrs Agnes George, Aberdeen Street, Newtown.

In 1925 South Barwon Shire valued the property with the front house having 5 ‘fair’ rooms and the house at the rear as having 4 ‘good’ rooms. Agnes rented out the property to Lindsay, Abill, Teda and Donald Redmond in 1946.

Lionel and Olive Sloan and lived at the front (no 32) of the property since 1943, Lionel working as a gardener. They continued to live in the house into the 1960s.

Agnes sold the property to Douglas Sloan (son of Lionel and Olive) in 1948, with the Redmonds continuing to be tenants until he too sold the property on 24 April 1952 to Dr. Quinton Whitehead from South Melbourne.

[1] narrow long driveway (axe handle) with the large land area to build the house (axe blade) at the rear.

c Cathy Smith
c Cathy Smith