Corinya – home of the Callander family

Corinya, home of the Callander family, well known in Wangaratta for their Big Store (later Coles) in Murphy Street is up for sale. Images of the house and details including that it has a maid’s bedroom can be found on the Stockdale and Leggo advertisement here.

Corinya – 8 Taylor Street

Located now at 8 Taylor Street in the west end, Corinya was built by solicitor Cornelius Joseph Ahern. Then on a 45 acre block which was originally purchased from the Crown by James Martell, Corinya was situated on the boundary of the Borough on the unimaginatively named Boundary Road (now Phillipson St). In 1913 Ahern sold the property to “the Revd. Fr Byrne for the Roman Catholic Church authorities who intend to use the property for scholastic purposes”. This venture either did not get off the ground or was short lived, as by March 1915 the Callanders were in residence at Corinya. Until the early 1920s the house was the scene of society parties Julia and William Callander held. The staff of Callanders store also enjoyed Christmas Day parties at the house, complete with tennis, billiards and cards tournaments.

Corinya interior

Corinya interior

Callander’s business life began as Callander and Forer in partnership with Charles Forer, the brother of Julia Callander. William Callander was a businessman instrumental in efforts to diversify and increase the economic well being of Wangaratta. He was one of the founding shareholders and directors of the Wangaratta Woollen Mills Limited in 1919 when efforts were afoot to create a mill in the town. Two of Callander’s daughters, Mary Alma and Elena (Lena) Agnes, became famous for dropping advertising leaflets for the Woollen Mills from a biplane. See a wonderful video about this here.

By 1922 Corinya was owned by grazier Osman Valentine Summers and then in 1924 by C.C. Rossiter who sold it on to R. Tyzack. In 1929 it was turned into a hostel for Presbyterian secondary school age boys run by Godfrey and Ellen Spencer. Godfrey was a teacher at the Wangaratta Technical School and Ellen acted as the matron. This must have been a short lived venture as the home was in the hands of the Robbie family by the early 1940s. By 1954 Noel William Clark, owner of a furniture business in Murphy St, was the proud owner.

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14 Responses to Corinya – home of the Callander family

  1. Margaret Muelll Muller says:

    I heard many stories of life at Corinya from my father William (Bill) and Lena my aunt, many to us children funny and quaint.

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  2. Jenny Coates says:

    What a wonderful house it must have been to grow up in!

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  3. Pingback: Doing business in 1873 | Conversations with Grandma

  4. Deirdre English(Jackson) says:

    Wasn’t it also a “private nursing home ” of sorts? I remember working there in the late 60’s when a couple ran it> I think their name was Taylor, too.

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    • Jenny Coates says:

      Hi Deirdre,
      Thanks for dropping by and for the added information. The records I was using only went up to the 1940s so the extra information is very welcome. Now that you have mentioned the Taylors I have looked up electoral rolls for 1963, 1968, 1972 and 1977 without finding any Taylors who were nurses or associated with a private hospital, or who lived at this address. This may mean the hospital was short-lived and may have opened and closed between those years. Otherwise if you have any thoughts that the surname may have been something else let me know and I’ll check them out.
      Thanks so much!
      Jenny

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      • Deirdre English(Jackson) says:

        Hi Jenny. I remembered the name of the people who owned Corinya while I was working there. Their names were Noel and Lorraine Clark. They were in Corinya from 1954 until around the 1980’s. I found them on the 1954,63.72,77 and 80 electoral rolls. Noels occupation from 1954 until 1972 was listed as Furniture Salesman then from 1972 as a Proprietor. I seem to remember that I went to school with a Ruth Clark of that same address. I also seem to think that either Noel or Lorraine lived in Stuart street but I could be wrong. Hope this is helpful
        Cheers,
        Deirdre.

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        • Jenny Coates says:

          Thanks for your research Deirdre! I am actually related to Noel Clark, though a few cousins removed, so I am thrilled to learn they once lived in Corinya. If you follow the Facebook page Lost Wangaratta I have been putting up some 1953 adverts from the Chronicle. Soon to come is one of Noel Clark’s furniture store with both Noel, and his wife in the pic.

          Thanks for sharing!
          Jenny

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    • Margaret Muelll Muller says:

      I do remember it was some sort of nursing home at one stage not sure when. On you comment about Callanders store. Coles always leased a section of the building (next to the hotel) Callanders section was sold to Woolworths and eventually the Coles section was sold when Woolwoths sold to Coles. Would love to know what hsppened to the basement area which was a large area
      Margaret Mueller nee Callander

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      • Jenny Coates says:

        Hi Margaret,
        I’m sure you’re referring to living memory about the Coles occupation of that building. However I have a town plan first done around 1904 and updated several times over the next few years, and it shows clearly that at this time, both sides of the building was first Harrison & Kettle, and then Callanders. At this time Coles didn’t even exist. (ref:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Coles_%28entrepreneur%29) This is the time period I was referring to.
        Best wishes,
        Jenny

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        • Margaret Muelll Muller says:

          Hi Jenny,
          yes if you are referring to the very early days the building wasfirst Harrison and kettle and aquired by Callander and Forer. William Callander came to Wang to manage the new business while Charles Forer remained in Dookie managing that store that had been sold to the Major cooperative of Dookie. The partnership was dissolved in 1922 and the business became Callanders. Couldn’t find the exact date that Coles stareted leasing the section beside the hotel. There was alarge door between the two stores,next to the icecream an lolly section in Coles.
          have you seen a copy of the book my fsther wrote about the family? It has quite a lot of info about Wang in general
          regards
          Margaret

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        • Jenny Coates says:

          Thanks for the update Margaret.
          The scope of that post was not to give a complete history of Callenders store but to have a brief look at the house that was then for sale and which had several owners over the years.

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    • Peter Froelich says:

      It was a nursing home when I lived next door in the 60’s and early 70’s. We always knew it as the Clarke place.

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  5. Deirdre English(Jackson) says:

    Hi Jenny. Was I right about a Ruth Clark? You wouldn’t be connected to Judy Coates from Yarrawonga would you?
    Cheers Deirdre.

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    • Jenny Coates says:

      Hi Deirdre,
      I didn’t know anything about Ruth Clark until you mentioned her but you could be right. The only child I found was Mary Isobel. I think my grandmother and Noel Clark are second cousins so we probably didn’t interact that much. No, not related to Judy from Yarrawonga (that I know of). Coates is quite a common name!
      Kind regards,
      Jenny

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