|Also known as|
|Style||Late twentieth century 1960 – 2000|
Timelapse Building Images
A glimpse of No 18 in 1975 showing the new back fence.
The newly completed No 18 taken at the December 1978 street party
Detail from circa 1965 photo showing vacant 18 Wood Street
Circa1965 photo showing vacant land
The Hotham Hill land that became 18 Wood Street was part of the Compiled Town Record Plan section 85a allotment 4. It was purchased at auction on 28 December 1865 by Mr C Hill. The block had a 20ft (6.1m) frontage to Wood Street and a depth of 110ft (33.5m) to the now named Donovans Lane.
On 3 November 1919 the rear 24ft 6in was cut from the title. At this time a two story horse stables covered the rear of 18 and 20 Wood Street. The owner of both 18 and 20 then sold 18 Wood Street without the section covered by the stables.
Subsequent Building Alterations
Heritage Significance and Listings
|Heritage Listings and Explanatory Notes|
As a 1970`s building it does not have any heritage listings
|From||To||Owner||More Info||Data Source|
|2 July 1868||25 May 1898||William Donovan||Title|
|25 May 1898||17 February 1917||Estate of William Donovan||Title|
|17 February 1917||3 November 1919||Charles Donovan||Title|
|3 November 1919||2 February 1921||Ann and Patrick Fogarty||Title|
|2 February 1921||27 August 1964||Mary Cronin||Title|
|27 August 1964||30 April 1868||Marion Shortis||Title|
|30 April 1968||28 April 1976||Housing Commission||Title|
|28 April 1976||3 October 1984||Rob Snashall||Title|
|From||To||Resident||More Info||Data Source|
|1868||1885||William and Susan Donovan and children||Title,Sands and McDougall directory Wills|
|1890||Joseph Elis||Sands and McDougall directory|
|1895||1900||Miss Mary Nicholson||Sands and McDougall directory|
|1905||Charles Morgan||Sands and McDougall directory|
|1910||Angus Dudley||Sands and McDougall directory|
|1915||William Bateman||Sands and McDougall directory|
|1925||1964||Denis and Mary Cronin||Sands and McDougall directory|
William Donovan purchased what was to become 18 Wood Street – the title was dated 2nd July 1868. He built a two room wooden house and moved in with his wife Susan. They were the second residents in the street. The Murphys at about No 2 were the first, paying rates in 1866.
Donovan started life in Wood Street as a labourer and soon became a carter with a single horse and dray. This business expanded and Donovan also became a property owner and developer He was a significant North Melbourne resident and his story can be found in the People section of Melbourne Streets.
In 1871 Donovan purchased the next door block (to become No 16) and stabled his horses in the area covering the back of both No’s 16 and 18.
The Donovan’s time at No 18, while one of growing prosperity, was a tragic one. Their four children died, three from typhoid fever in 1876. Then Susan died in 1884. By this time the No 18 house had been expanded to five rooms and Donovan had built the grand Erin House next door – a free standing double brick two story Victorian residence.
Donovan married Annie Hamilton in 1885 and they moved into Erin House. In 1885 Donovan also built thefour house, two story, Erin Terrace at 8 to 14 Wood Street.
The Residents section lists a number of tenants in period 1885 to 1921. The Cronin’s then purchased No 18 and lived there until 1964.
William Donovan still owned No 18 when he died in 1898 and he left it to one of his sons, Charles Donovan, but it was held in trust until he turned 25. He became the owner in 1917 and he sold in 1921. As detailed in the Land section, Charles had the rear part of the block covered by the two story horse stables cut from the No 18 title. Note that for many years the sewerage collectors had had access to the rear of No 18 via a 3 ft strip from Donovan’s Lane through No 16 next to the stables on the house side.
In 1921 Denis and Mary Cronin purchased No 18 and Mary was listed on the title as the owner. They had been married in 1915 and moved in with their four young children, Marion, John , Helen and Bernadette.
Denis is listed as having been a watchman. Marion married in 1942, Helen in 1943 and Bernadette in 1950. John served in the WW2 and lived with his parents until he died in 1951.
Denis died aged 92 in 1963. In May 1964 Mary was in the Royal Park Psychiatric Hospital when the Housing Commission made a Section 56 declaration stating the house was not fit for habitation and must with be demolished or repaired. Mary aged 89 died six weeks later.
One of Mary’s daughters, Marion Shortis became the owner in August 1964. The house was demolished and the Housing Commission order withdrawn in April 1965.
In 1968 the Housing Commission purchased the block from Marion. At the time the entire block on the south side of Wood Street had been compulsorily acquired by the Housing Commission, cleared and new apartments were being built. The reasons for the purchase are unknown. It is hard to believe they were thinking of demolishing the important Victorian streetscape on the north side.
In 1976 the Housing Commission sold the block through a public tender process. Rob and Liz Snashall became the new owners with Rob listed as the proprietor. Rob, a civil engineer designed and built the house which was completed in 1978. The family moved in and lived there until 1984. As noted in the general Wood Street story, it was Rob who in the early 1980s took the initiative and convinced the City of Melbourne to put garden beds in the street.
The next owner lived at NO 18 for most of the time until he sold in 1992. The new owners are still there.
The Age 14/11/1951
If you know more about any earlier families who had a direct connection to the earlier Victoria era home on this site in the past, we encourage you to contact us and share their stories and old photos today.
Context and Streetscape