NOW AND THEN IN BURNIE
Five years earlier, George Douglas Davidson arrived in Hobart from Scotland and immediately took up a position as department manager at Brownell’s. Subsequently he managed a business for Heatley at Latrobe and for a time was in charge of a business at Ulverstone.
In the late 1890s, Davidson opened a branch of the Brownell Bros business on Cattley Street in Burnie. In 1907, the business moved to the newly constructed building on the corner of Cattley and Wilson Streets. This row of shops became known as Brownell’s Building with the firm occupying the corner store for its own business.
The photo is believed to have been taken between 1909 and 1915. Seen at left next to the Age sign is F Lawrence. Optician and watchmaker, F Lawrence, moved his business to Brownell's in 1909. The store was replaced by T Scott in 1915.
Wilhelm Rudolph Koch was the architect who designed the building. His previous work included the School of Mines at Zeehan, Furners Hotel in Ulverstone and the Grand Hotel at Devonport.
The site, widely known as Palfreyman’s Corner or Palf’s Corner, was later occupied by FitzGerald and Harris Scarfe department stores. Today a Telstra shop occupies the corner.
Below are additional photos from when it was published in the Weekly Courier in 1919. Further below is the building as it appears today.
I started work here at Firzgeralds in 1968 and worked for both Fitzgerald’s and Harris Scarfe ( took over in 1996) over a 30 year period. Palfremans closed in 1964, with Fitzgerald’s making big changes in 1976 when they expanded into the Burnie Theatre and old Burnie Town Hall/ Library. This took the store from Wilson Street through to Mount Street and had already included the Jock Stratton’s menswear business. Vicki Hawken rented upstairs on the corner of Wilson and Cattley Streets to open Bradmara hairdressers and the Napoli Restaurant remained upstairs and opening a take away downstairs. Many changes followed with Harris Scarfe closing in 2008.
Thank you for filling in the gaps. Very informative!
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