By Cathy Jones
Brothers John and Donald Vernon were original purchasers of the subdivision of the Redmire Estate . Donald Vernon was traffic manager of NSW Railways and built the home ‘Parkstone’ (which has been demolished but faced Margaret Street). John Vernon, the NSW Auditor General, built ‘Springfield’ (which has been demolished and faced Redmyre Road). The Vernon’s subdivided their land c.1880 as the ‘Mount Vernon Estate’, which created Vernon Street, Brunswick Street (then called Redmyre St) and lots on Redmyre Road and Homebush Rd. Properties 34 to 70 Redmyre Road are built on the Mount Vernon Estate.
‘Braemar’ 34 Redmyre Road was built in 1899 by its owner D McMaster. The house was known as ‘Stenton’ from 1901-1908 and ‘Braemar’ from 1908 onwards. During McMaster’s ownership, it was leased to a number of tenants including Alfred Campbell Begdie of independent means (1901-1906), William Gunning JP (1907-1908) and Mrs J Leeds (1909-1911) who named the house ‘Braemar’.
About 1912, ‘Braemar’ was sold to Joseph Chicken, a leading figure in the flour-milling trade. Chicken migrated to Australia from Dalston England at the age of 23 and established flour mills at Beechworth, Benalla, and Mansfield. He then moved to Corowa in NSW where he carried on business for many years. He served as Mayor of the former Corowa Municipal Council in 1904. He was also a prominent Freemason, being a past master of Lodge Scott (Corowa). He operated the Homebush Flour Mills from c.1909 to 1918, when he sold the mills to the Jackett Brothers and retired. He appears to have moved from this house to Kirribilli and tenanted the house from c.1923. His obituary notes he was an enthusiastic cricketer, and when no longer able to play regularly attended every match of importance in Sydney. He died at the age of 83 years in 1929 while on a world tour with his daughters.
Ownership of the house transferred to Chicken’s daughter Hester Chicken, who continued to own the house until July 1947, when the house was sold to Ladislas Csillag and Julius Weisz, clerk and company director for £1850. In January 1948, the house was sold to Clarence de Vere Payne, a chemist for £2000. In July 1958, Payne sold the house to Dr Dennis White and his wife Pauline for £7250.
Jackett, G. ‘Jackett’s Flour Mills’, Strathfield District Historical Society Newsletter, October 1996.
1929 ‘LATE MR. J. CHICKEN.’, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), 12 August, p. 12. , viewed 04 Jun 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16575012
NSW Electoral Rolls – Electorate of Nepean, subdivsion of Homebush 1903
Sands Directory for Sydney and Suburbs 1900-1932
Department of Valuer-General, Valuation Lists – Municipality of Strathfield
Department of Valuer-General, Transfers of land title
Wise’s Post Office Directory 1904, 1908, 1936