By Cathy Jones
‘Huia’ was built c.1894 and was owned by Mrs Agnes Buchannan, widow of David Buchannan MLC (1823-1890). Buchannan was a prominent lawyer, author and member of the NSW Legislative Assembly (1860-1889) and NSW Legislative Council (1889-1890). Buchannan and his wife owned a number of houses in Strathfield, as income and investment properties. His estate transferred to his widow and upon her death in 1900, the estate transferred to his brother. The house was owned from c.1913-1922 by Edwards Ayres, who occupied the house for short periods but mainly tenanted the property.
Sands Directory notes a number of tenants including Thomas Steel (1895-96) who called the house ‘Inverkip’, Mrs S A Meyer (1897-1900) who called the house ‘Huia’, W M Bostock (1901), Mrs Donald Vernon (1903-1904) who called the house ‘Clewer’ (which is also the name of the earlier Vernon family residence in Albert Road), J L Cameron (1906) reverted the house name back to the name ‘Huia’. In 1909-1910, the house was occupied by Edward George Henry ‘Huia’, Mrs Emma Jones ‘Huia’ (1911), Francis Cunningham (1912), Wright Thompson (1913), Edward Ayres (1914-1915), George Ewart, a clothier (1916-1918), Mrs J G Macfadyen (1919-1920) and Edward Barclay (1921).
The house was sold c.1922 to Mrs Edith Lydia Hodgson, who named the house ‘Dunrobbin’. In 1940, the house was sold for £1050 by the estate of Mrs Hodgson to George Carpenter, a chemist, and his wife Mary, who renamed the house ‘Dalfred’. The Carpenter family were the owners until at least the 1960s.
This house is now part of Meriden Anglican School for Girls.
Martha Rutledge, ‘Buchanan, David (1823? – 1890)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 3, Melbourne University Press, 1969, pp 281-283.
Sands Directory for Sydney and Suburbs 1900-1932
Department of Valuer-General, Valuation Lists, Municipality of Strathfield 1894 to 1960
Strathfield Council Notices of Land Transfer (1927-1960s)
Wise’s Post Office Directory 1904, 1908, 1936