31 Station Street Fairfield
Maristowe is a substantial red brick Federation style house located at 31 Station Street, Fairfield.
It is of a distinctive asymmetrical design with a corner round tower at one side.
The land surrounding this building was originally part of Crown Land purchased by Frances Vidal in 1840 and eventually became part of the Fairfield Park Estate.
A well-known confectionary manufacturer, MacPherson Robertson, bought many lots of land on the east side of the estate and built a family home, ‘Carmalea’ (now at 42 Station Street) on some of this land.
In 1913, ‘Maristowe’ was built at what was then listed as 17 Station Street. Street numbers changed in the 1930s to reflect its current listing as 31 Station Street.
The house was built for Stella Robertson, the only child of MacPherson, and her husband, Herbert William Brewer. They were married in the same year with a high society wedding held at Carmalea and the subject of a detailed illustrated article in Punch.
Ten years later the Brewer family moved out of the house and a divorce was finalised a few years later.
Working in the area for some years was a Nurse H. Buchanan, who had been busy running private hospitals, in Gillies, Austin and Station streets.
Until the opening of the Preston and Northcote Community Hospital (PANCH) there were no public hospitals in the immediate area so small privately run hospitals provided this service.
Miss Buchanan took over Maristowe and ran it as a private hospital from 1923 to 1946.
There are many notices in the newspapers of this time announcing numerous births that took place at the hospital as well as general medical procedures.
One instance in The Herald in 1935 notes that a player with Carlton Football Club, Terry Ogden, described as an ‘inmate of Maristowe private hospital, Fairfield’ required a blood transfusion.
Several officials of the club volunteered their services and after tests had been made, Mr Newton Chandler, secretary of the club was chosen and the operation performed successfully.
In 1940 a mortgagee auction sale notice appeared in the newspapers and finally in 1946, Maristowe is no longer a private hospital and the building changes its persona again.
In 1947 the building is purchased by the Church of England to be used as a training centre for Deaconesses. The church were relocating from Fitzroy where the premises had become too small. The house was renamed ‘Deaconess House’ and opened after some necessary repairs and alterations had been carried out.
From 1950 as ‘Catherine Payne Memorial Centre’ the Church ran the building as a hostel for girls from children’s homes who were leaving school and entering employment. This continued for many years, probably until the early 1980s.
Today, Maristowe has gone back to one of its former roles and is now a medical centre once more.
A notable wedding. Punch (Melbourne, Vic: 1900 - 1918; 1925), Thursday 13 March 1913, page 32
Advertisement. Heidelberg News and Greensborough, Eltham and Diamond Creek Chronicle (Vic: 1916 - 1918), Saturday 4 May 1918, page 3
Club secretary gives blood for footballer. Herald (Melbourne, Vic: 1861 - 1954), Wednesday 27 February 1935, page 8
Mortgagee sale. Argus (Melbourne, Vic: 1848-1957), Saturday, 3 Feb 1940, Page 18
New Deaconess training house. Argus (Melbourne, Vic: 1848 - 1957), Saturday 25 January 1947, page 18
In the Churches. The Argus (Melbourne, Vic: 1848-1957) Sat 14 June 1947, page 42
http://vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au/local/search/darebin Victorian Heritage Database. City of Darebin.
Butler, Graeme (1982). City of Northcote urban conservation study. Graeme Butler & Associates. Page 125
Sands and McDougall’s Melbourne and Suburban Directory 1864- 1974. Melbourne, Australia: Sands & McDougall.
Lemon, Andrew. (1983). The Northcote Side of the River. North Melbourne: Hargreen.