Rona Street and the Rona Estate was named after a Dairy Farm situated on Spring Street, Preston.
In April 1888 Edmund Finn bought the land forming Rona Estate for a cost of £10,037 for which he paid £1000 deposit.
The following month a plan showing the land subdivided appeared in readiness for sale.
At that time there were proposals to build 3 railway stations in the Preston area and the station drawn on this plan would become Regent Station which opened the following year in 1889.
However, many sales posters of the time tended not to be to scale or be accurate, in the hope of reassuring vendors that great transport options would not be far away.
Also drawn on the 1888 plan is a major road listed as ‘St John’s Road, Coburg Main Road’. This was actually a water pipe track from Preston storage reservoir and today is parkland.
But land seekers were promised that the road ‘must become one of the great arteries of Preston and will be similar to St George’s Road, Fitzroy and a business highway second to none’.
It appears from the plan, that Station Street would eventually become called Powell Street.
Along with numerous land speculators at this time, Edmund Finn became insolvent and it was fairly common for development to be stalled for many years following a depression in the 1890s.
Many estates from this time were not developed fully until just before or just after the First World War.
In 1916 an advert in the Leader talks of ‘Preston, breezy Preston…the Rona Estate is unlocked at last!’
‘No other estate can compete with Rona, on a splendid easterly slope, a stone’s throw from the station. Remember, Rona is unique – no waiting for tram lines; the railway is there. 100 splendid cheap allotments from £1 per foot.’
At this time the Rona Dairy was still operating on Spring Street and the new residents would have the benefits of Mr. B Edmonds, the licensed dairyman, very close by to supply ‘pure fresh milk, directly from our own cows, delivered twice daily’.
Carroll, Brian & Rule, Ian (1985). Preston: an Illustrated History. Preston: City of Preston.
The insolvent estate of Edmund Finn. Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), Tuesday 5 April 1892, page 6
Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), Saturday 26 February 1916, page 22
Northcote Leader (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), Saturday 19 October 1918, page 1
Plan of the Rona Estate, Preston [cartographic material]. 1888. State Library of Victoria. Available online.