Clarence Valley Independent

Historic Maclean home goes on the market

Lynne Mowbray |

One of Maclean’s magnificent old homes ‘Penny’s, has just been put on the market.

The building which is located at 151 River Street, Maclean, was built Circa 1870.          

It was originally a single story dwelling, which was used as the office of ‘The Advocate’ newspaper.

Originally the building was owned by Mr Michael Rush and a laneway at the rear of the property, still bears his name – Rush Lane.

In 1902 the property transacted to Mrs Margaret Burt and husband, who on the 3 March 1903 advertised for tenders to construct the second floor of the building.

Builder FJ Robertson was awarded the construction works that were completed 7 August 1903, from which time the property was advertised and operated by Mrs Burt as a ‘Ladies Emporium’. 

On the 6 September 1904 a fire took hold in the shop and dwelling following which Mr Burt was declared bankrupt and the property was advertised for sale as a ‘five to six bedroom freehold with shopfront and footpath awning’.

In 1907, the property was transacted to Mr Lou Fischer, who after restoration works following the 1904 fire successfully operated the local Cash Grocer until the 1930s.

In December 1930 the property was  transacted  once  again  to  its  longest  owners, Pearly  (nee Plumer) & Fred Lewis who continued to operate the Cash Grocer, as P Lewis Grocer & Smallgoods, known locally as Pearly Lewis’ and recognised for its soft drinks, variety of NORCO ice-creams and wide selection of confectionary. 

In 1933 a car crashed into the front of the building that resulted in the verandah having to be re-built. Pearly & Fred Lewis continued operating the grocer until 1985 when the business ceased to trade and became a private dwelling. 

Both Pearly and Fred remained in residence until their passing, two weeks apart in 1991 (Pearly 15 August 1991 & Fred 3 August 1991).

June 1992, the property welcomed the now owners Allan and Cheryl Paine who, following a massive restoration, commenced operating on 10 September 1993, as Penny Farthing Old Wares and Collectables which remains today. 

From 1993 to 1996 Allan and Cheryl undertook restoration and renovation works which included the addition of the intricately detailed second floor extension to incorporate the internal kitchen and bathroom area, hand turned stair case and meticulously working every original board to restore its former glory.

The historic building is constructed of predominately locally sourced mahogany, cedar and pine timbers and still carries many distinctive features of its era which include: intricate cornices, timber lined walls, sash windows, picture rails and a hand turned silky oak timber staircase.

Adding to the history of this grand building are the exposed timber beams originally sourced from an old match factory in Grafton, which line the cathedral ceilings.

Recent restoration work has seen the inclusion of an impressive brass detailed towel rail, which was once an original old bar foot rest from a no longer existent local pub. This prominent addition on the bathroom wall has seen this beautiful old residence, injected with its own pieces of history.

Another charming addition to the history of the building is the original advertising signs which are embedded into the walls, from when the property housed the local grocer.

The history of this wonderful old building is about to change once again, with the property listed for sale through Ford & Dougherty property.

Will your name be added to the history of this classic Maclean residence?

For more information contact: Ford & Dougherty, Tim O’Connor 0402 766 617.

Details relied upon are from data sourced from local historical societies and groups and should not be reliable upon for complete accuracy. 

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