BAG History Group / Buffalo

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Gamble Cottage

The 2015 series of articles focussed on historic landmarks around the Blackwood district by The Blackwood Action Group history team.

"Legacy of quality homes built by pioneer family"

‘Buffalo’, one of Blackwood’s oldest houses at 44 Coromandel Parade, was built in 1881 by Daniel John Hewett and named in memory of his father, Henry Grigg Hewett, who emigrated to South Australia in 1836 on the ship HMS Buffalo.

 

Daniel Hewett, an established building contractor and his wife Alice, moved to Blackwood from Clarendon in 1879 to expand his business by taking advantage of the imminent arrival of the railway, which had a profound effect on the development of Blackwood.

The Hills Land and Investment Company bought up land along the proposed railway route through the Adelaide Hills in the 1870s, including along Coromandel Parade, an early example in the state of speculative land division.

‘Buffalo’ was built as a four-roomed stone cottage housing Daniel and Alice Hewett and their 11 children, until they moved to the much larger Watahuna in Hawthorndene around 1900.

The City of Mitcham Development Plan describes ‘Buffalo’ as being ‘a single-storey sandstone fronted residence with a random rubble stone side walls.

The symmetrical, double-fronted cottage has a half-hipped corrugated sheet metal roof, and unpainted red brick chimneys with terracotta chimney pots. The straight pitched corrugated sheet metal veranda has timber posts with decorative lacework and brackets’.

By 1914 it was occupied by Mr Davis.

In the 1940s ‘Buffalo’ again became of significant commercial importance to the district when it became the home of Alexander Kenneth (Ken) and Gladys Read.

Ken Read was the local milke for many years at a time when people left their billy cans out for milk to be delivered to the door.

Although the milk depot was north of Five Ways Corner (Blackwood roundabout), the delivery van was frequently seen in the block adjacent to ‘Buffalo’. The Read family lived in the house for almost 50 years.

Following the death in 1998 of Donald, the oldest child of Ken and Gladys, ‘Buffalo’ was sold to Mr Hounslow who did extensive renovations, resulting in the charming cottage we see today.

 

The Heritage Report states that ‘Buffalo’ meets two significant criteria for preservation:

  • “Displays historical, economical or social themes that are of importance to the local area”, and

  • “Is associated with a notable local personality or event”.

The Hewetts were a premier pioneer family who gave residents in Blackwood township and the local district a legacy of quality built homes and open space.

So, when you next drive down Coromandel Parade - ‘dips the lid’ at number 44 to ‘Buffalo’.

>> Click here to read more history articles from the Blackwood Action Group

3 generations of the Hewett family, Daniel John Hewett, Robert Henry Hewett, John Henry Hewett, 1908