Queensland Places - East Street, Ipswich ca. 1860
This quiet, peaceful scene shows East Street, Ipswich in around 1860. The lengthening shadows indicate late afternoon with few people about. Perhaps it is a Sunday with most people inside resting for the week ahead. The houses and businesses appear well built and neatly ordered in line with the prosperity of the young but rapidly growing Ipswich.
A mother and child stand posed for the photographer on the yet to be sealed street. They are framed by a street lamp and several hitching posts with two lonely looking dogs whose attention is fixed on something out of shot to the right.
East Street in the 1860s was home to a diverse range of residents and businesses and was a microcosm of the larger Ipswich community. M.H. Burths, a solicitor and Coleman Davis, an upholsterer, lived and worked here at this time. The medical fraternity was represented by W.M. Dorsey, a doctor and Mrs. Dobbin, a midwife. Evidencing the importance of the horse in everyday life, we have Mr. C. Gorry, saddler, whose advertisements of the time stated his business had been established in 1844 and offered "a large and varied assortment of all kinds of saddlery and appointments".
Fleming’s two-storied mills’ store can be seen at the end of the street. Joseph Fleming had operated his store from as early as 1850, relocating to East Street around the time that this photograph was taken. Among his specialities were "flour and bran at Sydney prices". Looking at this image, we can speculate that the bullock team outside his store was perhaps making a delivery from one of the mills that supplied Fleming. Showing that money was around Ipswich at this time, we also have J. Parks, watch and clockmaker and we see his store in the middle distance. He operated here from at least 1859 to 1863, when he moved to Brisbane Street. His advertisements show us that he sold "jewellery as well as watches at Sydney prices".
Brian Randall - Queensland Places Coordinator, State Library of Queensland