Corinya, home of the Callander family, well known in Wangaratta for their Big Store (later Coles) in Murphy Street is up for sale. Images of the house and details including that it has a maid’s bedroom can be found on the Stockdale and Leggo advertisement here.

Corinya – 8 Taylor Street

Located now at 8 Taylor Street in the west end, Corinya was built by solicitor Cornelius Joseph Ahern. Then on a 45 acre block which was originally purchased from the Crown by James Martell, Corinya was situated on the boundary of the Borough on the unimaginatively named Boundary Road (now Phillipson St). In 1913 Ahern sold the property to “the Revd. Fr Byrne for the Roman Catholic Church authorities who intend to use the property for scholastic purposes”. This venture either did not get off the ground or was short lived, as by March 1915 the Callanders were in residence at Corinya. Until the early 1920s the house was the scene of society parties Julia and William Callander held. The staff of Callanders store also enjoyed Christmas Day parties at the house, complete with tennis, billiards and cards tournaments.

Corinya interior

Corinya interior

Callander’s business life began as Callander and Forer in partnership with Charles Forer, the brother of Julia Callander. William Callander was a businessman instrumental in efforts to diversify and increase the economic well being of Wangaratta. He was one of the founding shareholders and directors of the Wangaratta Woollen Mills Limited in 1919 when efforts were afoot to create a mill in the town. Two of Callander’s daughters, Mary Alma and Elena (Lena) Agnes, became famous for dropping advertising leaflets for the Woollen Mills from a biplane. See a wonderful video about this here.

By 1922 Corinya was owned by grazier Osman Valentine Summers and then in 1924 by C.C. Rossiter who sold it on to R. Tyzack. In 1929 it was turned into a hostel for Presbyterian secondary school age boys run by Godfrey and Ellen Spencer. Godfrey was a teacher at the Wangaratta Technical School and Ellen acted as the matron. This must have been a short lived venture as the home was in the hands of the Robbie family by the early 1940s. By 1954 Noel William Clark, owner of a furniture business in Murphy St, was the proud owner.

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