Shop and Residence, 15 Aldinga Road, Willunga

This two storey stone building forms part of the original streetscape with its neighbours, numbers 17 and 19, and retains much of its original construction. Built by 1856, it was the workshop and home of John Richards (senior) a builder and carpenter who arrived in SA from Camelford in Cornwall in 1854. Richards and Sons were important local builders in Willunga, and built many fine buildings including the Bank of Adelaide and Methodist Church and Hall.

John’s wife Mary also owned and operated the Richards’ Store and Residence at 22 High Street after the death of their son John (junior), in 1886. John’s sons all worked in the family business; William was a carpenter, Harry (Henry) a stonemason, while John Richards (junior) was one of the Slate carvers of Willunga, carving many of the slate headstones in the local cemeteries. Grandson George continued in the building business.

Harry was Chairman of the Willunga Railway Committee which lobbied successfully for the line to be built. His widow ran Richards’ Refreshment Room in their home on Railway Terrace. Between 1920 and 1940 the building was known as Jacob’s Corner Shop and was very conveniently situated for school children attending the Public School, just opposite on Aldinga Road. Fanny Jacobs (daughter of carpenter William Richards) and her husband Howard J Jacobs, whom she had married in 1904, lived here and ran the shop between them.

This building is on the City of Onkaparinga’s local heritage list (SA Heritage Places database #5465).

Heather Quick remembers: My parents Reg and Lee Verrall rented the shop and the residence at 43 Aldinga Rd from Mr. Jacobs for 10/- a week. My parents started their first Fruit and Veg shop in these premises, eventually moving to start a shop in my grandparents front room at 14 High St. My only memories of the shop are of the big glass lolly jars on the counter. Mr Jacobs kept chickens on the block across the road which I assumed he also owned but was not sure about that. My father told her they never saw Mrs Jacobs, she was quite sick and never came downstairs.

References:

Passengers in History Database – South Australian Maritime Museum,
South Australian Births – Index of Registrations 1842-1906,
South Australian Marriages – Index of Registrations 1842-1937,
South Australian Deaths – Index of Registrations 1842-1972,
Ratepayer List Willunga & Aldinga Councils 1850-1888,
SAILIS (online) CT 108/86, CT 167/58 & CT 108/60,
R Baxendale and F Lush Willunga Walks Willunga National Trust Willunga 2010 (1989)

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