Looking for Doondi

A question from Stephen S.

I’m searching for any possible photos of a property in Almora Street, Mosman c1915 named ‘Doondi’. This is where my great Aunt & her husband lived …. he (DONALDSON, Joseph K) was killed in Gallipoli. I’m actually trying to find where in the street the property would have been located. Any info would be gratefully received.

The property was no. 6 which was located between Muston and Arbutus Streets but there is no such number there today. Can you help?

Mosman Library · 24 February 2012 · #

Your comment

The National Library of Australia’s @troveaustralia saw our question on Twitter and pointed us to the classified ads in The Sydney Morning Herald of Wednesday 16 August 1922 where Doondi’s address is given as “corner Almora and Arbutus streets, Mosman”.

Perhaps it is this house now numbered 35 Almora Street.

Trove allows easy keyword searches of an impressive and growing archive of Australian newspapers. For family history and other research, it is a goldmine.

Mosman Library · 25 February 2012, 17:12 · #

At least one Directory, Sands 1913, gives the number of “Doondi” as “2 Almora”. The Directories of Mosman to which I have access, however, present a confusing picture. Ideally, they should show the north side of Almora St starting from Military Rd, then with successive cross streets Melaleuca Av. (presumably now Ritchie Lane), Muston St, (Almora Ln.), Arbutus St/Redan Ln, (Redan St) and Superba Ln.
1904 NSW Directory shows only one listing for Almora (north or south side not stated but probably south): Barker Mrs Geoffrey, “Burnille”
1905 Sands Directory has one additional listing on the “west side” of the street, across from Burnille – the single word “Freeman”
The 1908 Sands throws all into confusion, showing on the SOUTH side:
[sorry about formatting – this text box has a bug] Off Military Rd – Arthur St / Runcie J., “Burnelle” / Redan St / Richton-Potter T.A., “Cyrene” / Freeman J.C., “Doondi” / Greig T.M., “Mt. Forest” /
and only one property on the north side:
Burth Martin, “Brangepeth”
By 1910, the Sands listings resemble 1913 but without numbers; 1913 shows
the following for the NORTH Side of Almora St:
2 Freeman J.C., “Doondi”
6 Greig T.M., “Mt. Forest”
then Melaleuca St. Muston St crosses at the other side of number 10. This would place Doondi close to Military Rd and nowhere near Arbutus. (Runcie is shown on the south side but the house is now called “Gourock”; “Cyrene” is also shown on the south side.)
The 1917 Sands Directory for the north side of Almora, however, shows the following:
only “Cook Allan” (no number) on the Military Rd side of Melaleuca
Melaleuca Av
6 Greig T.M., “Mt. Forest”
(no number) North Charles F.M., “Doondi”
Arbutus St
The 1919 and 1920 Directories have similar information. Could it be that the north side of the street was not in neat blocks, and many sections were as yet undeveloped?
By 1926 (Sands) there is no Doondi.

— David Fayle · 13 May 2012, 16:36 · #

Two advertisements in the Sydney Morning Herald give Doondi as being at the corner of Almora and Arbutus Streets. See:

— John Bryan · 16 February 2016, 20:19 · #