May's House in Muswellbrook

In May Spencer's Diary, the second half of 1887 is based around a house in Muswellbrook. At the time of the publication of the Diary transcript we had not been able to firmly identify the location of the house.

Following some excellent research by Helen Ellis we have been able to narrow it down to one of two properties in Bridge St.

Two comments from May have helped identify the the location. On 3rd September May comments "A great commotion in next door this morning, and about dinner time we heard the news that Mrs Brecht was delivered of a son."

On the 13th September she adds "There is always such a crowd of larrikins out at the Butchers shop and I do not care for playing as they are very likely to pass remarks."

So May's house is next door to the Brecht's house and near a Butcher shop.

The photo above was taken from the location of Clarke's Butcher shop in 1887. It is now the car park for Hungry Jacks. The two story house behind the tree has been identified as the Brecht house from evidence of the Brecht name in an out building presumed to have been used as part of the Brecht's wine and spirit business.

So either the weatherboard house which is now the Vinnies office or the brick house could be May's house. There were no street numbers in Muswellbrook in 1887 so it is hard to determine which house is the correct one.