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Solomon St was dedicated as a public highway in 1905 and was originally known as Mary St. In 1951/52 the street name changed to honour Elias Solomon (1839-1909) a Fremantle merchant who built a home in the street in 1887 which was known as "Ocean View”. Elias was the youngest son of London Jewish parents, Moss and Leah Solomon (nee Myers). When he was two years of age the family migrated to Sydney. They subsequently moved to Adelaide to be close to relatives. A severe depression in Adelaide in 1841 however, led to the family’s return to Sydney.
On Moss Solomon’s death in 1849, his widow and family returned to Adelaide. On completion of his schooling, Elias joined his uncle’s firm and at the age of 18 was sent to Mauritius to purchase a large consignment of sugar. On 21.01.1888 he arrived in Fremantle aboard the Eliza Blanche and found lodgings in Henry St. In March he formed a partnership with his two nephews as land agents and auctioneers. In letters to his family, Elias described the town as a ‘very poor place ... and after leaving buildings like there are in Bourke St and being deposited as it were in the centre of a town built of nothing but white stone, the contrast was not at all a pleasant one.’ Despite the small Jewish population in WA, Elias was determined to maintain his Judaism. In fact, he was the first in the colony to import matza, the unleavened bread eaten at Passover. He was also president of the Fremantle Hebrew congregation and instrumental in obtaining land for a Jewish section in the cemetery and a synagogue.
Elias actively participated in many areas of public-life serving as a councillor (1878-1880, 1883-1886), Mayor (1889-1891, 1896-1898, 1900-1901), MLA South Fremantle (Oct 1892 - April 1901) and MHR for Fremantle (1901-1903). He died on 23.05.1909 and is buried in the Jewish section of the Fremantle Cemetery.
See also: Elias Solomon.
Stevens, Larraine 1996, 'From the Local History Desk', FHS Newsletter, Spring: 8-9.
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