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Lenaville, 1985 photo by Skip Watkins, National Trust Collection, Fremantle City Library ref. no. E000159

Lenaville, 186 High Street, cnr Ord Street, was built in 1884 for Henry Blinco (1832-1907), Chief Warder of the Prison, with convict labour, from random rubble limstone quarried on site. Blinco lived there with his family until his death (tho he died at 'Blinco Cottage', 8 Swanbourne Street, possibly murdered). The second owner was Lena Valeska Blacker, who owned it 1909-1938, and it is her name that remains on the house nameplate. George Seddon tells us that the house was 'used as a hospital, a rooming house [by Lena Blacker], an antique dealer's house and showroom, a doctor's family home and as the offices of a governement agency, the Migrant Resource Centre. It became a private residence again in 1988.'

Heritage Council:
There is inconclusive evidence as to the age of the cottage. According to George Seddon the cottage was built somewhere between the 1840s and 1850s, while Maxine Lanyon believes the cottage was built at the same time as Lenaville and that it was built as kitchen and domestic quarters to the main residence. The building then became uninhabitable until purchased by the Seddons and substantial structural changes were undertaken (Seddon, G. 1993). The cottage, like Lenaville, was built in two parts according to George Seddon, with the later extension being built when extensions to Lenaville were also completed. Seddon has identified the southern end to be the earliest section of the cottage, 1840- 1850, with the northern section being built around 1895. The cottage, as was Lenaville, is constructed in limestone random rubble but unlike Lenaville it has brick quoins around the doors and windows on the north side. This according to Seddon is one of the indicators that construction of this section took place at a later date than the rest of the cottage. The cottage was in a derelict and uninhabitable condition when Seddon purchased the property and has undergone substantial structural changes since. Heritage Council.

The paragraph about this building in Wikipedia has it that Lena Blasker was the third owner, not the second. But the second 'owner' was the Blinco estate, in the form of Henry Blinco's son and heir, when the father died, and only for three years 1907-1910, until it was sold to Mrs Blasker. I think it's trivial and misleading to call her the third owner because of that. Seddon calls her the second owner. I changed it in Wikipedia, but an editor, probably 'Gnangarra', changed it back.

Wikipedia also goes out of its way pointlessly to perpetuate the error that the house was once confused with Shenton House by mistake. This occurred in one article in one newspaper, The Sunday Independent, in 1975, over forty years ago, when the journalist confused Blinco's house in Fremantle with the Perth Mayor's in Crawley. In my opinion this slip should be forgotten. I changed it in Wikipedia, but an editor, probably 'Gnangarra', changed it back.

References and Links

Davidson, Ron 2007, Fremantle Impressions, FACP: 209.

Seddon, George, 2000, Looking at an Old Suburb: A Walking Guide to Four Blocks of Fremantle, UWAP. George Seddon was the owner of Lenaville for many years until his death in 2007.

Seddon, George, 2000, House, a Cottage and a Shop, A : 186 High Street, Fremantle: a case history of three buildings, their precinct, their social history, and the 'Fremantle Transitional' domestic architecture 1870-1880 in context, Bookmark, Guildford, WA. See page 2 for the 1975 error which confused this house with Shenton House.

Heritage Council page

Heritage Register entry

List of heritage places in Fremantle in Wikipedia - briefly and misleadingly mentions this building.

Blencowe Families Newsletter, 2009.

Garry Gillard | New: 31 December, 2014 | Now: 20 September, 2022