In Lytton Street, Invermay, tucked behind the Star Theatre and Deacon's Corner is a two-storey weatherboard house with bay windows and verandahs.
Now divided into five flats it must have a story to tell.
Arthur William and Fanny Henrietta Mayhead and family moved into the house in 1901, naming it "Athelney" after the Isle of Athelney where King Alfred found refuge surrounded by a swamp. The celebrations marking the 1000-year anniversary of King Alfred's death had appeared in The Examiner in September of that year.
The house was outside the town boundary and Invermay Road had never been made properly.
But it was a big step up from the four-roomed cottage at 8 Cumberland Street where the Mayheads had raised their children. Their six sons and three daughters were born between 1878 and 1896.
A carpenter's son, Arthur Mayhead was born in 1857. He grew up at 6 Cumberland Street, attended John Gurr's Commercial School in St John Street, worshipped at St Paul's Church of England and enjoyed singing.
In 1873 he and a friend nearly drowned when they were paddling around in Mr Ackerman's dinghy which overturned near the swimming baths at the entrance to the Cataract Gorge. Despite this, he took up sailing and had a steam yacht called Heatherbelle.
After leaving school at the age of 12 Arthur joined the bookseller and stationery firm of Hudson and Hopwood.
Sixteen years later, in August 1885, Arthur bought a similar business from John Ferguson located next to the Launceston Hotel in Brisbane Street.
Business flourished and in March 1901 Arthur Mayhead borrowed money from William Hart to buy the large block on the corner of Invermay Road and Lytton Street (formerly Scott Street) from Mary Cathcart, widow of JC Cathcart. Arthur paid 500 pounds for the land and was required to erect a house "with all convenient speed" for a sum of at least 800 pounds.
The builders J and T Gunn did just that, for on November 29, 1901 Mrs Mayhead advertised for a girl to assist with housework at "Athelney", Invermay.
Then on August 3, 1902 following a long illness Arthur died aged 45. After a masonic service at "Athelney" attended by brethren of the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity he was buried at the Church of England Cemetery in Cypress Street.
Arthur's widow, Fanny, lived at "Athelney" for another 34 years. A dressmaker, she spent many hours tending her large garden and was a familiar figure in the shop.
Her youngest son Keith enlisted in the First World War.
In 1936 Fanny sold her home and garden to the Star Theatre group for 1650 pounds. The new theatre opened in 1937, and Deacon's Corner was constructed in 1940 with a shop and flats.
Fanny died at 11 Balfour Street aged 84 on July 5, 1940.
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