On 18 July 1891, a statue of local MLA Alfred Thomas Clarke was erected in a circular plot at the intersection of the major axial paths. AT Clarke was Williamstown's representative in the Legislative Assembly from 1871 to 1887, and a Commissioner of Trade & Customs in the third Berry Ministry. He did his utmost to defend Williamstown against the Melbourne Harbour Trust and was also the founder of the Advertiser. The statue was sculpted by Enrico Luchinelli in Cararra marble. The likeness was taken from a photograph.
The postcards are evidence of the interest the gardens held as a subject for postcard publishers. The text and images provide a snapshot into fashions, social interests and concerns of the time. The professionally produced images provide a pictorial history of Gardens including changing planting styles, various structures and features of the Gardens eg the aviary, cannons, the fountain, the second Curator’s Lodge and gates. The images offer an opportunity to compare garden vistas with the present day.
This postcard shows the main east-west axial path with a typical Victorian/Edwardian mown grass strip which in turn borders formal shrub beds with herbaceous plantings. The Cordylines which line the avenue in this image were replaced by Mexican Fan Palms (Washingtonia robusta) planted in 1915, which in turn were replaced with the same species in 1987
A colour image of main east west axial path looking towards the statue of A C Clarke enclosed with a white fence. The path is lined with grass, shrubs and Cordylines. This image is before the Cordylines were replaced with palm trees, which was 1915.
Inscriptions & markings
Front: ‘The Botanic Gardens, Williamstown’. Reverse: Top ‘POST CARD’ Left side ‘The Space may be used for Correspondence’; Right side: ‘For Address Only.’ Top right corner is a red Victorian one penny stamp. The card is addressed to Mr R Fraser / Collins St. / Essendon from his niece, whose name is unclear.