Historical information

An F-class 2-4-0 steam locomotive and tender hauls a train of two open wagons, a guards van and a single Tait passenger car over the Eltham Railway Trestle Bridge, heading for Melbourne. This type of steam locomotive was replaced by the F-Class 2-4-2.

The house on the right, originally known as 'Derril' was purchased in the early 1920s by Walter Ernest and Alice Miriam Gahan. On the western side of Main Road near the present-day site of Shillinglaw Cottage, they remained till about 1960 when Walter died. The house was demolished in 1968 during the widening of Main Road.

In the distance beyond the trestle bridge on what would become Central Park appears to be an orchard of fruit trees.

A young man with waist coat, jacket and hat stands beside an older man wearing suspenders without jacket and bare headed, sitting on the post fence.

Photographer: J.H. Clark
John Henry Clark was the youngest of three boys born to William Henry Clark (1823-1877) and Maria White (1843-1914). He and his brothers, William Charles Clark (1872-1945), Clement Kent Clark (1874-1912) operated a photography business (Clark Bros.) from 25 Thomas Street, Windsor near Prahran during the period c.1894 to 1914. Following death of Clement in September 1912 and their mother in 1914, the Clark Bros business appears to have dissolved, the premises demolished, and a new house was under construction in 1915. John set up business independently in 1914 operating out of 29 Moor Street, Fitzroy where he is registered in the 1914 and 1915 Electoral Rolls.

By 1916 John had relocated to Eltham where he continued his practice as a photographer and took many of the early images around the district of Little Eltham.

Around 1930 John changed professions and opened a small cobbler's shop in 1931 near the pond opposite Dalton Street adjacent to the Jarrold family cottage. He never married and continued his profession as a bootmaker from this little shop, maintaining a close relationship with Mrs Jarrold for the rest of their lives. His bootmaker shop remains today beside the Whitecloud cottage and is one of only three remaining shops in the area from the early 20th century.

There are a couple of images of Eltham taken by Clark Bros. in the Eltham District Historical Society collection, one such example being Hunniford’s Post Office with Miss Anne Hunniford out front (EDHS_00140 - marked on the back of the print, Clark Bros., 25 Thomas St. Windsor), which would date this image between c.1894 and 1914. Other early images of Eltham taken by John Henry Clark are marked on the face “J. H. Clark Photo” and it is assumed these are dated between 1914 and 1930.

It is noted that the Grant of Probate for John H Clark of Eltham South dated 5 April !957 (513/387) records his occupation as "X Photographer".