Historical information

This photograph of the Warrnambool Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters was donated together with an accompanying letter written by John Lindsay on October 21st, 1997. The letter was addressed to Howard Nicholl, the Director of Flagstaff Hill at that time. The following information was gleaned from the contents of the letter and the labels attached to the photograph:-

The photograph of the Cottage was taken in about 1917. The woman is Gertrude Shade, married to James Shade, who was the Warrnambool Town Council's Officer responsible for keeping records of Shipping activity entering and leaving the busy Port of Warrnambool. The couple and their children, Janet and William, were residents of the Assistant Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters at that time.

The family is pictured in the garden on the west side of the building. A washhouse, these days referred to as a laundry, is behind the building and had already been removed when the Flagstaff Hill Planning Board had access to the site in 1972. The corrugated iron veranda was replaced in the 1980s with a smaller covered entry.

Janet Shade married the man who lived across the road, Stewart Lindsay, in 1935. Stewart was employed by Nestle at the age of sixteen, working in the export department. He was acting Manager when the Manager became ill, supervising the loading of dairy products and biscuits into the holds of the waiting ships, where they were then exported to Indonesia. Many of the ships were registered in Liberia and the seamen were called 'lascar seamen, or Indian Sailors.

Janet and Stewart had a son, John Stewart Lindsay, who was a Pharmacist, a member of the Warrnambool City Council, the Mayor of the City of Warrnambool, a former Director of Flagstaff Hill, and Chairman of the Flagstaff Hill Advisory Committee.


This photograph has significance as a historical record of the Warrnambool Lighthouse Kerr'er's Quarters in 1917. The photograph connects the cottage to local families, to local industry, to the Port of Warrnambool, and to overseas exports from Warrnambool.

Physical description

Photograph from c. 1917 depicts the western side of the Warrnambool's Lighthouse keeper's Quarters constructed in bluestone, which was where the Assistant Lighthouse Keeper resided. The image shows the corrugated iron lean-to, and other rooms that were added to the original building after 1872, which were removed in the 1970s due to their poor condition. The members of the family pictured were residents at the time; Gertrude Shade (Mrs James Shade), her daughter Janet and her son William. Inscriptions are on the reverse and the accompanying envelope.

Inscriptions & markings

Typed label "Gertrude Shade with William and Janet. Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage, Flagstaff Hill, Merri St Warrnambool"
Stamp "John Stewart Lindsay, Pharmacist, --0 Thompson Street Warrnambool 3280"
"HOWARD NICHOLL / FLAGSTAFF HILL / MERRI STREET" " KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN / Lindsay's Pharmacy / 119 Liebig Street, Warrnambool / Tel. 5561 4310" [round symbol of mortar and pestle]
Typed letter (from John Lindsay to Howard Nicholl, October 21 1997)