Historical information

Bacchus Marsh Express of 7 November 1874 reports that this building was designed and erected by Mr Jeremiah Ryan for Mr H. G. Salter, draper. Mr Salter gave the name of "Hall of Commerce" to the building, a term in common usage at the time.
The building was of a substantial size. In the Express of January 4 1879 Messrs Basham and Bradley advertised a wide variety of goods including drapery, millinery, ready-made clothing, boots and shoes and furniture.
At the front of the building was the first pavement in the township.
This photo forms a contrast with the photograph (also taken by Stevenson & McNicoll in 1883) of Timmons Clothier and Draper, but depicting an older building from 1857. This business was on the verge of closure, Mr Timmons conducting his business as a travelling salesman, taking his goods by horse and cart to outlying districts.
The image provides an example of the growing scale of retail development in Bacchus Marsh in the late nineteenth century.


This photograph is a record of a prominent commercial building that has undergone substantial change. The image shows the original upper floor which was destroyed by fire in 1928.The building retains its usage as a commercial premises.

Physical description

Small sepia unframed photograph on card with gold border framing photograph. Housed in the album, 'Photographs of Bacchus Marsh and District in 1883 by Stevenson and McNicoll'. Photograph of a two storey brick building with a front verandah. Various signage on second storey front and side, and on verandah, including: Hall of Commerce. Boots & Shoes. Men and Boy's Clothing. Furniture and Bedding. J. Carter Outfitter. Basham & Bradley. Milliners and Dressmakers. General Drapers. General Drapery. Warehouse. Latter signage obscures earlier signage.
The photographer has captured a young girl sitting on a bench at the front of the store.

Inscriptions & markings

On the front: Stevenson & McNicoll. Photo. 108 Elizabeth St. Melbourne. COPIES CAN BE OBTAINED AT ANY TIME.
On the back: LIGHT & TRUTH inscribed on a banner surmounted by a representation of the rising sun.
Copies of this Portrait can be had at any time by sending the Name and Post Office Money Order or Stamps for the amount of order to STEVENSON & McNICOLL LATE BENSON & STEVENSON, Photographers. 108 Elizabeth Street, MELBOURNE.
Handwritten: Hall of Commerce. Cr. Main + Graham Sts built 1874 by Jeremiah Ryan. Destroyed by fire 1928.
Courtesy Mrs. Jeremeas. Photo 1883.