Richmond 1853 Grunberg cottage sells

Richmond 1853 Grunberg cottage sells
Richmond 1853 Grunberg cottage sells

Grunberg, a historic Richmond cottage, with a Heritage Victoria plaque since 1988, was sold after its single bid weekend auction.

No price has been revealed after being passed in at $1.7 million.

The 36 Lesney Street country-style home, with a 120 year-old magnolia tree, was built in 1853.

It was marketed as a wonderful example of gold-rush era architecture with Jellis Craig auctioneer Andrew Macmillan saying homes like this were mostly found in Ballarat and Castlemaine. 

It last traded at $350,000 in 1989.

It takes its name from Friedrich and Caroline Grunbeerg who arrived in Australia aboard the Godeffroy in February 1849.

They were from Altona in Holstein and both aged 31. They had been married on 1 June 1844, but only after receiving special approval to do so from King Christian 8th of Denmark, who then ruled Holstein.

The King’s permission was required as Friedrich, son of Christian Johann Michael Grünberg, tailor and Elisabeth Anna Agneta (née Langbehn), was a commoner, whereas Caroline was of noble birth.

Caroline Friedericke von Schimmelmann, born 15 February 1817, was the daughter of Graf Carl von Schimmelmann and Ilsabe Catherina (née Dablestein).

The couple married in Caroline’s family home, the Castle Ahrenburg.

Friedrich Grünberg was an original landholder at Westgarthtown, or Dry Creek, as it was then known. 

To legally purchase his land, Friedrich had been naturalized as a New South Wales citizen in 1851, his occupation given as carpenter.

In 1852, Friedrich bought an acre of land at Richmond for £25/12/- (Lots 3 & 4, Portion 8, Parish of Jika Jika).

The access road he created was first known as Gruenberg Street, but by the mid 1860s changed to Lesney Street. 

Friedrich died at Altona in Holstein in 1887, aged 69, during a visit to the then Prussian province.

Caroline returned to Australia and lived at 32 Lesney Street until her death in 1902 aged 85. 

Caroline’s cottages at 30 and 32 Lesney Street were left to the Ahrensburg church, but only after lifetime possession by her great-nephews Christian Frederick Grünberg and George Gottsleben Grünberg, the sons of Christian Grünberg who arrived in Australia in 1863. 

George died in 1916 but Christian lived on until 1944. Caroline’s estate was finally settled in 1953 when it was granted exemption from the Enemy Property Regulations securing £1,270 from the sale of the cottages.

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