Development in the 1800’s
William Handy was the prime mover in developing this whole area, and his original intention was to build two houses on the present site, but he failed to gain permission. The first owner, who was living in the house in 1835, was Mr Harvey Berrow-Tymbs, the owner of Berrow’s Journal, which claims to be the oldest newspaper in the world.
Residents in the Square were scandalised. They were from the upper crust of society and not only had their view ruined by this house but, almost as distressing, it was occupied by a person from trade. He lived in Springfield – so-called because a spring on the land watered the animals – until 1865. The house was put up for sale for £4,000, which included fixtures but not blinds and the furniture. Springfield had two attached paddocks of an acre each.
There followed a succession of owners until 1890 when a woman called Miss Vincent ran a boarding house in Springfield; it is not clear if this was initially living quarters for the High School boarders or for the general public. Certainly, not long after this, she created the boarding house and eighteen boarders from the High School or, as it was better known, The Alice Ottley School, moved in.