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Garton Street

by David F Radcliffe

Garton Street is a quiet cul-de-sac at the northern boundary of Port Melbourne. Gazetted in March 1860, this short street was settled soon after, as Sandridge expanded rapidly under the population pressures of the gold rush. Today it has an eclectic range of dwellings from different eras. There is also a disused factory. The street was named for James Garton, a prominent local publican in the 1850s and early 1860s and a councillor on the Melbourne Corporation. Back then, Sandridge was administered as part of the City of Melbourne. In 1856, it became the Macarthur Ward of the city.[1]

Garton Street from the garden on Boundary Street. Photo: David Radcliffe

Garton Street runs between Ingles Street and Boundary, parallel to Crockford Street. The significance of this juxtaposition of streets is that they were named for the men who represented the Macarthur Ward in 1859.[2] The alderman was Charles Ingles, a well-known merchant, and the councillors, in addition to Garton, were brothers John Edward and Edward James Crockford, who built and ran at the nearby Fountain Inn and Chequers Inn respectively.[3]

From the mid-1850s, the citizens of Sandridge campaigned vigorously to become an independent municipality. James Garton was the first of the 652 householders listed on the final petition sent from the Sandridge community to the government in December 1859.[4] Although resisted by Melbourne, their request was finally granted in July 1860.[5]

Garton Street at Bay and Ingles Streets. Photo: David Radcliffe

Where Garton Street meets Ingles Street, it also intersects with the northern end of Bay Street. It was at the other end of Bay Street that James Garton first made his mark in Sandridge as the licensee of the Pier Hotel. For over a decade, he contributed to the business and civic life of Sandridge at a critical time in its development. His business interests later caused him to relocate to Melbourne, where he had a similar impact. In both places, the world of James Garton was always located close to the intersection of hospitality and horses

[1] 1856 ‘THE NEW WARD OF THE CITY OF MELBOURNE.’, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848 – 1957), 26 July, p. 5., viewed 20 Aug 2023,

[2] 1859 ‘THE MELBOURNE CORPORATION.’, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.:1848 – 1957), 11 November, p. 7. , viewed 13 Aug 2023, [Councillors were elected by the citizens for a period of three years and Aldermen were elected by the Councillors for a term of four years.]

[3] Pat Grainger, Chartered Scoundrels: A Brief History of Port Melbourne Hotels, Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society, 2nd Edition, 2017, p. 43.

[4] Victoria Government Gazette, No 189, December 1859, pp. 2610-2613.

[5] Margaret and Graham Bride, The Borough and Its People, Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society, 2013, pp. 57-61.

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Acknowledgement of Traditional Custodians

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and work, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.