by Ray Jelley
The man directly responsible for the existence of the Excelsior Hall was Charles Dillon (at times known as Chas. Dillon Jnr.), the son of Charles Middlemiss Dillon and Catherine née Wallace. The history of the building and the family’s history were inextricably linked.
Excelsior Hall, Bridge Street PMHPS collection
The place to start this journey…
John Bichard Grut
John was the youngest of three surviving boys who were born to Peter Grut and his wife Elizabeth Mary née Bichard. He was born in Sandridge in 1861. John became a successful architect, builder and was prominent in many sporting clubs in Port Melbourne and South Melbourne.
He was also involved in the arts through his membership of…
Peter Gallienne Grut was born on the south bank of the Yarra in 1857.
His father, also Peter, bought land at the corner of Bridge Street East and Esplanade East in 1868/69. Peter grew up in a single-storey wooden cottage built on part of this land, described at various times as having either four or five rooms. Later, Peter and…
Henry Brouard Grut
Henry was the eldest surviving child of Peter and Elizabeth Grut née Bichard. He was born on the island of Guernsey in 1853. The family migrated to the colony of Victoria in 1855. The family lived and prospered in Port Melbourne for many years. Henry lived with his family in ‘Guernsey House’, 232 Esplanade East.
Guernsey House courtesy of…