Sunnyside is built on the site of the Pearce Bros. Store and incorporates some of the original buildings built for Mr Thomas Pearce senior in the early 1850’s
In 1881, his two sons Thomas George and Ebenezer entered the business and relocated the store next to the Courthouse Hotel in Main Street. At this time the old store was transformed in to a residence for T.G. Pearce and his family with extensions to the front section of thae house and the addition of a bay window. Ebenezer built his house, Waratah, next door to Sunnyside. The two families shared extensive gardens complete with a summer house and a croquet lawn.
By the close of the decade the entrepreneurial brothers had also opened a brickworks, a chaff mill and a chicory kiln, which still stands today in Taverner Street. They also farmed Lucerne and later on high grade opium for a pharmaceutical company!
T.G. Pearce was described as being a Farmer, Businessman and Town Worthy. He was a founder of the Baptist Church, a trustee of the Mechanic’s Institute, Chairman of Trustees of Maddingley Park, a member of the water trust, Captain of the Bacchus Marsh Troop and a leading light in the United Churches literary and Debating Society.
Sunnyside was named after Thomas Pearce’s home town in Sunderland, England. It is an Italianate triple-fronted brick house in Flemish Bond. Servant bell pulls are located next to most fireplaces. Where the ruins of the stables still stand was the site of the first Presbyterian Church which was built by the Pearce family in 1854. In 1882 it was pulled down and all that was left were two levels of foundation stones which became the foundations for the stables, the ruins of which still stand today.
Sunnyside has had just 4 owners in its 160 year history. It has been fully restored to reflect the charm and period features of a bygone era whilst incorporating amenities of modern day living.
The photos shown here were taken by T.G. Pearce and were dated 1901. They appear to be taken as part of the Federation celebrations as there are a number of clues which make us think this. Firstly they were all dressed up in their ‘Sunday best’ and the little girl was a visitor as no one of that age lived at Sunnyside in 1901. There appears to be bunting (ribbons) adorning the front fence. Polly and her brothers appear to be showing off an invitation to the camera and Polly is looking quite modest about it. We will never know!