But I knew I could do it myself with just some time needed. Remember this fairly recent post about Madame Brussels, a high end brothel keeper who operated in Melbourne in the late 1800s into the 1900s. I expect she paid the right people and had some kind of protection. No doubt some of her clients were politicians and it is suggested the visiting Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, spent some time as a guest of one of the high end madames, maybe Brussels.
Madame Brussels owned two substantial homes in Lonsdale Street in the city along with a couple of modest cottages in the back lanes and she also bought a house on Beaconsfield Parade, St Kilda. While researching I saw mention that the house still existed. Of course I wanted to see which house it was but there was not a house in that beach front street with that number in St Kilda. Ok, the street has been renumbered at some point. I let the matter go to the back of my mind, in the too hard bin, maybe to find out in the future.
The recent death of Mirka Mora saw me back checking the accuracy of what I wrote after seeing her in this photo amid the rubble of a former French embassy in St Kilda. I wanted to double check a couple of the things, and so I turned to the marvellous Sands McDougall directory. It then occurred to me that using the directory I might be able to find out which house Madame Brussels owned.
Bingo, there she is, Madame Brussels aka Caroline Hodgson at number 39 Beaconsfield Parade, St Kilda in 1900.
Now, what I need to do is go forward with the directory that is available in five year intervals. This was not easy and I was on steep learning curve about how to search Sands McDougall online, in spite of me having used it before.
Right, Beaconsfield Parade was renumbered between 1940 and 1945. Dam, the directory changed direction. Instead of going from east to west, it went west to east. I was hoping the same resident was still in the renamed property for the five years, but no such luck. So comparing the two two lists, and changing direction I established that Madam Brussels lived at 335 Beaconsfield Parade in St Kilda.
Wow. Madame Brussels lived with her daughter, who attended a private Catholic girls' school, right next door to where our Hair Dresser Friend lives and where R lived for a time in the 1970s. Photo from Google Street View. I immediately texted Hair Dresser Friend about her former 1900s neighbour. She replied, snot nosed kids. Parents own (delete name) a chain of cheap clothing shops (think Cotton) and live there during the week, I assume while their children attend school, otherwise they live in a large regional town.
Madame Brussels not only had had a good eye for what worked for men in their aroused and vulnerable state, she had a good eye for real estate. Her former home is now worth around $3,500,000.
With nice views of the grassed road median strip and a bit of Port Phillip Bay. Maybe it's bay views from the second storey are ven better.