Thursday, September 19, 2013

Joseph Blake and Blakeview

Joseph Blake
The suburb of Blakeview was originally known as Smithfield until the residents of the Springvale Estates petitioned the Geographical Names Advisory Committee for a name change. The committee suggested to council the use of the name Blakeview after Joseph Blake, the first blacksmith in the area.

Blake was born in 1863 in Smithfield. He had a shop next to the Smithfield Hotel from which he ran his coach¬building business, manufactured farm trolleys and wagons. Later he became Smithfield's undertaker and blacksmith.

His father, also named Joseph, migrated to Australia from Hawick, Scotland, on board the ship 'Albatross' arriving in Melbourne in 1851.  Joseph senior established a business as a wheelwright at Smithfield, and worked there until his death in 1886.  Joseph junior undertook a wheelwright apprenticeship through his father and eventually took control of the business. The wagons and trolleys lie manufactured were often on exhibition at agricultural shows, both in Adelaide and in the country areas, where he won many prizes for them.

Joseph Junior held official positions in the district as the auditor for the District Council of Munno Para East and West, the Registrar of Births, and Deaths, for the Port Gawler District as well as Trustee of the Institute and Presbyterian Church (his father having been a founder of both the Institute and the Church).  He married Martha Coker in 1890, and they had three sons and three daughters.
A local ghost story tells of the ghost of Joseph Blake, still driving his hearse, dressed in undertaker black, drawn by two white headless horses. On certain nights, he can be seen galloping past the junction of Uley and One Tree Hill Roads.

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