The history of this humble boarding house in Spring Hill concerns two widows - one who built the house as her residence, and one who, out of necessity, converted the property into a boarding house. This is a current photograph.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #183931)
Things turned nasty for the Eschenhagens though. As a result of Australia's involvement in the Boer War anti-German sentiment run rampant, leading to a boycott of the Eschenhagen business. Judge William Shand wrote "before the war no more a popular and prosperous caterer was to be found in Brisbane... But his shop is a desert and picnics and jaunterings know him no more."
The business slowly recovered after the Boer War, but Ernst Eschenhagen took his own life in 1906. His sister-in-law, Pauline's younger sister Berthe, put that down to "too much debt, from too much wine and women", but who knows what part was played by the hatred endured during the war years.
Pauline Eschenhagen continued to run the business with the help of her son Karl (Charles). But the prospect of a second round of racial bigotry during WWI was too much - she sold the business in 1915 and used the proceeds to hire the original architect of Chippendale, GHM Addison, to design a large extension that allowed the property to be leased out as a boarding house.
Cliveden Mansions continues in use as a boarding house today.
Reference: "The Eschenhagens: Saga of a Celebrated Family", HJ Summers
"Berthe's Story: Tales of a Grandmother", Doreen Wendt-Weir via asslh.org.au
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