‘Last Thursday evening we went to look over at a house – such a house, a perfect house. 

I never saw a house I would love so to live in’

Maisie Thomas, Tuesday 28 January 1902. As seen through the eyes of Maisie Thomas, former occupier of Partridge house or, as she knew it, ‘Branksome’ from 1902 to 1912.

 

The land at 38 Partridge Street was purchased in 1839 by Mrs Elinor Varley. Mr Jackson, an architect of Soward & Jackson, Adelaide, built a house of 18 rooms and outhouses in 1899, which today, with some alterations, is Partridge House. Mr Charles Grant Varley, a relative of Mrs Elinor Varley, and a lawyer of Eagle Chambers, Adelaide, occupied the house until January 1902, when Elinor died. The Thomas family moved in soon after.

Over the years, Partridge House has seen many internal changes to its layout and décor as well as external changes, especially to the gardens. When Maisie Thomas lived here she described the home as having ‘beautiful fire places, all tiled and wooden built up mantels, and gas all over the house and fly blinds, … the woodwork throughout the house is simply lovely!’

Mary (Maisie) Harriet Archer Thomas (nee Smith) was born in Auburn in the states mid-north on 8 October 1878. She married Evan Kyffin Thomas in January of 1843. Maisie was known as a ‘strikingly beautiful’ and elegant woman with ‘a quick wit and a wicked sense of humour’.