On 22nd July 1852 the property was purchased by Michael Lyons, grand-father of former Prime Minister, Joseph Lyons. A house was built in 1858 and by 1876 a store had been added to the allotment. From 1881 to 1891 Michael Lyons continued to be the owner, with Alfred House Smith (married to Michael Lyons’ daughter Charlotte in 1870) the proprietor.
From 1892 to 1897 the owner was listed as Alfred House Smith. In 1891 fire destroyed the store and part of the attached house, with the building being one of the oldest in the district. That same year Alfred House Smith erected a brick store, with the proprietor listed as Ernest Murray, draper’s assistant.
The Coffee Palace was built by Alfred House Smith in 1892, comprising a two storey building and assorted out-buildings: there were 20 accommodation rooms and 2 shops, and the building became known to the locals as Noah’s Ark.
The two-storey Coffee Palace built 1892
In 1898 to 1899 the business proprietor was listed as Charlotte Smith (born 1849 died 1921, daughter of Michael Lyons) and from 1901 to 1903 the business proprietor was listed as Henry Ratcliffe. In August 1905 Charlotte Smith had the Coffee Palace for sale, while she was also listed as the business proprietor in 1906, operating Fancy Goods Emporium. In 1907 the business proprietor was listed as Mary Carroll, operating a dressmaker’s shop and from 1915 the proprietor was listed as S. W. Margetts & Sons operating Great Cash Concern, specialising in the sale of clothing, boots and drapery.
The house as seen in a run down state before and then after it was acquired by Christer and Rhonda in 2008
By 1918 the Coffee Palace was in a neglected state. Charlotte Smith died in 1921 and in that year it was reported the exterior walls of the Coffee Palace were collapsing, potentially making the road unsafe. In 1922 an outbuilding of the old Coffee Palace was burnt down and in 1926 the Coffee Palace/Noah’s Ark was dismantled by Mr. Bill Nicholls. That year, building materials and timbers from the demolition of the Coffee Palace were used to build the current house.
The shed as seen in a run down state before and then after it was acquired by Christer and Rhonda in 2008