Celebrating South Australia


13 April 1895 Beehive Corner

 13 April 1895   Beehive Corner

On 13 April 1895 an article in the Observer reported on the disappearance of many of Adelaide's early landmarks. Shops along King William Street, including the two-storey building on the Beehive Corner, 'familiar to Adelaideans for half a century', were being demolished to make way for new buildings. From 1849 the site was occupied by small shops amongst them, on the corner, a leading drapery shop which was named the Beehive and had a gilt beehive decorating the front door. Other tenants included Edmund Wright, architect, Elkins, gunmaker, and behind his place the Adelaide Times was printed. The paper was owned by James Allen, known as 'Dismal Jimmy', not because of his lugubrious expression, but because he carried on wearing a black stovepipe hat when cabbage tree hats were all the fashion. At the rear of another shop an industrious woman made and sold kidney pies, until her useless husband killed her. In one shop was a large 19 foot crocodile which could be viewed for a shilling, although it is not recorded if the reptile was alive or stuffed.

The present Beehive Building was constructed in 1895-96 with the architects retaining the Beehive name in the corner turret.

Observer, 13 April 1895, p. 35.
Susan Marsden, Paul Stark, Patricia Sumerling (eds), Heritage of the City of Adelaide, Corporation of the City of Adelaide, 1990, pp. 96-97.